Yesterday we launched our Project for Smarter Cities Challenge in San Jose, holding a kick-off presentation with Mayor Liccardo, the City of San Jose staff and stakeholders, as well as IBM’s State Executive for California, Laura Guio.
A quick background on Team San Jose and why we are here……
The team members from all over the world in IBM are:
Princess M Ascalon
Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive
Partner, Co-Account Lead Army & USMC
Indianapolis, IN USA
Senior IT Specialist
Dr. Ilyas Iyoob
Distinguished Engineer – IT Supply Chain, Cloud Broker Analytics
Austin, TX USA
Director, Procurement Solutions and Watson Supply Chain Insights, IBM Cognitive Engagement
Cary, NC USA
Digital Strategy Consultant
and we are supported by our ‘un-stressable’ Program Manager – Anne McNeill.
So what issue is this team going to work on with the city? Affordable housing. San Jose has one of the tightest and most expensive housing markets in the US and world, leaving many families struggling to afford rent and the most vulnerable residents at risk of becoming homeless. Addressing this affordable housing crisis has been one of Mayor Liccardo’s highest priorities.
Over the past two years, the San José community has been engaged in a discussion regarding the Apartment Rent Ordinance and its role within our community.
The IBM team will be participating in San Jose’s efforts to develop new web applications and data analytic tools that will support the Ordinances and allow the city better ways to monitor inventory, make informed decisions about housing and assist residents in finding available affordable housing units.
During the rest of week 1 we will meet individually with stakeholders from developers to landlords to citizens impacted by the issue.
Today we toured some of the affordable housing and we were lucky enough to be welcomed into a spacious one-bedroom apartment in Japantown by a resident who was most welcoming. He was also proud to show us his garden plot, in which he was seeing the last tomatoes of the season on a beautifully large cherry tomato tree. I have to admit I was a little envious as I have been only somewhat successful in growing tomatoes last season.
During week two we will conduct workshops around user interface for the web solutions and then will begin the task of developing recommendations and other deliverables.
The project is just 3 weeks, but I am confident we will be up for the challenge.
What makes an SCC project so successful is bringing together IBMers who have experience in many different areas to collaborate with each other and the city leaders to generate exciting and innovative ideas and solutions.
Special thanks to the Mayor’s staff and the Housing Department of San Jose for all of their preparation to get ready for the team’s arrival.