How Smart Cities Are Transforming Safety and Security

The concept of “smart cities” has become a symbol of innovation and progress. One of the most remarkable aspects of this technological revolution is its profound impact on safety and security. In this blog post, we’ll explore how smart cities are reshaping the landscape of urban safety, making our communities more secure than ever before.

What Makes a City Smart

A smart city is an urban area that uses advanced technologies and data-driven solutions to enhance the efficiency, sustainability, safety, and overall quality of life for its residents. AI-based technologies bring big possibilities to the table for making cities smarter.

How Does This Impact Safety

A smart city is a safe city. Some of the safest cities in the world are also the most technologically advanced. For example, according to a report done by the economist,
Copenhagen is the singular safest city to live in. This correlates to the fact that Denmark is highly digitized with a 35 billion dollar IoT market. Here are some specific examples of how AI, IoT devices, and smart infrastructure can make a city safer.

Emergency Responses: 

The response to an emergency or natural disaster can be done more quickly and efficiently with smart city infrastructure. For example, in an evacuation, lanes moving into the city can be reduced and lanes moving out of the city can be increased. Signs above inbound lanes can be instantly updated to inform citizens to exit the freeway and turn around. Instructions and information can be sent via text message to everyone located in the evacuation zone. In this scenario, confusion is reduced and roadways have increased capacity to get everyone out safely. 

Traffic Management: 

First, let’s discuss flex lanes, for example. These are the traffic lanes that change direction based on the needs and flow of traffic. This is a system deployed using historical traffic data in many cities. If we introduce AI to this system, we get even more capabilities. For example, let’s say it’s 8-AM on a Monday, so traffic is expected to be heavier going into the city than out of it. On this particular morning though there is an accident blocking all three outbound lanes. In this scenario, traffic is forced to stop completely until the accident is cleared. Additionally, since all 3 lanes are stopped it is difficult for an ambulance to reach the accident.  A smart city system could detect the accident and open an additional outbound lane to let traffic through and prevent this scenario.

Monitoring and Surveillance

Imagine knowing that if your child is missing they will be found, if there is a wanted criminal in your city they will be caught, and if there is an active threat it will be stopped. Cameras on highways, in private lots, and at airports can be connected to a national BOLO ‘be on the lookout’ database so that these threats are responded to quickly and lives are saved. 

How Does This Impact Citizens

The impact on citizens will be seen in several ways. A really big one is convenience and increased mobility, everyone needs to get where they are going and quickly. The bigger the city, the larger the impact on commuting convenience. Additionally, reckless drivers are more likely to be ticketed, so roads will inadvertently be safer to drive on. Improved disaster responses and a reduction in crime rate can increase personal safety for every citizen as well.