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Leveraging analytics to deliver safe, secure and sustainable cities

Presented by Maciej Podoski
in Technology
March, 2023

Sponsored by Cisco

Every day, massive amounts of raw data are produced in municipalities around the world by all kinds of connected systems, from waste disposal trucks to traffic cameras. Many cities, however, still suffer from outages and lack the ability to make proactive decisions.

The sheer amount of data collected makes it challenging to sort through and make informed, real-time decisions.

How can cities use this data to deliver safe, secure, and sustainable cities? Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The AI Opportunity

Today’s municipal leaders have an opportunity like never before to improve local demands with the data they already have.

Through AI and machine learning, officials can take technology-powered services to the next level. This would allow network operators, managers, and architects to rapidly identify and resolve issues as they arise.

Smart tools, such as Cisco’s Meraki MV Smart Cameras, can cut through the thick of data. With advanced analytic abilities, smart search tools, and built-in security, these tools provide valuable insights without compromising privacy. Some use cases could include:

Crime prevention – Through object detection, AI can discern people and vehicles from other objects, such as animals or furniture. It can also provide information on counts and trends, including suspicious activity and weapons through appropriate training of algorithms.

Traffic management – Today’s cities are bursting at the seams with traffic. Not only can AI detect when and where traffic surges occur, but it can also dispatch additional public transit fleets if needed. With a dynamic response system, these technologies could help cities optimize mobility by easing traffic congestion, managing movements, and providing citizens with real-time traffic updates.

Accident detection – AI tools can detect traffic accidents and alert authorities as they happen. Through traffic monitoring cameras, accidents can trigger an automated response. This includes detecting vehicle damage and/or possible injuries and – if needed – requesting emergency services.

Sustainability practices – As more cities commit to a sustainable future, tools and services that leverage AI to reduce environmental impact, from measuring pollution to waste management or energy efficiency, will be essential.

Protecting Privacy

AI and machine learning can empower innovation in ways unimaginable – but not without risk.

Security without privacy doesn’t mean much. Tools like Cisco’s Meraki MV Smart Camera can analyze, detect, and distinguish without sacrificing security or privacy.

While object detection and tracking can detect an object’s location or distinguish a person from a car, detection is anonymous, preserving privacy and security. It is not facial recognition, there is no search for unique individuals, and cameras do not remember people over time.

Protecting individual privacy is the top priority. Cisco is committed to applying these technologies responsibly, delivering industry-leading outcomes for our customers, users, partners, and society at large.

To learn more, visit

Municipal World Insider and Executive Members: You might also be interested in Zoya Sodhi and Sanchita Rajvanshi’s article: Smart city safeguards.

Maciej Podoski is the Director Smart Cities and Transportation Industry Solutions at Cisco Canada.

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