DOI: 10.3390/smartcities6060149 ISSN: 2624-6511

A Smart City Is a Safe City: Analysis and Evaluation of the State of Crime and Safety in Polish Cities

Magdalena Tutak, Jarosław Brodny
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Urban Studies

The concept of a smart city is based on the extensive multidimensional use of information and communication technologies to create the most favorable living conditions for residents and visitors. It is also important to create favorable conditions for economic activity while respecting the environment. One of the most important dimensions of this concept is security in the broadest sense, particularly that which concerns urban residents. This article addresses this subject by analyzing crime and determining the state of safety in 16 Polish provincial cities between 2013–2022. The measure of this state was chosen to be a set of indicators characterizing a number of registered criminal and economic offenses in the studied cities. On this basis, values of the indices of the dynamics of change for these offenses in individual cities in the analyzed period were determined. In the next stage, the number of offenses was compared to the number of residents of the cities under study and the indices of concentration for total offenses (LQT) and for individual types of offenses (LQn) were determined. Based on these results, the studied cities were divided into four concentration levels. Afterward, these results were used for a multi-criteria analysis of the safety of studied cities, which was carried out using the TOPSIS method. The calculated values of the safety index (Pi) formed the basis for creating a ranking and specifying security levels of studied cities. The results indicate a wide variation among the cities in terms of safety levels. Gdańsk, Bydgoszcz, Olsztyn and Zielona Góra were found to be the safest cities, while Szczecin was found to be the least safe. The methodology developed and the results obtained show the validity of conducting comparative research in areas relevant to the implementation of the smart cities concept. The knowledge gained can be used to build strategies and conduct policies with regard to improving safety in cities, especially those aspiring to be smart cities.

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