This is a great documentary on the Intelligent Operations Center that IBM recently realized in Rio de Janeiro. Rio frequently suffers from natural disasters; namely severe storms, that cause floods and landslides. That is to say, landslides are extremely prone to happen in spontaneous and disorderly settlements, the favelas, which are all around the chute outskirts of the city.
In the favelas, tens of thousands people stack up without access to basic public services and often without access to electricity and means of communication.
Rio’ s Intelligent Operations Center, developed by IBM, aims to enhance the city’ s authorities’ readiness in front of these ‘“often fatal ‘“ disasters. The solution calls for better emergency management through better coordination among the city’ s departments. All the functions of the city are controlled through a single digital monitoring system; managers use a large screen to track weather, traffic, police and medical services on a real time basis. Communities are alerted with sirens and mobile SMSes when a danger of flooding is close up.
According to G. Banavar, CTO of the IBM Global Public Sector, in the case of Rio, three factors lead to the success of this project:
– Visionary leadership
– The imminent important events of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games
– External investment from banks and businesses
Can ambitious and costly technological solutions really solve the problems of the urban poor? Perhaps the ‘Smarter Favela‘ expression, used in this article by G. Lindsay, should have us thinking a bit harder.
Find the source of the video here.