Experts Discuss the Challenges for Smart Secure Cities at HSD Café

02 juli 2024
Auteur: HSD Foundation

On Thursday 27 June, we hosted our second HSD Café of the year. Several participants found their way to the HSD Campus for an inspiring session about Smart Secure Cities. This is a very recent and important topic as our cities face a variety of challenges, from new types of crime and nuisance to large crowds. Using technology does not yet make a smart city. With every innovation, we have to consider whether it is in line with our laws and values. It is a balancing act between what is technically possible and what is socially acceptable.


The event featured insightful presentations from 5 experts. Mark Ruijsendaal and Merel Heijke discussed what constitutes a safe city and the necessity to work and learn together in the Impact Coalitie Safety & Security. Sven de Laaf from SHIELD shared his experience with Case Shield The Hague highlighting the collaboration between the Municipality of The Hague and Politie Eenheid Den Haag, and Daan Groenink who provided valuable insights from Gemeente Amsterdam and public and private cooperations to realise a safer city.


Conclusions from the experts

Mark Ruijsendaal and Merel Heijke gave an introduction to smart and secure cities. They discussed what constitutes a safe city and emphasised that collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing between municipalities, police, knowledge institutes, and organisations are key to efficiently deploying technologies and data to make Dutch society safer. That is why the Impact Coalition Safety & Security was founded. This is a public governance initiative with a network that shares lessons learned and seeks to make proven innovative solutions successful (implement and scale up). They focus on three essential work packages:

  • Area-based security using smart city applications
  • Cybersecurity of both public and private digital infrastructure
  • Realising preconditions for security innovations.


Sven de Laaf from Shield showcased a few innovations that the municipality of The Hague and Shield are working on and how they collaborate. He delved into the way they look at solutions for crowd management in the city and harbor of Scheveningen. He then elaborated on and demonstrated the way they use camara’s and feeds of information, such as weather forecasts, to be able to predict when and where crowds are expected and how to manage them.


Moreover, he stressed the fact that there are a lot of information sources that can be used but also raised awareness that there is an ethical and privacy side to the use of such sources and cameras. They are now looking and testing other sensors besides cameras that give the same detection but are less evasive for the privacy of people who live in the city.


Sven also showed graphics of the use of airspace by (un)authorized drones in the municipality of The Hague and Scheveningen and the lessons they learned from the drone detection system and the enforcement of the rules by the police.


Daan Groenink, innovation officer at the municipality of Amsterdam, started his presentation by giving an overview of the complex issues that cities deal with; from digitalisation to crowds above and below ground. This requires innovations and a different role of various stakeholders.


As an innovation officer, Daan strives to build bridges between the city of Amsterdam and innovative ideas in different forms to work together. He highlighted the 'Fieldlab ArenA Gebied' where new technologies and strategies are being tested to enhance safety in the digital and physical public space. Moreover, he gave a retrospect of the learnings of the project ‘Digital Perimeter’ where selected solutions and applications (a.o. facial recognition, Blue-force tracking & Smart sensors to detect weapons/fireworks) are tested for crowd management and determine whether they are feasible, scalable, accurate, user friendly and above all ethically responsible


Q&A Session

The event concluded with a lively Q&A session, followed by drinks and bites. Attendees continued to engage in fruitful discussions about the presentations, reflecting the high level of interest and enthusiasm for Smart Secure Cities!


Security Delta thanks the speakers and audience for their valuable contributions and looks forward to future discussions on this topic.


Several times a year, we organise an HSD Café around a key security topic relevant. The HSD Cafés serve to inform the network about the latest developments and opportunities, but also to discuss challenges. The HSD Cafés are organised by HSD Office and are open to professionals, experts, students, and all who are interested.

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