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Urbanization and what it means for access control

Urbanization and what it means for access control
Around the world, urbanization has become more noticeable as people migrate to cities and urban settings. Under this megatrend comes several sub-trends, for example multi-family living and home service, that access control players should pay attention to.
Urbanization is taking place rapidly across globe. According to the 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, today 55 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 percent by 2050. “Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050,” the report said.
The urbanization trend has given rise to various municipal issues such as increased crime, pollution and traffic congestion, prompting municipal officials to turn to smart city solutions to solve these problems. However, on a more personal level, urbanization has also caused a change in how people live their everyday lives.
One example cited by ASSA ABLOY in a recent blog post is multi-family living, which necessitates the need to utilize city space more effectively.
“In multi-family houses you have some private areas like your apartment but you share common areas such as the entrance hall, cleaning rooms and training facilities,” the post cited Björn Lidefelt, Group Business Development Director at ASSA ABLOY, as saying. “On top of that you have people moving in and out of the building as well as the need to allow non-residents access to some places while restricting access to others.”
Another sub-trend under urbanization is home service, which entails people providing deliveries or other services to household residents. This has also created challenges. “People don’t want to have to wait around to allow access to people providing these services. So these professionals need to get in and out of buildings in a safe and secure way. It’s a challenge. Leaving the key under the doormat is just not a good solution,” Lidefelt said.

Evolving customer needs

Amid these new trends, access control players should offer solutions that can accommodate users’ evolving needs around urbanization.
In the area of multi-family living, ASSA ABLOY offers different solutions, both physical and digital. The post cited ASSA ABLOY’s subsidiary Aptus in Sweden, which specializes in opening and locking solutions for apartment buildings. In the U.S., this segment is addressed with the new Accentra platform, which is a cloud-based access control system ideal for use in multi-family housing, the post said.
In terms of home service, for example, ASSA ABLOY has partnered with Sweden-based e-retailer PostNord whose customers can now choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door if it is equipped with an ASSA ABLOY smart lock. The service works via a PIN code issued automatically issued to an authorized PostNord delivery driver. The code opens a recipient’s front door just once, so PostNord can leave a parcel on the inside.
“With all our work in this area we will support urbanization. We are making cities and people’s lives more effective and safe. We are helping people focus on what they want to do instead of for example having to stay at home all day to wait for a delivery,” Lidefelt said. “We generally associate urbanization with people moving to cities, which is correct. We still have people moving into cities and that increases demand for our products; people need housing, schools and hospitals. But what happens on a secondary level? How does the market change due to urbanization? We are capitalizing not just on the fact that the cities are growing, but on the many other things happening as a result of more people living closer together.”

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