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Euralarm : Smart Cities vision at Athens conference

Euralarm : Smart Cities vision at  Athens conference

Euralarm presented her vision on Smart Cities during the conference on this topic in Athens, on the 22nd of April 2015. Rolf Sigg, Chairman of the Security Section, represented Euralarm. Euralarm believes that smart cities should not only be efficient but also secure and resilient. They state that the EU must implement an holistic approach which helps to enhance the security of Europe through safety and security technology and services.

According to a report by Frost & Sullivan Smart Cities are expected to spend 1560 billion USD worldwide by 2020 on their smart infrastructures. These investments will be paid by taxpayers and by the users of these infrastructures. In addition, the increasing challenges coming from urbanization, demographic changes and environmental damage, need to be addressed urgently and all have an effect on the safety of the European inhabitants. Another reason is that, although some activities related to Smart Cities have been initiated, most of them have a very narrow scope and only focus on digital technology solutions, primarily for energy optimization and mobility. Many relevant functions are however neglected, such as political stability, environment and most importantly for Euralarm safety, security and resilience.

Safe and secure cities allow their stakeholders to plan and to function with a minimum of disruptive events due to crime and natural or man-made disasters. Some examples of these stakeholders and their needs are: citizens want lively and livable cities, enterprises want cities where their business can prosper and critical infrastructure operates want to deliver their services. Resilience is also a necessity, because it is about making cities better, for both the short and long-term. Euralarm believes that cities without resilience cannot be truly smart. Euralarm defines City Resilience as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.

Euralarm adds that the following facets, amongst others, are required to create truly safe, secure and resilient Smart Cities:
– A generally accepted definition of Smart Cities
– Standards and harmonized certification schemes
– Publicly accessible performance indicators and metrics

The holistic approach that Euralarm calls for requires safety and security solutions to be offered across all critical urban infrastructures, addressing the respective needs of those in charge and those the systems serve: municipal authorities, first responders and populations dependent on a functioning urban system. Only when the interconnected flows of people and goods, energy and data that characterize smartness are functioning efficiently and securely, the value of Smart Cities can be fully realized.

To go more in-depth on Euralarm’s vision on Smart Cities the organization partnered with IFSEC International. They will organize a half-day conference taking place at London’s ExCeL on 17th June 2015. The conference called ‘Smart Cities: Safer & Secure’ will explore how those responsible for protecting key assets can obtain the tools to ensure smart cities remain safe and secure.

by the Editorial Staff

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