The city government and IBM signed an agreement to build a public information management center for Rio de Janeiro. The Rio Operations Center, which will be located in Cidade Nova, will integrate and interconnect information from multiple government departments and public agencies in the municipality to improve city safety and responsiveness to various types of incidents, such as flash floods and landslides.
Additionally, as part of the agreement, IBM Research scientists will develop a high-resolution weather forecasting and hydrological modeling system (PMAR) for Rio de Janeiro, which can predict heavy rains up to 48 hours in advance. A major project for IBM's ninth research lab, the effort will build upon and technologies created by IBM research labs around the world.
The mission of the Rio Operations Center is to consolidate data from various urban systems for real-time visualization, monitoring and analysis. The system was designed initially for forecasting floods and related emergencies, but it is extensible to any event occurring in the city – be it the Reveillon Party at Copacabana beach, the exit of fans from a soccer match at the Maracana or a traffic accident. The center will enable city leaders to make decisions in emergency situations based on real-time information.
This initiative is part of IBM's global strategy to develop technology-based solutions to help cities become smarter. Similar projects have already been implemented in New York City and Gauteng in South Africa, but this is the first center in the world that will integrate all the stages of a crisis management situation: from the prediction, mitigation and preparedness to the immediate response to events and finally to capture feedback from the system to be used in future incidents. Other partners engaged in the construction of this center are Cisco, Cyrela, Facilities, Malwee, Oi and Samsung.
The idea is that the center will continuously evolve to integrate more city departments and information. "We are creating a foundational IT platform that will soon be able to gather data on all incidents and events occurring in the city," said Pedro Almeida, Smarter Cities Director for IBM Brazil.