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3 ways to build a smart “safe city”

3 ways to build a smart “safe city”
Although slightly older than smart cities, the concept of a safe city is closely linked to this new interest in reinventing urban spaces.
Smart city projects have been a major driver of growth for the physical security industry. Authorities in many countries are now taking advantage of surveillance technology to offer better facilities while improving the overall safety of their people.
 
Although slightly older than smart cities, the concept of a safe city is closely linked to this new interest in reinventing urban spaces. While traditional safe cities were limited to surveillance cameras that covered streets and public spaces, authorities now have the option to make them smarter with the power of AI.
 
In a recent blog post, Andreas Göransson, Global Marketing Manager at Axis Communications, listed three strategies that can ensure safe cities.
  1. Analytics with round-the-clock monitoring  

Using video surveillance cameras in public spaces that record footage 24/7 is not something new. But what authorities can now add is AI-powered analytics that can help them instantly know when someone needs help and offer a better response.
 
“Today, intelligent video surveillance solutions can also be used to detect crowds, count people, measure social distancing, and collect insights for city planning to improve safety,”  Göransson writes. “While crowd management traditionally involved using video surveillance to count people in a crowded area and monitor the situation, combining intelligent, open surveillance solutions with video analytics takes this to the next level.”
 
For instance, if cameras are capturing supporters leaving a football stadium, analytics can be deployed to monitor pedestrian flow, predict congestion, and help safety authorities enable efficient crowd routing as well as alert when a backup is required.
  1. Integrated solutions for smarter response

Video surveillance solutions are one of the best tools for emergency response teams. Even before they reach a scene of an incident, camera footage can give them an idea of what has happened and improve situational awareness.
 
Now authorities can take this one step further by integrating several different devices and sensors into the system. Cameras are just among the many security devices available in the market today. Depending on the place and the situation, radar, LiDAR, audio capturing devices, etc., can all become part of the system.
 
“Integrating video and audio solutions provides situational awareness so operators can collaborate closely with the police and emergency services to see, follow, and manage an incident or emergency in real-time – efficiently keeping citizens safe,” says Göransson. “For example, if a fire is reported, operators can access cameras in the area to get more details on where it is, whether it’s spreading quickly and if anyone is injured. This insight can be shared with emergency services before they arrive at the scene so they can manage the incident and assist those in need of help immediately on arrival.”
 
Using an open platform is integral to this as they allow the integration of devices from multiple vendors. These platforms enable security teams to access all the devices and operate them accordingly in case of an emergency.
  1. Smart forensic search for better investigation

Video surveillance footage and data from other devices become an incredibly valuable tool when investigating an incident. But with a large number of devices and the massive volume of data generated, finding a single incident, person, or thing becomes problematic.
 
Smart forensic solutions that use metadata are the answer to this problem. Using algorithms that can recognize the color of clothes, vehicles, bags, and many other attributes., authorities can quickly locate people and incidents within the footage.
 
“Metadata essentially assigns digital meaning to each video frame, focusing on the objects and events within it,” Göransson said. “In other words, it adds intelligence about the scene instead of just offering raw video footage, which must be processed manually. This metadata can include location, time, colors, sizes, shapes, coordinates, tracks, speed, duration in scene, direction of travel, and so on. The latest smart search functions also support deep learning object and color classification.”

Final word 

Augmenting safe city initiatives with intelligent technology is essential to improve their efficiency. With the proper use of analytics and integration, security teams can ensure better protection and faster response to incidents. However, using an open platform and high-end analytics solutions is critical.
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