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Milestone: Value of Video Technology for a Connected Safe City

May 13, 2022

2 minutes read

An estimated 70% of the world population would be living in cities by 2050, which is a significant rise from the present level of roughly 55%. Population growth will keep on putting further strain on urban infrastructure. If we want to save our quality of life, we need to act immediately — and many cities are already moving forward with safe cities and video technology in mind.

Defining the Safe City

Connected and data-driven smart cities are what you will find in safe cities. These are spaces in which connected internet of things (IoT) technology is utilized to handle services and conditions that improve the quality of life of its citizens. Safe cities enable a wide range of benefits, from increased public safety to smoother transit to more dependable public services. 

Elevating the Safe City

Connectivity is the cornerstone of a secure city. While video technology has long been a fixture in cities, it has always been associated with surveillance and used mainly locally. A safe city is one in which all video technology systems are linked and centralized. This factor allows for the open exchange of information and actionable data.

Aside from this phenomenon, it will also help a range of urban institutions, including civic authorities and utilities, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and city planners. Not just in everyday operations and emergencies but also long-term growth.

McKinsey Global Institute’s report, Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future, says that maximizing connected technology can potentially cut homicide, fire, and traffic accident mortality by 8 to 10%. It also implies that the numbers involving criminal activities such as assault, burglary, vehicle theft, and robbery can also shift from 30 to 40%.

Here are just a few benefits that can transpire from a connected safe city approach.

1. Enabling more efficient traffic flows

Traffic data is studied to find ways to improve local transportation and safety. In an incident, technologies such as automatic digital signs may reroute traffic away from accident sites and bottlenecks, allowing emergency vehicles to pass.

2. Stopping crime in real-time or even before it happens

AI-powered video systems detect strange or hostile conduct and dispatch law officers to the location at once. They are also capable of detecting noises such as shouting and gunfire. Another advantage is predictive policing. This feature allows law enforcement to identify criminal hotspots and enhance patrols and other deterrents by tracking movements and trends.

3. Managing crowds

Overcrowding is a common issue at sporting events, transportation hubs, and other major places. In these cases, video surveillance may warn workers to areas where health and safety are a concern, as well as redirect crowds if necessary. Due to the pandemic, various crowd-oriented technologies, like heat mapping and person/object monitoring, acquired an entirely new application case.

4. Contributing to environmental protection

Air pollution and large cities are often connected. Cities can strive toward improvements by identifying hotspots and sources. According to the McKinsey analysis, Beijing decreased airborne pollution by around 20% in less than a year by detecting sources and then managing traffic and construction appropriately.

Big Data Cityscapes

All of these video equipment and software produce massive amounts of data. And being able to comprehend it all is what makes a real difference. That is why smart control rooms have evolved into the driving force behind safe cities. These locations are where smart wall video systems relay data to the appropriate personnel and guarantee complete situational awareness for the entire city.

While these video insights are significant for organizing incident responses, it is by applying them with a broader perspective that cities can make progress for the welfare of their inhabitants.

Examples:

  • Since 2010, when Paris initially used safe city solutions to enhance road safety and traffic management, traffic deaths have reduced by 40%.
  • Barcelona’s investment in infrastructure and IoT has resulted in anticipated water savings of $58 million and the creation of 47,000 new employment opportunities.
  • Safe city strategies are expected to yield 20 trillion USD in economic benefits by 2026.

Re-evaluating City Living

Doomsday prophecies regarding the future abound. However, today’s secure cities provide a considerably more optimistic vision of tomorrow.

These are the locations where abstract tech phrases like “big data” and “IoT” provide concrete benefits, at least when connected video technology is involved. And, as forward-thinking cities have shown, city inhabitants worldwide will benefit.

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