This post is sponsored by Johnson Controls.
Cities today face multiple security issues, including terrorism, civil unrest, soaring crime rates, cyber-attacks, emergencies and natural disasters. To compound the problem, city populations are growing at such a rapid rate (it has been estimated that as many as 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050) that cities are having a difficult time keeping their citizens safe.
Meanwhile, the “smart city” is evolving. A smart city uses information and communications technology to enhance livability, workability and sustainability. Its goal is to enhance the quality and performance of urban services in an effort to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with citizens.
Johnson Controls security expert, Michael Gagnon, answers a few questions on how city security needs are evolving.
Question: How does the evolution of the “smart city” impact security needs?
Michael Gagnon: With the evolution of the smart city, municipalities will search for ways to address today’s security and life safety issues with other city-wide technology solutions they are creating. They will also look for ways to help fund the initiatives necessary to create the smart city and work with partners who can make that happen.
Q: How effective are existing technologies when it comes to security in cities?
MG: Unfortunately, the existing technology infrastructure is outdated, and in many cases at capacity. Every city has a myriad of systems that control everything from building automation, traffic, lighting and transportation to social media Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) and security. These disparate systems are not integrated and often are not readily accessible to police and life safety personnel in real time.
Q: How should a city approach solving these issues?
MG: Having a technology partner with the expertise and capability to integrate these systems and exchange information seamlessly, and then use this information to design and implement solutions is critical to meet city security initiatives.
In the Johnson Controls article, The future of security in the smart city, Gagnon discusses in detail the latest security technologies and how cities can plan and budget to create a safer community.
Michael Gagnon is the Director of Marketing / Security and Fire at Johnson Controls, Inc. His 30 years of experience in the security industry includes building and implementing world class security and fire programs. He has extensive experience in the design and implementation of complex, large-scale integrated security system solutions for commercial, education and healthcare.