Porto Alegre welcomes global executives from IBM to help in the construction of a "cognitive city"

Program that helps in the social and economic development of cities and qualifies leaders will count, in Brazil, with the participation of two executives from Citi

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Porto Alegre – Porto Alegre will receive, between April 8 and 25, eight global executives – six from IBM and two from Citi – who will work with the Municipal Department for Local Governance to share experiences and knowledge on the design of projects that contribute to the development of a "cognitive city". The proposal of contributing to a smarter city aims at strengthening participative urban planning, in which society and government will be able to more effectively share the knowledge on the city and its problems, favoring planning and the promotion of actions that bring quality of life to the population.

After registering in the global IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program, Porto Alegre was announced, in late 2012, along with 36 cities from different parts of the world, as one of the cities chosen to receive the initiative, aimed at helping in the social and economic develop of cities and qualifying global leaders.

To be contemplated, the capital city nominated a project whose main challenge is to turn it into a "cognitive city". The initiative comprises the creation of a system that simulates, analyses and organizes information to evaluate impacts before the making of decisions related to works and actions demanded by the Participative Budget (OP). "By crossing this data it will be possible to avoid mistakes that may compromise the quality of life of the population. This is the challenge we proposed and which professionals from both companies will help us develop" says José Fortunati, mayor of Porto Alegre.

"The cities chosen have big potential to grow and develop their local ecosystem and show interest in improving the life of their citizens. This engagement, as well as the collaboration between companies and cities, results in optimized services rendered to the population, in addition to contributing for the development of talents and qualification of leaders both at the company and in the government. This is the path for us to build smarter and more sustainable cities", points out Alcely Barroso, corporate citizenship officer at IBM Brazil.

"The project, in partnership with IBM, will be a great opportunity for Citi to reinforce the work it has been carrying out through the 'Citi for Cities' initiative, aimed at helping cities in the sustainable urban development through the main ecosystems that guide them, such as transportation, energy, work and education", says Priscilla Cortezze, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability superintendent at Citi.

The executives coming to Brazil are from different parts of the world, such as Ireland, France, United States, Israel and United Kingdom. In 2013, the project will be developed in cities located in the United Kingdom, USA, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, Portugal, China, Korea, Thailand, Nigeria, Poland, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Canada, Norway, Peru and Chile.

In 2012, Curitiba was the Brazilian representative among the 33 cities chosen all over the world to participate in the Smarter Cities Challenge. All cities received six executives from IBM, who shared their knowledge and experiences in the preparation of new strategies for local development, and the recommendations made to these cities already produce concrete results. In Curitiba, for example, participants established recommendations for the dynamic mapping of technological assets, for the proactive attitude in terms of maintenance and conservation of the city and also for the development of a platform for joint community collaboration and creation, which will help the city to interact, analyze and plan the best way to meet local demands.

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About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citigroup provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About Citi for Cities

Citi for Cities is an initiative that gathers the best of Citi all over the world. It allows cities to become more effective, through financing that facilitates trade and modernization, and allows citizens to have access to the services that improve quality of life and prosperity. The goal of Citi is to help these cities with their goals through the main ecosystems that drive a city, including the administrative system, the road and traffic system, energy entrance doors, work, education, health, safety and development. Citi's extension in the involvement with the cities includes: public and private sectors, the financial sector, as well as citizens and the communities where they live. For more information, please visit www.citiforcities.com

About IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

Created in 2011, IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a social responsibility program of IBM in which the company invests US$ 50 million, for a three-year period, in challenges made to 100 cities. Participating urban centers are invited to propose a challenge to the company with that goal. If the proposal is accepted, IBM appoints a group of six professionals who will work for three weeks in the urban center awarded, offering a response to the challenge presented. In the first two years of the Smarter Cities Challenge program, IBM conducted the work in 64 cities over the world. Visit CitizenIBM blog and www.smartercitieschallenge.org to learn more about the projects developed in previous programs.