Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Rest assured – SafeCity makes cities safer

Article
A few years ago, for the first time in the history of mankind, more people were living in cities than in rural areas. The United Nations believe that the entire world population of today will live in cities by 2050.
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Protecting citizens is the first duty of states and cities. It is a priority for the success of businesses, communities and civil society at large. For cities, ensured safety is a key factor in attracting new inhabitants and fostering economic activity. Perceived safety is a major factor in a city’s attractiveness and fear of crime can have a large impact on location decisions, with ensuing economic consequences.
Leapfrogging ICT technologies applied into advanced anticipation and prevention mechanisms could avoid damages to society in the form of socio-economic losses, socio-political adverse effects, environmental consequences or even substantial human casualties, each being accompanied by better cost-effective solutions for any organisation in charge of those infrastructures.
SafeCity elaborated scenarios based on Public Safety in European Cities. The project analysed the technical implications generated by end-user requirements and needs within six different European cities: Athens, Bucharest, Madrid, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Óbidos. SafeCity provides 9 concrete applications, including Video Analytics, Real-time 3D Positioning, Road track and environmental sensors, and Data Fusion. The project interacted with the FI-WARE project to ensure that the generic technology delivered by FI-WARE satisfies the requirements and specifications derived from safety-related advanced services,
SafeCity delivered a number of very successful Proof-of-Concepts:
  • The Stockholm Proof-of-Concept concerned a simulated incident – fire on the Arlanda Express high-speed train – in the tunnel which is located under the Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The prototype was a cloud-based surveillance system, used remote data processing, focused on sensor data, and allowed any device with an Internet browser and the right authorization to monitor the sensors and alerts. The Stockholm pilot incorporated Generic Enablers in working prototypes and therefore successfully validated the use of generic building blocks in a specific industrial sector
  • The Madrid Proof-of-Concept was focused on early detection of suspicious activities by means of video surveillance sensors in a street in downtown Madrid. It aimed to reduce operators’ response time and automated real-time detection of events. This test demonstrated increased situation awareness based on video streams analysis and 3D city models.

SafeCity demonstrated that security can be provided more effectively and with improvements in factors such as productivity, flexibility, labour market and budgetary savings. For these reasons, the SafeCity project has obtained an immediate acceptance by Municipalities, Public Safety Agencies and other public administrations who look for optimised resources, cost reduction, higher productivity of security personnel, and increased job satisfaction.

A summary of the SafeCity results can be found in the final report.

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