Sheltering A City With Data: The Rio de Janeiro Story (by IBM)

Rio de Janeiro, the most visited city in the southern hemisphere, will soon play host to both the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Unfortunately it is also the location of the biggest natural disaster in Brazil’s history. In 2010, Rio de Janeiro was devastated by severe floods and mudslides, which took hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless.

Out of the need for improved emergency management and better weather prediction, IBM helped the city integrate predictive analytics, real-time data, and weather modeling technology and establish a state-of-the-art operations center. At the heart of the center is PMAR, a high resolution weather prediction system powered by IBM’s Deep Thunder supercomputer. It lets the city predict rains and floods 48 hours in advance, allowing for better management of emergency services and potentially saving lives.

From there the Rio Operations Center grew, and now acts as a nervous system for the entire city: managing traffic congestion, keeping a close eye on crime response and prevention, predicting brownouts in the power grid, and coordinating large-scale events to ensure public safety.

Integrating over 30 agencies and services across the city, the Rio Operations Center empowers the government and its citizens to be prepared for whatever nature may throw their way. IBM is helping make cities smarter. Let’s build a smarter planet -

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Rio de Janeiro’s Transit Solution: Cable Cars Over the Favelas

Source: Wired

The slums of Rio de Janeiro—the infamous favelas—pile onto and up and over the city’s iconic steep hillsides. Simply getting from point A to point B requires a sub-alphabet of zigzaggery up stairs, over switchbacks, and through alleyways that can be just a few feet wide. There’s nowhere for public transit to go. Nowhere, that is, but up.

That’s the direction for the newest transportation system in Rio, slated to open in March: a six-station gondola line running above a collection of favelas known as the Complexo do Alemão. The government says that 152 gondolas will carry 30,000 people a day along a 2.1-mile route over the neighborhood, transforming the hour-and-a-half trudge to a nearby commuter rail station into a 16-minute sky ride.