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How smart cities in the world spend less

How smart cities in the world spend less
Smart cities are rising in various parts of the world due to their benefits. One of them is reduction of the hidden cost associated with traffic congestion, waste of resources and other urban issues.
Smart cities are rising in various parts of the world due to their benefits. One of them is reduction of the hidden cost associated with traffic congestion, waste of resources and other urban issues.
That was the point raised in a recent blog post by Axis Communications titled “Smart Cities Spend Less.”
The post began by pointing out there are hidden costs to running a city, for example long green traffic signals even when there’s no traffic, putting drivers on the other side in an unnecessarily long wait; or, without an intelligent traffic management system, drivers are more prone to driving recklessly to get to their destinations, resulting in accidents that would add to burdens faced by medical institutions.

Proactive management model

According to the post, the logic behind a “smart city” is a proactive management model, whereby smart incident management aims for a fast and automated incident detection system, which could detect the risk of a threat – by way of cameras and sensors – before the event occurs.
“The city becomes a live map, which generates information from several sensors. This information can help develop a preventative strategy that reduces costs in the long term. It can also lead to decisions that optimize public resources,” it said. “One such example is what Denmark is doing in the Nordjylland Region. This region has 11 ambulances that cover the outskirts of cities, where even the nearest hospital can be far away. Ambulances are equipped with cameras on the ceiling that enable hospital staff to zoom in for close-up images. This allows for a more accurate assessment of a patient’s condition during transit. Hospital staff can give advice to ambulance personnel about which hospital is closest and what care is needed, so treatment can start in advance.”
According to the post, another way by which smart cities can save money is through smart lighting systems which can automatically adjust the intensity of illumination based on the number of vehicles and pedestrian passing by at a particular moment. Yet another example cited by the post is the use of emergency buttons in heavy traffic areas whereby if an incident occurs, a person can press a button to immediately call an officer and communicate by audio and video to summon help or get advice on what to do.

The power of LPR

Further, the post cites a third scenario involves capturing stolen vehicles, whereby the victim reports a theft via an app, which immediately informs the police the vehicle has been stolen. In-vehicle tracking coupled with license plate recognition (LPR) can then enable the police to locate the vehicle, identify it, block its path and avoid the costs of a full police investigation, ultimately lowering insurance costs.
“If you think this is too farfetched for a city in a developing country, here is an interesting example: the city of Maceió, in Brazil. Cameras with LPR can identify vehicles that are breaking the law, as license plates can be crosschecked against a database of stolen vehicles. Last year, for instance, there was a kidnapping inside a mall. The victim, who was put inside the car, gave the police a description of the vehicle. When the vehicle was spotted by a camera, police followed and stopped the car with the victim unharmed, in less than an hour,” the post said.
It concluded by saying at its core, a smart city can enhance its citizens’ lives. A public administration guided by prevention and resource optimization can do more with less, which is a much-needed goal, especially in developing countries, the post said.

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