Traffic, public transit tops IBM-commissioned survey of Canada's urban
challenges

88 percent call for change in way cities are managed; Vancouver scores

best among those identifying Canada's most livable city

TORONTO, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - Almost half of all Canadians say that traffic and public transit are the biggest problems facing their cities today, according to a new Angus Reid survey commissioned by IBM (NYSE: IBM). The percentage is much higher for those living in the nation's largest cities.

The survey echoes sentiments from around the world, as the growing urbanization of our planet results in a host of transportation challenges.

By 2050, city dwellers are expected to make up 70 percent of the Earth's total population, spiking from approximately 3.3 billion people today to 6.4 billion. IBM is working with municipal governments to make cities function better by building intelligence into their infrastructures. These smarter systems are reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as transforming energy grids, supply chains, water management systems and a host of other processes.

"The strain on urban systems will become unsustainable," said Dan Fortin, president of IBM Canada Ltd. "We need to continue to encourage our leaders to find smarter ways to meet the urgent needs of our cities as they continue to grow."

Of 2,015 Canadians surveyed across the country, 48 percent rated traffic and public transit as the biggest infrastructure challenge facing cities today. The percentage was significantly higher in Ottawa (75 percent), Calgary (70 percent), Vancouver (69 percent), Toronto (60 percent) and Montreal (53 percent).

In other findings, almost one third (31 percent) of those surveyed across the country disagreed with the statement: "my city is currently on a path of long-term livability." Almost 9 out of 10 (88 percent) agreed that "given the growth in urban areas, we have to change the way in which we manage cities," and 87 percent agreed that making that change should be a top priority of our leaders.

"This survey provides some hard proof for what we have been hearing anecdotally from customers," said Mr. Fortin. "Continuing to do things the way we did them a century ago will not be good enough for Canada. Cities can become smarter by transforming systems through collaboration, new technologies, and interconnected systems."

On the positive side, Vancouver was chosen as Canada's most livable city by the largest number of survey respondents (18 percent) from a list that also included Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

In addition, 66 percent rated their police, fire and ambulance services as excellent or good; 62 percent felt the same about their water, sewage and electric systems, and 59 percent called their education systems excellent or good.

When asked about factors that determine whether a city is livable, 98 percent said public safety (police, fire, ambulance) is important or very important, along with health care and public utilities (water, sewer, electric) both at 97 percent; economic development and education, both at 95 percent; transportation and career opportunities, both at 93 percent; and social services, at 90 percent.

About the Survey

From November 3 to 4, 2009, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 2,015 adult Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 2.19%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For further resources on smarter cities please visit: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ideasfromibm/us/smartplanet/cities/index.shtml

SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: ENGLISH: Leslie Plant, IBM Canada, T: (416) 478-9840, E: laplant@ca.ibm.com; Melody Gaukel, Ketchum on behalf of IBM, T: (416) 355-7412, E: melody.gaukel@ketchum.com; Victoria Zigelman, Ketchum on behalf of IBM, T: (416) 355-7401, E: Victoria.zigelman@ketchum.com


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