Over the past five years, Calgary has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s most innovative cities. Since its inception for smart city integration, the city has won awards, including the Alberta Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence and the Smart 50 Award of 2019 for the City’s Influence Projects.
One of the driving forces behind the smart city initiative is to make the city safer. Calgary has a long history of using thousands of traditional analog cameras to monitor over 900 sites, but quickly realized the idea of modernizing the city’s security network with digital technology to enhance its capabilities and efficiency.
In collaboration with systems integrator Convergint Technologies, the City of Calgary began installing AXIS Q6000-E PTZ network cameras (pan/tilt/ zoom) in key locations, while using AXIS Q74 and AXIS M70 video encoders. The existing analog cameras were upgraded to the new XProtect® video management software from Milestone Systems. Using AXIS Perimeter Defender video analytics, the city was able to set up alerts to inform security teams of potential hazards. The city has also deployed a suite of Axis tools including network radar detectors, thermal imaging cameras, bispectral PTZ cameras combining visual and thermal video streams, and network audio devices.
Increased coverage and operational efficiencies made possible by Calgary’s smart cities have created a more proactive approach to crime reduction. Alerts activated in areas such as the Olympic Park and the city’s covered parking lots have helped reduce the number of potentially dangerous intruders, while high-quality cameras used in areas such as City Hall have helped security teams make a more complete list of dangerous people entering public spaces and reduced the number of potentially dangerous trespassers after hours. The solution also met with success outside of traditional security, with network cameras deployed for such unique purposes as monitoring water levels in the city’s rivers and lakes.