What comes first –
the Smart City or Safe City?
‘Safe Cities’ and ‘Smart Cities’ are increasingly common buzzwords with the large multi-national technology companies and mobile app designers. The Smart Cities principle is that well-designed and integrated technology should be used to help us live better, more economical, better managed, cleaner, safer lives in the towns and cities that more than half of the world now inhabits. With a wide range of security, safety and management capabilities to offer, Viseum Intelligent Moving Cameras and Intelligent Video Management Technology can make a remarkable security surveillance and management capability in Smart Cities.
So what comes first? A Smart City or a Safe City? Some Smart City proponents believe that Safety and Security is merely one equal subset of the Smart City concept. However, we at Viseum believe that Public Safety and Security has to be the absolute first priority of any urban planner or metropolitan authority seeking Smart City status. Without safety and security, human beings care very little for little else and certainly would contribute little to an aspiring Smart City. Psychologist Abraham Maslow would certainly agree. Maslow posited that people have a basic Hierarchy of Needs. At the basic level, those needs are physiological and fundamental to survival (food, water, shelter, etc). However, immediately after those basic needs, in Maslow’s opinion, came the need for safety and security. Only once people’s physiological needs have been met and they feel safe and protected, will they seek to contribute to wider society and thus improve the quality of life for their fellow citizens and their hometown.
At Viseum, we have seen much around the world to support the premise that the Safe City capability must come first. Consider the many national conflicts, civil wars and revolutions around the world. When a government in conflict loses its ability to provide for its citizens and enforce standards of security and safety, those citizens will very quickly focus exclusively on providing themselves and their families with the physiological requirements necessary to sustain themselves. With the rule of law removed – the law of the jungle is never long in being established. Conventional CCTV and overloaded staff (if they have come to work…) can’t cope with the security and surveillance demands that these disastrous situations impose. Thus we see stealing, looting and inter-community conflict flare out of control as people struggle to secure the basic resources they need for survival. This can very quickly lead to economic damage and national decline. Conversely, when people feel that they and their families are safe, they seek to aspire to greater things. As they strive for self-improvement and greater prosperity, they make an economic contribution to their home city and society.
Viseum President, Stuart Thompson, realised as far back as the year 2000, that our conventional CCTV had failed to deliver the feeling of safety and security that we had all hoped for, countering both domestic and international threats. The extraordinary Intelligent Panoramic Security Camera and Intelligent Video Management System that he invented to address CCTV shortcomings, was the genesis of Community SafetyWatch® – arguably the forerunner to Safe Cities. Within this blog, we will be considering the various challenges posed in delivering a Safe City, so that it can become a Smart City. We will also be bringing news of Viseum’s successful contribution to Safe City projects around the world and our intelligent technology’s wider integration into, and optimising, Mobility, Transport, Structures and Physical Infrastructure to name but a few. A city that uses Viseum Intelligent CCTV very quickly becomes a Smart City as the metropolitan authorities learn to use its flexibility and latent capacity to manage and optimise their infrastructure, transport and the municipal workforce. We look forward to sharing more Intelligent CCTV news very soon.