Ahead of Safe Cities 2014, we’ve conducted an exclusive speaker interview with Daniel Sarasa, Urban Innovation Project Manager, Zaragoza City Council about his upcoming contribution at the Safe Cities event, and general insights on the challenges and opportunities around building safe cities…
IIR Telecoms: What do you see as the current drivers for innovation in safe cities?
Daniel: Families, medium class people are and will be returning to cities from the suburbs. Its needs (children autonomy, playable cities, safe mobility, internet protection) will be the main social driver.
Although global threats (cybersecirity, terrorism) will remain also as a driver for innovation.
IIR Telecoms: What is the safe city, who needs to make it happen and what is the roadmap to achieving it?
Daniel: A safe city is a place where its inhabitants (children included) feel confident in all situations at the public and private space, and that probably nowadays includes the network. It is difficult to establish a roadmap, but it is probably closely related to more vibrant downtowns, livable neighbourhoods
IIR Telecoms: How do safe city strategies integrate with a wider smart city agenda?
Daniel: Safe cities also have to do with more education to understand and be aware of the new challenges and dangers in the digital era, and a general economic well being. But also with participation, transparency and privacy issues related to technology have also to be adressed, otherwise it will not be easy to deploy advanced security systems, at least by European public administrations.
IIR Telecoms: What are the challenges of achieving public private integration for safe city strategy?
Daniel: First, new business models in which all parts can find win-win situations. These business models start to appear in other areas such as mobility, waste management, energy, but public safety needs still some degree of imagination by the public and private sector to find good case studies of this succesful integration.
IIR Telecoms: How should security strategy and technology be integrated across the different services to ensure safety and resilience?
Daniel: In our opinion, this integration have to leave technology behind the scene. The main character in this play is the citizen and how their needs and concerns are adressed. Final security solutions may have a strong technology component, but technology should be an output of this citizentric strategic thinking, and not the other way around.
IIR Telecoms: Which are the new technologies that will give optimum ROI in terms of ensuring city security?
Daniel: It is difficult to know, but probably they will be soft, non invasive technologies. Systems that do not altere or invade public space , such as artificial intelligence algorithms, social networks analisys, etc, tend to be technologies that can be deployed at optimum costs (no civil works, little rejection by the citizens) and can, in turn, optimize ROI
IIR Telecoms: What do you hope to get out of attending the Safe Cities conference?
Daniel: Understand new business models, discuss ethics, learn new technologies and trends.