The ever-changing social dynamics of the modern day world pose opportunities as well as challenges to the safety and security of its citizens.
Calamities, natural and artificial, are on the rise, and under-prepared cities are not only affecting the resurgence, but are also having ripple effect on future investments. The ever-growing Traffic needs to be managed efficiently, else in spite of its large investment, the transport infrastructure is not going to result into economic consequences originally forecasted. Disruptions, be it of electricity, water, telecommunications or food supplies, need to be managed in a cohesive manner among agencies, else the down times are going to be ill-affordable. Finally, Crimes, petty or large, are not just affecting the well-being of the citizens, but globalization is taking them to a level from where cities are not able to recover for a long time.
Unless there is a bi-directional government and citizens interaction model, a city cannot become safe and secure; It is imperative that technology is leveraged to provide cutting-edge solutions to citizens for effective safety, security and governance.
C4i framework for cities
A city’s resilience cannot be better explained than a C4i framework. Technology has metamorphosed C4i from a Security framework to a Governance framework. The city’s Control Room cannot any longer be just a Security Room, but has to be evolve into an Operations Room with reduced reaction time.
Command: The city’s Operation Room should have an integrated view of cameras, traffic, emergency resources, rescue vehicles, incidents and events. Critical supplies such as electricity, water, telecommunications and food should be easily accessible and tracked real-time.
Control: The Control function from the Operations Room should not be a mere wireless radio activity, but should evolve into deployment control and response management procedure. The Operations team should have complete visibility and control into the detection and resolution of an event.
Collaboration: Critical supplies to emergency resources such as Police, Ambulance, Traffic and Fire, the response value chain should be collaborative, in its true sense. These resources should be available with just a simple click, or a touch.
For effective traffic management, traffic challans should be issued based on owner’s past history, vehicle authentication and kind of violation.
Citizens should be an active part of any city administration. With latest cellular technologies, the Operations Room can have multiple eyes and ears through video, audio, image and text inputs from citizens, real-time.
Communication: The Operations team should have the complete disposal of telephony, mobiles, wireless radio and PA devices. The resource vehicles should be tracked real-time for location, speed and coverage.
Intelligence: Video technologies these days are quite advanced that a camera is no longer a static video recording device but is as an intelligent image processing device, thanks to sophisticated backend software.
But that is only one part of the intelligence story. Imagine a citizen clicking an image of a gathering crowd and it reaches the Operations Room with live feed from the nearest street camera. Now imagine the crowd gathering phenomenon being triangulated against social media by analysing SMSes, Facebook and Twitter feeds. That is the kind of intelligence that is needed to bring about proactive actions for today’s dynamic society.
Build today for a better tomorrow
Unless disparate systems and disjoint agencies are brought together through an Operative Platform, city administrations cannot achieve a comprehensive C4i. Unless this transformation is brought in today, we cannot expect a better tomorrow. A visualization that enables us to act proactively is the need of our cities. Situational awareness is not just for businesses, it is required for our cities too!