The role of IT technologies and video surveillance in creating conditions for sustainable urban development

The role of IT technologies and video surveillance in creating conditions for sustainable urban development

In 2015, the UN General Assembly developed a "plan for a better and more sustainable future for all". It is difficult to judge the reality of accomplishing at least half of the seventeen of these noble tasks by 2030.

After all, as history shows, plans rarely correspond to real events. Something will certainly present completely unexpected surprises that force changes in the planned programs. This postulate was also confirmed by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which made adjustments to the Final Resolution of the General Assembly “Transforming our world in the field of sustainable development for the period up to 2030”.

In the near future, the third, ninth and eleventh points of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide for:

  • III. Ensuring healthy lifestyles and promoting well-being for all at all ages;
  • IX. Building strong infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation;
  • XI. Ensuring openness, security, resilience and sustainability of cities and towns.

Other tasks fade into the background. After all, the question is about the survival of mankind in the confrontation with the deadly coronavirus that has appeared from nowhere. For the sake of security, one will have to sacrifice both part of the freedoms and part of the usual well-being. Traditional principles of employment, working methods and wage levels are already changing. Thus, the widespread introduction and expanded use of IT technologies will become a priority for ensuring people's safety.

Intelligent video surveillance and the fight against COVID-pandemic

For several decades of active use, video surveillance has established itself as an effective means of creating safe and comfortable living conditions for people and the normal functioning of urban and industrial structures. Outdoor video cameras are used for the control of public order, and in the protection of property, and in the management of technological processes. And in these difficult times, the integrated use of video surveillance cameras and electronic access control devices makes it possible to achieve the strictest compliance with the quarantine regime.

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As perfect as human eyes and memory are, machine vision combined with big data mining software is much more productive. It is not possible for a person to accurately determine whether social distance is observed, and a vigilant IP video surveillance camera will determine the distance between people to the nearest centimeter and immediately report the violation to the operator on duty or announce a warning to the violator through the warning system.

To process the information that is stored on the hard drives of DVRs and in cloud storage, it would take hundreds of operators and spend a lot of time analyzing video content. But artificial intelligence sorts video data in a matter of minutes and, depending on the type of video surveillance software, will draw the necessary conclusions and even issue preliminary recommendations. Today, temperature control of visitors is carried out in public places using hand-held pyrometers and thermal imagers.

Hundreds of people are busy with this necessary, tedious task, at risk of contracting the coronavirus. But it is enough to install and correctly set up a thermal imaging camera, and it will instantly detect a temperature patient even in a stream of people passing by. This increases the efficiency of taking action and eliminates the need for manual temperature control. The Hikvision DS-2TD2617B-6/PA camcorder and other similar models of Hikvision cameras have proven themselves remarkably, designed specifically to measure, analyze and control the temperature of people entering the frame.

Video surveillance to suppress and prevent crime during a pandemic

Speaking about the difficult conditions caused by lockdowns, one cannot but mention the work of law enforcement agencies. As usual, during critical situations, there is an increase in crime. This is where smart video devices come in handy. The mere reminder of video surveillance often makes criminals abandon their malicious intent. The role of video recordings, which are presented in courts as evidence, is especially great.

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There are often cases when controversial questions arise about the legality of the use of emergency measures by law enforcement agencies in the suppression of crimes. The presence of the chest recorder footage that police officers wear on their uniforms often proves to be the clincher in resolving contentious issues. Well, effective control of road traffic without street cameras in our cities oversaturated with transport is generally unthinkable. The reduction in the number of collisions and other accidents, with a smaller number of police personnel, is the merit of the Smart City surveillance systems.

Separately, I would like to talk about the inhabitants of the suburbs and the inhabitants of small settlements. The only way to secure a detached dwelling is to equip a “smart home” with the latest IT technologies. Installing video intercoms and CCTV cameras is only the first, albeit a rather decisive step, but the purchase and installation of a complete smart home kit will provide the owner with security from criminal encroachments, and from man-made disasters, and even from natural disasters.

Often there are discussions that video surveillance restricts individual freedoms. However, people prioritize safety. Remember the course of history: leaving the open savannahs for caves, people also limited their freedom to some extent, and later came to the conclusion that it was even safer to live in castles and cities with fortified walls and guards on the streets. So, it's up to you.

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