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Beyond surveillance - city planners can get all the sustainability support they need from cameras and sensors. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sustainability is becoming more than a matter of social responsibility. Businesses are realising sustainable solutions can provide an opportunity for innovation. By reducing the environmental impact, businesses can secure the future for the next generation and ensure business continuity.

These sustainability opportunities are relevant to all industries, including the security sector. Surveillance cameras and sensors are used for their environmental benefits, while being integrated with other devices to prompt ‘smart’ actions. Together, these technologies can help create a safer, more sustainable future.

Sensors and sustainability

Cities have security systems that can be used to provide much more than just surveillance. This network of security infrastructure can be integrated with software, sensors, cameras, and other devices to monitor the environment and improve sustainability. Connecting cameras and sensors makes them more effective at monitoring the environment because they combine different sources of data for more comprehensive analyses.

The IoT sensors allow us collect information that cannot be gathered with video alone. For example, analysing recorded incidents of waste dumping, poor lighting on roads, overcrowded areas, or the risk of flooding helps us identify broader patterns and address their causes. Policies could be informed by concrete data and updated when new knowledge emerges.

When combined with camera-based surveillance solutions, sensors help monitor possible environmental threats, activate early warning systems, and make decisions based on insights rather than intuition. With constant monitoring, devices can detect safety blind spots - such as heavy traffic at a busy junction or children crossing the road near school bus stops. As cameras identify near misses, city planners can intervene, creating a pedestrian crossing, or diverting traffic to decrease risk.

A tab on costs

Smart sensors and cameras can also drive sustainability for cities by using data to decrease costs and increase efficiency, potentially freeing up funding for sustainability projects. For example, LED streetlights can be combined with sensors, automatically adjusting lighting levels based on specific weather or natural lighting conditions. This would mean that streetlights would only use power when they need to, reducing the city’s energy requirements.

In terms of natural disasters, such as earthquakes or flooding, analysing environmental data can help improve early warning systems and allow authorities to take action before a situation escalates. A real-time measurement system could detect rain, and data analytics and forecasting software can calculate the risk of flooding, allowing early evacuation and safety measures. This could ultimately decrease the cost of repairs and the loss of human life.

Planning ahead

The integration of security networks, cameras, and sensors offers cities and citizens solutions to help us achieve a more sustainable, liveable future. Whether cities want to improve waste management or decrease pollution, collecting, analysing, and acting on the right data is key to creating safer environments for all who live in them – and smart security solutions can help us do just that.