Many experts predict that by 2050, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities and urban areas, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia. But what cities and urban areas will these people move too? Not all cities are equal. And in the great global migration, some cities will boom and some will bust.
A 2016 Ernst and Young report identified six qualities that draw citizens to cities and keep them there: affordability, agility, amenity, safety, spaces, and opportunity. Safety is largely defined by a citizen’s everyday experiences and encounters rather than the larger political or environmental context.
Being able to enjoy a city and travel throughout it without fear is highly prized. Safety is not a luxury, nor is it taken for granted. Citizens’ perceptions of safety have real economic and social impacts for cities. Take crime rates for example.
A 2015 Harvard study found that one economic sector is eliminated if the number of criminal organizations increases by 9.8 percent, or gang violence by 5.4 percent, or homicides rates by 22 percent. It also found that crime not onlyreduces overall economic activity, but also changes its make-up with damaging loss to economic and social diversity. The other challenges many city agencies and leaders face stem from the public perceptions issues regarding trust, confidence, and legitimacy. These also have a negative impact on funding, governance, buy-in, and consensus for programs that could improve city safety.
Compound these issues with growing demand for services, increasingly complex incident management, and changing expectations from citizens and the picture becomes quite clear: Cities have a tall order to fill if they’re going to attract new citizens and retain existing ones.
Safety in tomorrow’s cities depends on multiple services being connected and working together with a singular purpose on common objectives; not just for major incidents and events, but for day-to-day life in the city.
In our upcoming webinar, “Better. Together. The Framework for Safer Cities,” we’ll discuss and explore:
- Key social and technical challenges for cities
- What a city needs to be safe
- How to connect systems and modernize services
- How to become a more resilient city
- Real-world examples of safe cities
Connecting technologies and systems between city governments, public safety agencies, utility companies, and other critical service providers is the first step to support your growing population and its safety needs. Let Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure help you get there.
Join me and Michael Deng, regional general manager for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure Asia, on June 7. The webinar will be held at 11:00 a.m. AEST for Australia and New Zealand, and again at 2:00 p.m. SGT for Singapore and India. Learn more about our Safe Cities Framework and integrated solutions.