Network Connections Build Safety in Growing Cities

Network Connections Build Safety in Growing Cities

As more people move to cities, the need to protect citizens increases. Dennis Charlebois, Director of Safety and Security Solutions at Cisco Systems, discusses how smart networked communities can ensure the safety of people and assets.

Today, every community in the world faces ever-increasing threats of natural calamities and man-made disasters. No one is immune and far too often these threats lead to unpredictable and tragic events with catastrophic impact on our lives, property and sense of well-being.

Recent examples include the Mumbai terrorist attack, Hurricane Katrina, the 7/7 London bombing, 9/11, the San Diego fires, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Haiti earthquake and more. These events cause ripple effects in communities all over the world, and they shine a bright light on shortcomings of effectively dealing with these events. A terrorist event in Mumbai, India could affect the daily lives of people in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Dennis Charlebois

A shooting on the campus of a local university takes more than four hours to neutralize, resulting in innocent people being killed or wounded in the process. Understanding how this is possible is essential. More importantly, communities must consider what they can do to ensure their citizens, employees and assets are safe and secure.

According to several sources, approximately 500 million people will be added to the world's cities over the next five years. By 2050, 100 new cities will each beinhabited by more than a million residents. With world populations shifting tourbanareas , community leaders face challenges of overcrowding, pollution and budget resource constraints. They need to create safe, efficient environments to attract businesses and compete in global markets. This demands better use of resources, stronger infrastructures and better living standards.

Smart Cities
With the pervasiveness of network connections and the increasing intelligence of the network as an application platform, communities are looking to build their infrastructures to support integration and interoperability of anything connected to the network, essentially forming a smarter city. These Smart and Connected Communities provide a forward-looking blueprint leveraging network infrastructure to achieve greater levels of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

1. Social sustainability:
The services provided on the network enable citizens to enhance their quality of life and increase their standard of living by creating a healthy and interactive environment.
2. Economic sustainability:
Smart and Connected Communities facilitate new job opportunities for citizens. As new businesses and key industries flourish, they help drive economic growth.
3. Environmental sustainability:
Smart and Connected Communities help reduce the environmental impact caused over the years due to the improper management of resources.

Part of the promise of Smart and Connected Communities includes next-generation approaches to delivering health care, education, energy management, transportation, and safety and security. The interoperability enabled by the network breaks new ground on how communities collect and use information.

For safety and security, this means the network enables better detection of events, better assessment and situational analysis. Response scenarios can be more collaborative and ultimately more effective at protecting lives and mitigating damage. Cisco is working with city governments, police and fire departments in the cities such as Holyoke, Massachusetts; Incheon and Busan in Korea; Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; and Lavasa City, India. For each location, urban agencies aim to provide a broad range of technologies, including integrated video surveillance, access control, incident dispatch, radio interoperability, mass notification, digital media display and other solution elements to support the effective detection of events and deployment of first-responder services.

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