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#SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart City is a Safer City: Look to the Internet of Everything

Safety is a prerequisite for a healthy city economy. Businesses and families move to safer cities. Tourists think about it when deciding where to go for vacation. Events organizers heavily weigh safety when selecting venues.

Increasing safety used to mean finding budget for additional personnel, vehicles, equipment, radio networks, and other traditional IT. But now mayors and police chiefs have another Smart Cities safety tool that works well—and costs less.   Daniel Stewart, Senior Justice Advisor, and Chief Bob Stanberry, Cisco business development manager for Cisco Connected Justice and Public Safety recently discussed some of the safety and security challenges and trends in public safety in a webcast called "Unlock the Power of Technology to Make Communities Safer".  So how do we scale the same amount of funding and resource, achieve effective and secure collaboration and information sharing, and leverage new technologies - Bring your own device, BYOD,Internet of Things, IoT, as part of a scalable architecture?

It’s called the “Internet of Everything.” The basic idea is to connect people, process, data, and things (like sensors) in new ways. Here are three examples.

New Zealand Police Officers Spend More Time in Community

About 6000 New Zealand Police officers now have about 30 extra minutes each day to spend in the community.

 

New Zealand Police Deputy Commissioner Viv Ricard

New Zealand Police Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard

 

The solution is deceptively simple. The officers were given iPhones and iPads so that they can communicate more directly, intuitively and gain access to information more easily.  They don’t have to drive to the station to access law-enforcement databases and submit forms. Instead, they just use a mobile app. They receive assignments from the dispatcher using the mobile app called Mobile Responder. To request assistance, they just click, and the dispatcher receives the exact location.

The only cost was for the mobile devices, approximately NZ$159

New Zealand Police Mobile Responder App

New Zealand Police Mobile Responder App

million. What’s striking here is that the department didn’t need come up with the funds to build a wireless network. Instead, Vodafone agreed to give priority to New Zealand Police wireless traffic over Vodafone’s existing, public 4G/LTE network. That’s possible thanks to the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) multimedia priority service.

Giving priority to public safety agencies on public cellular networks is a major breakthrough. During emergencies, traffic spikes over cellular networks can impair quality or cause outages. Police and fire departments need priority over public networks. And with multimedia priority service, they can have it.

In a 2013 pilot with 100 officers, the mobile apps saved an average of 30 minutes each day. Multiplied by 6086 officers, the time savings amount to 325 full-time officers. The time goes toward frontline crime reduction.

Hurricane Sandy Responders Used Video for Situational Awareness

During Hurricane Sandy, traffic lights at a major intersection in Queens, New York, lost power. The resulting gridlock had become dangerous to residents trying to evacuate. A fire department chief put in an urgent request for police officers to direct traffic, but the request was buried among hundreds of others.

Hurricane Sandy, Lessons Learned

Hurricane Sandy, Lessons Learned

The fire chief was able to convey the urgency of the request using video cameras, part of the Internet of Everything. Nearby was a Cisco NERV (Network Emergency Response Vehicle). The chief aimed one of its Cisco video surveillance IP cameras at the intersection. Then he invited New York Police Department and Emergency Operations Center personnel to a WebEx session with audio and video. Seeing the gravity of the problem firsthand, commanders agreed to escalate the request. Just 15 minutes later, police officers arrived to direct traffic. The evacuation proceeded in an orderly way.

Accelerate Threat Awareness and Response

Problems like a flooded sewer system or downed power line hurt the local economy. Businesses have to close their doors, and people tend to stay home instead of shopping or downing.

Now utilities are finding out about safety problems sooner, using their existing network. A sensor in the sewer system, for example, can report a problem before residents do. And the dispatcher can find the closest person—from any agency—with the expertise to fix the problem.

Technuf-Aphelia-Powerline_Fallen_on_Tree_Job

Technuf Aphelia Mobile App

One of our partners, Technuf, has built a solution called Aphelia. It’s a mobile app that ties into Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration Solution (IPICS) and our Instant Connect push-to-talk (PTT) solution. The dispatcher receives alerts on a tablet, such as “70-foot redwood tree has fallen on 25-foot power line in residential zone.” The dispatcher taps a button to see nearby field workers with the required expertise. Another tap assigns them the task.

Field workers receive the assignment, including a map, on a smartphone or tablet. To collaborate with other experts, they just tap to start a video call. Another tap starts a PTT radio session from the smartphone.

Safer Cities, At Lower Cost

These are just a few examples of creative ways to use the Internet of Everything for safer cities. The payoff is a better quality of life, and an invigorated economy.

To learn more please visit:

 

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart Move for City Transport

If we ask why we have traffic, we find that studies show roughly 30% of all traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by drivers circling and struggling to find a parking spot.

City4

With cities growing at an estimated 10,000 people per hour, the situation isn’t going to get any better unless cities make some critical changes to the way they handle parking and traffic.

Cities and local government leaders can now implement two new Cisco Internet of Everything solutions—Smart+Connected City Parking and Smart+Connected City Traffic— to help alleviate many of the parking and traffic-related headaches that crowded cities face today.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: City Infrastructure Management, City Wi-Fi and a Global Urban Services Revolution

Cities have traditionally operated their various agencies—utilities, healthcare, education, public safety, air quality, water and waste management—in silos, creating duplication in investment and limiting effectiveness.

In the face of population shifts and rapid urbanization, cities and local government leaders are realizing that in order to compete economically and grow sustainably, they have to integrate these functions and the data they generate and require.

Developing and maintaining a city’s digital infrastructure is becoming as important as the development and maintenance of its physical infrastructure. Like a fourth utility, the services offered across a digital infrastructure are becoming as essential and ubiquitous as water, electricity or plumbing. Jobs and investment—the lifeblood of the city—will depend on it.

Making this vision a reality requires that the many city vertical systems operate more cohesively, adopting an open data approach to gather and share information across a single über network. Cisco refers to this as Smart+ConnectedCity Infrastucture Management (CIM).

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Cisco #SmartConnectedCity Series Kick-Off: Re-Defining the Citizen Experience through Technology and IoE

With the annual New Cities Summit coming up in Dallas, Texas, June 17-19,  we’re kicking off a new thought leadership blog series to explore the transformation of cities through the power of technology and the Internet of Everything (IoE). The series will feature posts with an in-depth look at the juncture of innovation in cities and how technology can help transform the citizen experience and drive economic growth and sustainability.

I’m thrilled to be able to kick off this series and am looking forward to following the conversations that ensue. Given my focus on local government, I am particularly passionate about the issues facing cities and local government leadership, and feel that technology can be a very formidable force when it comes to enabling positive change to enhance and improve our communities.

Cities around the world face an increasing array of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. Mayors and city managers are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding efficient ways to provide better services, enhance livability, reduce the municipality’s carbon footprint, as well as expand the ability of its leadership to be more accessible to its constituents.

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Mobile Public Safety: Connections on the Job

Public safety agencies continually strive to improve their effectiveness and responsiveness to incidents in their jurisdictions. With increased attention on homeland security programs, these agencies demand better interdepartmental and interagency communications with important personnel, including police officers and first responders in the field.

Mobile applications supporting police, fire, and medical response units have transitioned from simple text and voice to rich multimedia applications. Real-time video, maps with satellite imagery, Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, and global database searches are now available in handheld devices that first responders carry with them in the field. In today’s technological sphere, public safety agencies are leveraging these new capabilities and extending their existing applications in order to enhance the efficiency and delivery of high-quality services. Read More »

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