IBM lands contract with Florida planned community

A new planned community in Southwest Florida says it will be a “living laboratory” for innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies. And according to an announcement today, IBM will help plan and design the city’s technology systems.

The city of Babcock Ranch, dubbed as “the first city planned to be powered by the sun,” will sit on a corner of a 91,000-acre working ranch in southwest Florida. In a deal between the State of Florida and the development firm Kitson & Partners, Babcock Ranch will be wireless, sustainable and use clean energy to set the mold for future smart cities.

In addition to its zero-emission city power generation, Babcock Ranch will also feature an integrated smart grid allowing residents and businesses to test the concept of “community as a platform.”

“The opportunity presented by a city like Babcock Ranch is the opportunity of sustainable prosperity,” Dr. Daniel Sabbah, IBM Rational general manager, said in a statement. “Pervasive new technologies provide a much greater scope for the instrumentation, interconnection and intelligence of a city’s core systems. This revolution is being driven by software innovation and the critical need for our cities of the future to address networks, infrastructures and environments, holistically.”

According to IBM, the city will use IBM Rational Focal Point software to reduce risk and improve cost estimates of investments by modeling financial and market impacts. The software will collect and analyze multiple decision criteria from internal and external stakeholders to identify the impacts and opportunities of decisions, the company said.

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