Security integration companies traditionally make their home in well-populated areas. After all, that’s where they will find the most significant opportunities for growing their business. However, with global growth in major cities, companies across many industries are facing increased security issues.

The reality is that we are facing significant challenges. City populations are growing, and our resources are under strain. That’s why we need to rethink city living – not tomorrow but now. Fortunately, many forward-thinking city authorities show us a way to address this based on connected video technology.

family city safe

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction 

Most experts are on the same page when it comes to the immediate future. However, the picture they present is not pretty, and the statistics are a cause for concern.

Today, the global population stands at around 7.9 billion people. The United Nations projects that it will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, with developing countries responsible for more than half of that growth. A staggering 70% of the population will be living in cities.

So, What’s the Big Deal With Big Cities? 

The lure of wealth and a better life is what attracts people to big cities. The problems start when too many people attempt to live in a place designed to fit a certain number of people.

Here are some of the issues that come with growing populations:

  • Increased Crime: Already, over-populated cities are witnessing a steep rise in crime. As the cost of living goes up, living conditions will further deteriorate. Too many people mean fewer jobs, and unemployment is always a trigger for an increase in crime. Streets will become unsafe. Theft, break-ins, and vandalism will become commonplace.
  • Pressured Infrastructure: Cities are bursting at the seams, and the influx of people stretches the mobility infrastructure to the limit. Traffic jams, breakdowns in public transport systems, inadequate parking spaces and the resulting pollution from large numbers of vehicles are likely to go up in the future.
  • Environmental Challenges: Waste disposal and littering will become a challenge. Levels of pollution will go up. Pressure will increase on resources like clean air and water.

How we choose to manage these issues will have consequences for us in the years to come.

Now for the Good News

Globally there are 33 megacities, each with a population of over ten million people. Most of these cities are under mounting pressure to provide services across many areas to improve safety and security. In addition, officials are working to enable mobility and address growing environmental pressures.

The good news is that some cities worldwide have realized this and are already taking serious steps to fix these problems.

Cities like Singapore, Amsterdam, Seoul, Barcelona, and New York have noticed. As a result, officials are working to provide a better quality of life for their citizens. These cities will hopefully inspire and motivate other cities to implement similar solutions.

The common denominator is connected video technology.

Connected Video Technology Provides a Solution 

Connected video technology, such as XProtect Video Management Software by Milestone Systems, is at the center of the most compelling solutions that ease the pressure of growing populations in cities. An interconnected network of cameras, sensors, and intelligent software can unlock new insights about our cities. These IoT devices generate a lot of data that will need analysis. The gained understanding makes cities safer and more productive. In turn, this creates better places to live.

Connected video technology can help with:

  1. Protection of people, assets, and property
  2. Faster emergency response
  3. Real-time visualization
  4. Increased situational awareness
  5. Intelligent incident management
  6. Increased operational efficiency
  7. Better information sharing and collaboration

These capabilities can translate to increased safety, smoother mobility solutions, and a healthier environment for citizens.

The Time for Action is NOW 

Technology, analytics, and progressive policies are emerging to deliver safe, sustainable, efficient environments for citizens. The last decade has shown tremendous growth in video and related technology deployments worldwide, and the pace is picking up. But this is no time to play a wait-and-watch game. It may not be too late, but the time to act is now.

Rethinking Safety in Cities: The Invisible Guardians 

An idea that seemed futuristic a few years ago is now becoming a reality. Real-time visualization and emergency response can prevent crime, saving property and lives. 

  • Networks of cameras are tied together across regions allowing personnel to monitor events as they occur, minimizing the time needed for first-responders to arrive on site.
  • Gunshot and breaking-glass sensors detect sounds and alert security operators, improving decisions made during critical moments.
  • Police and security patrols are using body-worn cameras to establish best practices for first responders.

These are just a handful of the technological wonders that are already keeping many cities safe. Video technology, big data, and advanced analytics will evolve further and become available to more and more cities. 

Picture this: A multi-vehicle accident happens on a busy city road. Video cameras and sensors transmit detailed information to the relevant departments to assess situations more effectively and respond faster.

An intelligent system triggers emergency response actions, including sending first-responders to the exact location of the event. The police may also be alerted to deal with the traffic disruption. Motorists in the area can reroute based on messaging displayed on digital signs.

skyline safe city

Rethinking Mobility in Cities: Unjamming the Grid 

The number of vehicles on roads will double in this decade. In the future, the ever-increasing traffic will quickly surpass the ability of road networks to handle it. However, building more roads is not the answer. That is a bandaid approach to a rapidly growing problem.

We need to rethink traffic flow, intelligent traffic lights, smart-parking spaces, and response to accidents and emergencies.

City officials are enthusiastically adopting intelligent parking solutions. In this example, video management and sensors work in unison to inform motorists where open parking spaces are available. 

License Plate Recognition is another increasingly common technology. It enables motorists to breeze through toll booths or access-controlled parking buildings without stopping. As a result, traffic keeps moving, reducing congestion. 

In these scenarios, the data trends can be collected and analyzed by the city. Now, the information can be used for transport infrastructure planning or addressing problem areas.

What’s Next? 

The examples shown above are just a teaser of what’s possible. Connected video technology can deliver a real impact to citizens, whether it’s minimizing crime for increased safety, saving time for commuters, or influencing sustainability initiatives.

It’s easy to overlook the impact that rapid population growth will have on cities and our society. Experts say the effect will be significant. We must take urgent measures now if we want the next generation of city dwellers to enjoy a better quality of life. Connected video technology is vital in addressing these issues.

To learn more about connected video technology for safe cities, download Milestone's free eBook: Let’s Rethink City Living.