Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific Challenge:

European large urban environments are subject to various challenges and threats to urban security linked to their big size and large population.  These challenges have also a strong impact on the security perception of the citizens and, by this, they can impact on the economic development and the quality of life.

Consequently, there is a growing need to go beyond the idea that only the law enforcement and criminal justice systems are tasked to tackle urban security challenges. On the contrary, new approaches and innovative solutions, including sustainable, affordable and transferrable security technologies, are needed to solicit citizens' engagement to prevent, mitigate and recover from the above-mentioned security challenges and to foster their direct participation in the improvement of the urban security conditions.

In this framework, and upon due consideration for the concerned ethical issues, recent technological advances and appropriate sensing mechanisms can help to make a city more transparent and readable as well as to empower the citizens in smart cities by ensuring that the main urban dynamics are unveiled and available to the public.

To this end, a bottom-up approach is sought to ensure that the above-mentioned approaches and solutions are satisfactorily responding to the needs of the end-users and of the citizens' community at large. There is a need for an interdisciplinary approach involving contributions from technological research and socio-economic disciplines, particularly architecture, anthropology, arts, economy, law, linguistics and sociology.


The proposed research should focus on the development of innovative solutions and technologies for urban security and resilience that, at the same time, intend to reduce the fear of crime and enhance the perception of security of the inhabitants of large urban environments.

Specific attention should be paid to technologically enhanced platforms that allow citizens both to share information and experiences in real-time streaming and to receive alerts and messages from security command and control centres.

The proposed action should take into account sustainable and low impact solutions and, possibly, rely on already set standards and tools. Modularity security and privacy by design should also be in the backbone.

The proposed research should take into consideration past and on-going EU research in this field. The testing and validation of the results from the proposed research should be carried out in several European cities. Strong synergies may be expected in the fields of 3D mapping, accurate positioning and timing services, GIS analysis functions and environment modelling, simulation and visualisation technologies.

Finally, the consideration for a possible wider integration of new and existing digital technologies into sustainable and innovative security solutions is strongly welcome.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €3m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

-          Reduce the fear of crime and enhance the perception of security of the inhabitants of large urban environments.

-          Better addressing security challenges in large urban environments.

-          Increase the perception of security of citizens by empowering them, fostering their sense of belonging to a greater community.

-          Facilitating the engagement of citizens to improve the security conditions of smart cities.

-          Providing new market opportunities, especially for SMEs and entrepreneurs, to develop and produce innovative technologies for urban security.


The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of users, such as citizens and local police forces.


The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 5; please see part G of the general Annexes.


Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions


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