The City of Birmingham, in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, was one of 16 cities selected worldwide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2014.

The Smarter Cities Challenge grant contributes the skills and expertise of IBM’s top talent to help cities address critical issues. During the past three years, 100 cities have been selected to receive grants, with contributions valued at more than $50 million.

In October of 2013, the city and the SSCRC submitted the application for the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge in an attempt to continue the momentum already started through the original MOU.

By addressing the problems of derelict properties and food deserts, the IBM team will contribute to the core goal of making Birmingham more livable — a broad term that could have far-reaching implications. Birmingham was one of four cities in the United States to receive the IBM grant for 2014, joining Dallas, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; and Suffolk County, N.Y.

For more information on the grant, download the Smart Cities Challenge report.