EXCLUSIVE: The future of smart cities and open platforms

Vicente López - smart city and open platforms

Share this content


Jason Tyre, Business Development Manager, Cities at Milestone Systems explains how open platform video and cloud solutions have unlocked the smart city potential for Argentina’s Vicente López.

Advanced technologies

Vicente López, a municipality in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is home to approximately 300,000 people.

However, it does not have its own police force and relies on the Ministry of Security of Buenos Aires Province for this service.

Milestone Systems‘ open platform, data-driven video technology system and Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud storage solutions have played a vital role in transforming Vicente López into a smart city.

These advanced technologies have enabled local authorities to improve law enforcement response times, increase department effectiveness and improve city security, transportation, safety and cleanliness.

In 2010, city authorities adopted Milestone’s XProtect Professional open platform technology to integrate all video systems.

As the project’s complexity increased and the number of cameras and sensors rose, the city switched to XProtect Corporate.

The system now manages nearly 2,200 cameras from Hanwha Vision and Axis Communications, which together cover about 70% of the city’s territory.

Hanwha cameras include the PNV-A9081R, XNP-6400R and PNM-9085RQZ1 models, which provide a wide field of view and produce crisp, clear, high-resolution images.

Unlike cameras equipped with motion-based pixel detection, Hanwha’s smart cameras use AI and deep learning algorithms to detect and classify distinct objects while clearly distinguishing them from their surrounding environment.

High-tech Axis cameras installed around the city include the AXIS P13 Box Camera Series and AXIS P56 PTZ Camera Series.

Using the ARTPEC system on a chip (SoC), plus Lightfinder and Forensic WDR technology, these versatile devices provide sharp and clear images even in challenging lighting conditions and wide-open areas where a high level of detail is needed, such as parks, streets and the Metrobús transportation system.

City officials can catalog incident reporting data through streaming video from a wide network of high-definition Axis cameras.

Data-driven video on open platform

At the heart of this smart city initiative is the Urban Monitoring Center, a space equipped with state-of-the-art technology allowing security operators to manage data provided by the municipality’s analytics, cameras and alarms through the XProtect open platform.

Operators also work with XProtect Rapid REVIEW, a forensic video analytic solution that allows quick review, search and analysis of video data.

One of Rapid REVIEW’s key features is its patented VIDEO SYNOPSIS capability, which simultaneously displays objects that have appeared at different times within the video, helping investigators identify relevant information more easily.

Rapid REVIEW also allows operators to analyze object activity, common paths and dwell times.

Rapid REVIEW enables users to forensically pinpoint areas with the most recurring events for better scene understanding and insights.

According to Hugo Menegozzi, CEO of Exanet S.A, the integration firm for the project, implementing video analytics – including vehicle license plate recognition (LPR) and behaviors for detecting loitering, stampeding and crowding – has enabled authorities to transition from a reactive to a proactive security system.

The open platform technology has significantly reduced response times to incidents and allowed the same number of staff to manage the increased number of cameras without sacrificing accuracy and efficiency.

Hybrid AWS cloud solution

City officials have adopted a hybrid data storage model to manage the large amount of data and high-resolution images produced by the city-wide security system.

This approach involves hosting a portion of the information on local servers while the remaining data is stored in the cloud via AWS through a tiered storage use and pricing structure.

Santiago De Jesús, Secretary of Security for the Municipality of Vicente López, explained that because the management of real-time analytics from the cameras is handled by the VMS, there is a large amount of information being processed and stored.

By ensuring effective hybrid on-prem/cloud integration with AWS, the need to install local servers or GPUs can be avoided, reducing the overall cost of the solution.

The city’s current protocol mandates that video data be stored for at least 30 days.

However, in exceptional cases, the Prosecutor’s Office requires the preservation of video for several months.

To meet these specific requirements, the municipality has started storing this information in the cloud.

Additionally, the AWS platform eliminates the need for investments in cooling or power for servers and enables longer retention and management of evidence for authorities without capacity concerns.

According to Secretary De Jesús, eliminating the need for local storage has resulted in significant cost savings.

Smart city management

The municipality uses LPR technology for several city sectors, such as vehicular traffic. All major streets are monitored, which allows for immediate intervention in case of an accident or obstructive event. Information from other types of sensors and devices can also be managed through the VMS to promote intelligent parking systems, streetlight management, air and river pollution measurements, plus more.

“The analytics not only help us have an active mapping of criminal activities or traffic flow, but in the near future, we can also use these video tools to identify uncollected waste on the streets and design more efficient collection routes, thus reducing the environmental impact on the city,” said Roberto Ehrman, Undersecretary of Security for the Municipality of Vicente López.

Vicente López’s smart city initiative is an example of how leveraging data-driven video technology and open platforms can revolutionize urban management and security.

This article was originally published in the October edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox