Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Technology could make cities safer, cleaner: McKinsey

Thomson Reuters Foundation, LONDON

Cities could save hundreds of lives and lower carbon emissions by using smart technologies such as real-time crime mapping and intelligent traffic signaling, researchers said yesterday.

Cutting-edge tools would help lower crime rates, commuter times and fatalities, said the report by the McKinsey Global Institute, which analyzed the use of smart technologies in 50 cities.

Advanced, smart solutions can utilize data and digital technology to monitor events in real time, watch patterns change and respond quickly with lower costs, the report said.

Real-time crime mapping could cut burglaries and assaults by up to 40 percent as police are able to respond more quickly, the research found.

Cities in Latin America, which have the highest homicide rates in the world, could use high-tech tools, such as gunshot detection and predictive policing, that can anticipate crime, said Jaana Remes, an economist and McKinsey partner.

“Cities have only scratched the surface of all the creative ways they can use data and digital technologies to reinvent the way they deliver services,” she said.

Moscow has installed thousands of cameras and intelligent traffic signals that can shave critical seconds off an ambulance journey to an emergency scene, accelerating response times by up to 35 percent, she said.

Smart technologies in health care include digital telemedicine that can host consultations by video conference, a solution for cities with doctor shortages, the report said.

Remote patient monitoring devices that take vital readings and send them to doctors for assessment can help decrease hospitalizations, it said.

Air pollution, estimated to cause of more than three million premature deaths each year, could drop by nearly 15 percent if cities used dynamic electricity pricing that charges more when demand peaks, the report said.

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