Public city spaces, such as malls, open gathering areas, and transport infrastructures are vulnerable to terrorist attacks strongly impacting the safety, prosperity and wellbeing of citizens. The digital transformation we are undergoing, despite its countless benefits, leaves us exposed to cyber-attacks. Several European cities have recently experienced both physical and cyber-attacks, and unfortunately these events are likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
The Smart Spaces Safety and Security for All Cities project (S4AllCities) is a large-scale project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, with the aim of revolutionizing the way smart cities become more prepared for and resilient against physical and cyber-attacks on their soft targets, smart spaces and critical infrastructure. This is achieved through augmenting situation awareness in city spaces with greater intelligence, machine-encoded context knowledge, and real-time evaluation of cyber and physical security threat levels.
The S4AllCities project (https://www.s4allcities.eu) approach centers around three modular yet interconnected digital twin sub-systems designed to ingest large amounts of data from edge-computing sensors (such as a portable near-infrared spectrometer for detection of chemical precursors to explosives, or fiber Bragg-grating based sensors for real time monitoring of city infrastructure) deployed around the Smart Cities and which appropriately fuse the information received to establish recommended courses of action and present timely, concise, actionable information to the relevant operators. For example, real time traffic information and simulations run on the digital twins can yield recommendations on evacuation routes in the event of a fire in a train station.
The S4AllCities functionality is achieved by means of a large array of AI-based tools operating on the massive amounts of data received from the sensor networks, as illustrated in the figure. These networks comprise multiple innovative sensors further advanced through the project activities and complemented by smart city legacy sensor networks. The S4AllCities System of Systems (SoS) is completed by both physical- and cyber-security shielding using appropriate safety and anonymization standard methods.
The first edition of the S4AllCities project newsletter can be found here