The rapid spread of smart cities exchanges old risks for new onesSmart cities are entering a new phase because not only do city administrators quickly install digital solutions to improve efficiency, such as reducing the minutes spent on daily commuting, but residents can now use their smartphones as keys to the city that opens up further possibilities by extra data in the & # 39; smart & # 39; ecosystem, according to a 2018 report from the McKinsey Global Institute.

Smart cities are also expanding from the large metropolitan areas where they normally come from, to smaller locations.

"What we have seen is this funnel to large, high density urban areas.The projects they have in New York, Boston, Jakarta – really big world cities – are starting to come in some of the more medium-sized urban environments – Arlington, Texas, Kansas City – where you see the deployment of certain technologies that means they get used to the process needed to work together between public and private entities, "says Thom Rickert, vice president and emerging risk specialist for Trident Public. Risk Solutions.

Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam and Paris are just a few of the other cities around the world that are receiving attention for their smart city initiatives, although they are far from the only ones. Some, like Copenhagen, also use sustainability models and go green & # 39; for example, the replacement of street lighting with LED lighting, which provides an almost immediate benefit in terms of maintenance and electricity costs, explains Rickert. Citizens, in turn, see improvements by walking in better-lit areas.

Difficult to avoid in the discussion about smart cities are autonomous vehicles, which are also being developed further. More use has been made of test areas for automated scooters, bicycles and buses at remote locations, among other automated devices.

"More and more cities use drones," says Rickert. "The main part focuses on public safety, ie observing accident scenes, finding people during natural disasters, and there are some who have used them to get medical emergency assistance to someone who is remote before the emergency services can get there. In city operations – inspecting roofs, instead of having to climb to them – we have seen things that are buying more and more cities and drawing up policy for their use. "

With new and improved services there are also new risks, while smart city technology continues to spread across continents.

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"There is a recognition that because it is the key to the continuous development of smart city technology, whatever it is – whether it is infrastructure, software or hardware – there is a significant amount of data being collected, so you do not have to Only find ways to store, categorize, analyze and act upon it, you need to build a relationship of trust with the community that [that’s] Gathered, especially the things that can be personally identifiable, are protected ", says Rickert Insurance business, add that due to this recognition and recent cyber attacks focused on cities, "the procurement and planning for cyber-related incidents has increased exponentially, I think even small cities, if only with trying to get the information about the people who visit the library protect, realize that they need some kind of compromise insurance for cyber data.

"They talk to their agents and brokers about what they can do, some small cities can not pay $ 10 million in cover, but they can pay $ 1 million in cover, and they say:" I need something, I must show that we know. & # 39; When they buy that insurance, normally now are the carriers [also] try to offer a number of risk mitigation tools. "

Ensuring that security protocols are in place is one of the items for which resources are being used and because the downstream effects of technology become even clearer and loss patterns continue to evolve – Rickert emphasizes the use of drones for inspecting buildings, for example because they have an impact on compensation claims from employees, because they replace the risk that employees in the city have to climb onto a building – the security of data must be met.

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"The risks associated with cyber-attacks, both the compromise of networks and the compromise of personal data of citizens or employees, must be paramount and I think cities recognize that they have both strategies for risk reduction and strategies for risk. transfer need, "says Rickert.