IBM To Provide Free Help For Houston

Houston is one of a handful of cities in the U.S. picked by IBM to take part in it's smarter cities project. That means for the next three weeks, five IBM specialists will be in town to help the city find better ways to provide services using the internet.

The City of Houston is getting what amounts to about 400,000 dollars of free consulting work by IBM. Mayor Parker already has a plan for the workers use.

"They’re going to be working primarily with the Department of Neighborhoods, which is our primary outreach arm to citizens. Do you have the information you need? How would you get better information? How can we communicate better and efficiently with you? We have lots of data, but we may not be providing information as it is best needed by the citizens."

Houston is one of 100 or more cities world wide picked for the smarter cities project. Each city is supposed come up with a specific list of areas or problems the specialists will work on.

"We know we have transportation issues, We know we have health care issues. We know we have a range of issues."

IBM’s Beth Tracey says solving  issues by way of the internet will mean getting to know  the city of Houston a little better.

"We come into your city and we meet with all the stakeholders to have informed conversations to understand the issues, and then to start to map out what that would look like."

The ultimate goal is to find ways for the city to better partner with community organizations and create better ways for the public to get the  information it needs online. Although the team will have just three weeks to come up with these solutions, the mayor says the city will take all the help it can get.