IBM and City of Chesapeake Build a Smarter City

Intelligent City-wide Systems Enhance Public Services including Public Works, Public Utilities, Public Safety and Parks and Recreation

IBM and the City of Chesapeake, VA, today announced a partnership to build more intelligent systems to better serve its more than 200,000 residents as part of a city-wide capital improvement project. The use of IBM technology will enhance services delivered to the public ranging from maintenance and operations of traffic signals and water systems to the management of the City’s Fire and Police departments. As a result of these efforts, the City of Chesapeake is consistently improving the quality of life for its citizens.

The City of Chesapeake is one of the larger cities in Virginia at 353 square miles. It is a diverse community with suburban, urban and rural areas. The business community is equally diverse, including more than 80 foreign-based companies from 19 different countries. In addition, the City has more miles of deep water canals, including the Intracoastal Waterway, than any other city in the United States. The size and location of the City makes it a complex infrastructure to manage. These unique challenges can be addressed in part by using technology to collect and analyze data that can be used to improve how transportation, utility management and public safety systems react to constantly changing conditions.

In accordance with its comprehensive plan, the City of Chesapeake is currently investing more than $1.2 billion in capital improvement projects affecting community facilities, Economic Development, technology, Parks and Recreation, Public Safety, transportation, Public Utilities, Public Works, and education.

"Technology is the power tool of today," according to Peter R. Wallace, Chief Information Officer, City of Chesapeake. "We’re using IBM software to give staff the data and tools to continually improve processes, which is essential in this economy. The City of Chesapeake is less than 50 years old, but those founders inherited hundreds of years of infrastructure. Until now, we haven’t had a quick or convenient way to look at the City’s assets and make smart decisions. To succeed, we must be efficient in the way we work and transparent to our citizens. IBM is helping us accomplish those goals."

The City of Chesapeake is using IBM Maximo software for asset management of its infrastructure, facilities and equipment for several key municipal services including:

  • Public Utilities – asset, work and inventory management; maintenance and operations of infrastructure including sewer collections mains and pump stations, water distribution mains, water treatment plants and water revenue meters at both residential and commercial sites;
  • Public Works – asset, work and inventory management; maintenance and operations of traffic signals, signs, intersections and driveways, fixed and movable bridges, retention and detention ponds, handicap ramps, storm water catch basins and manholes;
  • Parks and Recreation – asset, work and inventory management; maintenance and operations of facilities including playgrounds, athletic fields and buildings;
  • The Fire Department – management of assets including fire houses, tools and equipment, fire apparatus tracking and hoses;
  • Police Department – asset and inventory management; maintenance and operations of firearms, ammunition, asset assignments to personnel and K-9 officers, and police vehicle tracking;
  • Facilities Management – asset, work and inventory management; maintenance and operations of city buildings.

IBM’s software also connects city systems, providing the various departments with a transparent view of what’s going on across the city at any given time. By analyzing data and sharing the findings across departments, the city is able to detect and react to potential problems more quickly.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value report titled "A Vision of Smarter Cities" asserts that the digitization of data within a city’s core systems will enable city managers to collect data on the efficiency of processes that could not be previously measured, like wastewater treatment. This, in turn, will lead to more informed decision-making and planning from city leaders.

"The City of Chesapeake serves as a great example of how cities can take advantage of technology to provide citizens and businesses with a better, smarter place to live," said Bill Sawyer, vice president of operations, IBM Maximo software. "By using these IBM technologies to better manage critical systems like water management and public safety, the City is both improving the quality of life for its citizens today and building a more sustainable future."


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