Brookings Institution has released a new report ranking global cities in terms of their public safety innovations at Huawei Asia Pacific Innovation Day 2017 validating the Singapore Safe City Initiative that was launched in 2014. The report examines the ways digital technology, mobile networks, and integrated solutions help authorities in 17 global cities manage public safety and law enforcement. The report cites Singapore emerged as the safest city of the 17 cities it studied.
The report reveals that there are considerable variations in safe city innovation from city-to-city, based on implementation progress and adoption of best practices. Singapore, Copenhagen, London are some of the cities that top the list, while cities such as Kuwait City, Cairo and Abuja are lagging behind their counterparts. The former are cities that have clear public safety agendas with substantial financial resources, and solid infrastructure to which they are able to generate positive security outcomes.
Amy Lin, Senior Vice President of Huawei shared, “It is our hope that today’s report will strongly urge governments and local city authorities to invest in public safety especially in a time of digital prosperity. We will continue to partner and work with the relevant authorities to identify opportunities and strengthened solutions related to public safety and smart city project across the world.”
According to Dr.Darrell West, Vice President of Brookings Institute, “Cities face barriers such as poor funding, infrastructure difficulties, public resistance, a lack of technical expertise, privacy and security concerns—but it is crucial for leaders to overcome these obstacles. In the report, we have identified many opportunities for cities to build their economies and promote social inclusion through public safety innovation. We have included a list of recommendations that will enable cities to reap the benefits of digital technology to improve the living standards of their citizens.”
When reached for comment on how cities can balance between the need for security and the concerns for privacy, Dr. West commented “Cities around the world are still grappling around with that, each city needs to figure out based on its values and what it wants to accomplish to determine where to draw the line”
The report also emphasized on harnessing the power of crowdsourcing and recommended for cities to create platforms to enable communities to do citizen reporting. Speaking to IOTNews Asia on the sideline of the event Dr. West added that merely building platforms are not sufficient, cities need to radically reconfigure the internal structures to be able to respond to these citizen reports.
The Brookings Institution is a non-profit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research that will help provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.