Safe then Smart: The Stages & Drivers of Safe Cities

In the second post of this blog series, I look at the concepts, key stages, and drivers of safe cities. Click the link to read part 1 Safe then Smart: The Roadmap to Smart Cities.

Our Safe City Concept and Benefits

Huawei’s safe city concept, C-C4ISR, is designed to help municipalities respond to the modern challenges of how to improve living standards, health, and financial prosperity for citizens; grow modern city infrastructure, and boost security and emergency response to protect citizens and help increase business opportunities.

How Safe Means a Better Life

According to The Benefits of Safe Cities by IHS Markit, “Safe cities are an essential pillar supporting the future development of smart cities.” We aim to provide the security and safety required to protect citizens from crime, respond to their security concerns, and mitigate, as far as possible, the impact of natural disasters and other threats.

Huawei’s safe city solutions will support public safety and security agencies, including the police, disaster management, fire and rescue, public health, and other key departments before, during, and after an event. Our solutions can integrate information from disparate technologies and government departments responsible for citizen safety by improving the key stages of public safety. These are as follows:

Prevention: providing reliable and comprehensive security measures to predict threats and hazardous situations, and take measures to prevent threats from occurring in the first place. Simulation and forecasting technology, for example, applied in our incident and disaster management applications use big data mining to help authorities predict public threats and support police and other key assets to prevent an event before it begins. This is a key area, as civil unrest and crime are often the top risks identified by governments and municipalities.

Detection: helping public-safety organizations collect, share, and analyze data to provide early warnings and raise situational awareness (the ability to identify and understand what’s going on around you).

By using sensor systems technology in the city, public security agencies can proactively gather information. These sensors may include video surveillance cameras, sound-detection sensors, and weather sensors. The type of sensor used is determined by the future scope of your safe and smart city project and the inter-agency interoperability you require. Information can be used to provide early detection and alerts when events occur.

Response: enabling governments or municipalities to react to security threats in real time. To prevent an event from escalating, we can enable an effective response by using a consolidated ICT platform to provide a common operational picture to all agencies (so they all have the same information), including law enforcement, public health, medical and fire-rescue services. Our mission critical broadband communication system, linked to existing communications infrastructure, improves agencies’ interoperability. This helps to raise situational awareness for each of the responding agencies to improve response, command, control, and coordination.

Recovery: providing post-event examination and analysis to quickly identify victims and provide assistance, whether it be a simple crime or major incident/accident. Being able to quickly examine and analyze all data received from various sources or systems across key departments or agencies can radically improve your services. Our ICT support can aid the subsequent search for suspects as well as the process of building a case based on collected evidence. Information can also be used to facilitate the management or incident/accidents including complex rescue operations, and the identification and assistance processes required for both victims and survivors.

Integration: promoting interoperability across law enforcement, emergency services, and other government or municipality agencies (for example, public health, and social services) to streamline operations, provide situational awareness, and help all stakeholders involved in the management of a city’s security. This approach fosters better cooperation and sharing of information – a key factor in improving decision-making and response efficacy.

Policy Drivers

Policy drivers: There are a number of policy drivers that governments or municipalities can consider when deciding how to proceed with extending safe city projects. These can be broadly grouped as safety drivers, social drivers, and economic drivers. An investment in Huawei safe cities solutions will have a positive impact on each of these drivers.

Safety drivers: At its core, a safe city addresses issues relating to crime and security. Huawei’s Safe City solutions gives the ability, if required, to review and aggregate vast amounts of data, including video surveillance streams, arrest records, warrants and even photographs, to enhance the use of predictive policing and response rather than the traditional reactive response to citizens and threats.

Social drivers: A key driver of safe city projects, as citizens are invariably concerned about security and very high crime rates. A safer city increases retail spending, and citizens are more likely to visit leisure and sports facilities. People are generally happier, and fewer citizens wish to leave certain areas of cities due to security and safety concerns.

Economic drivers: It is evident that there are economic benefits to safe city solutions, including savings from the reduced impact of crime and security, more business and commercial opportunities, and less costs associated with natural disasters. Moreover, the productivity and wellbeing of citizens tends to increase, and safer cities are better placed to attract foreign investment and tourism.

As well as promoting business, Huawei’s safe city initiatives allow a city to save on technology operational costs. Sharing and re-using optimized infrastructure across agencies help cities eliminate repeated spend on technologies. There is also a return-on-investment (ROI) opportunity, for example; from traffic violation fines. Automatic number plate recognition can be used to identify and fine cars driving in car-pool or bus lanes and video analytics can be used to recognize when parked cars have exceeded a designated length of stay and issue a penalty notice charge.

The three policy drivers for safe cities are compelling, and effectively deployed security solutions can have a marked effect on productivity and quality of life.

In part three of this blog series, I will look at privacy concerns and the role of governments, citizens, and technology providers in building a safe city ecosystem.

Click the link for more information about Huawei’s Smart City solutions.

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