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Smart Spaces Safety and Security for All Cities

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - S4AllCities (Smart Spaces Safety and Security for All Cities)

Reporting period: 2021-09-01 to 2022-12-31

Public spaces, such as city centers, sports venues, train stations, airports and other transport hubs, are soft targets prone to low cost attacks that can cause a large number of casualties. Such attacks are not just limited to physical attacks, but also cyber-attacks, and can have significant psychological and economic impact on society.
The overall objectives of S4AllCities are to:
• Complement legacy monitoring systems with the adaptation of state of the art and beyond, low-cost surveillance technologies and solutions that enhance Smart City preparedness and defense capability in both cyber and physical space.
• Design and develop an Open Platform for sharing and managing information, while providing intelligence that provides unprecedented situational awareness and decision support, while enhances European cities resilience, without compromising citizens’ fundamental rights and privacy.
• Design and develop an intelligent communications architecture that ensures the interconnection and integration of the city smart systems, with the systems supporting security practitioners.
• Validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the integrated S4AllCities SoS in relevant environments by the actual public authorities/end-users in three European Smart Cities accomplishing at the end of the project a TRL-7 level for the entire S4AllCities platform.
• Significantly impact collaboration across all smart cities’ stakeholders, from urban planners to infrastructure operators, private service operators, security practitioners, IT supervisors and providers, while engaging citizens towards more secure and safe cities.

The project successfully achieved its objectives, mainly through the live demonstration of the developed technologies in three pilot sites. The design of the S4AllCities platform considered end-users’ needs and requirements, and was demonstrated in scenarios designed by each city and relevant to each one’s threats and public spaces.
End-users encouraged the continuation of the S4AllCities efforts to upscale the application of the platform to other smart cities and fine-tune the constituent technologies to be capable to cope with less-than-ideal environmental conditions. Such a follow-up effort would have to invest into training of specialized personnel and into guidance and technical support on adopting and maintaining the system.
Following a consultation process with end users and project partners to identify gaps and needs for the projection of public spaces, we refined and validated the main functionalities, requirements and use-cases of S4AllCities, and established KPIs and functional and non-functional requirements for the project. This resulted in 79 User Requirements, 23 Use Cases, 11 KPIs, 233 functional requirements and 27 non-functional requirements and the system’s architecture.
The released hardware and software components are summarized below:
• A combined hardware and software approach (p-PUF lock) for access control to restricted areas, a cyberattack detection module, and visual analytics attack module.
• Novel sensors, including: the Fiber Bragg sensing platform, the next generation smart building SB112 system, a low-cost edge oriented and resource constrained image-based processing hardware platform, an airborne sensing platform, a community policing crowd sensing platform, and a portable near infrared spectrometer for sensing chemical precursors to explosives. Further, data from legacy sensors available were integrated.
• The distributed edge computing internet-of-things (DECIoT) platform, aggregated and pre-processed raw data from the sensors into events. Additional services for sensing the network status were implemented that enabled communication of first responders through a mission critical push-to-talk application even in congested networks, and also adapted the data collection and transmission rates appropriately.
• The malicious actions intelligent detection system (MAIDS), combined advanced simulation models with situational awareness through video analytics, supplied to a fusion engine that combined the events with native knowledge for differentiating usual from unusual behavior.
• The augmented context management system (ACMS), responsible for generating alerts and early warnings from the events, evaluated in real time the risk status of infrastructure and public spaces, and generated recommended actions for first responders. All events, alerts, simulations and data were presented in a Common Operational Picture, which allowed security operators to visualize all information.
Following the established plan for component integration, the project achieved its objectives of deployment and demonstration in three pilot cities. The scenarios showcasing the various deployed solutions were developed and refined with the active participation of the end users and the technical partners.
In addition to the technical actions, S4AllCities recruited and engaged its extended Project Advisory Group, developed a security management framework, and concluded a societal impact assessment.
The project disseminated its work through 3 Journal publications, 8 Conference publications, 1 book chapter, 4 whitepapers, 1 open dataset and 2 lectures. Continuous communication of project activities was achieved through our social media channels and the periodic publishing of newsletters.
S4AllCities contributed towards the protection of public spaces through the adoption of technical solutions that support security without compromising their open nature. Through the continuous engagement with stakeholders for the design and validation of tools and processes it created physical and cyber security solutions that are complete, harmonized and most importantly accepted by the citizens.
The project resulted in the creation and release of 28 technical components, including sensors, algorithms and visualization tools, aimed at enhancing the situational awareness of city security practitioners in preparedness and response to threats. Sensors and legacy systems were connected with APIs with the Digital Twins in a uniform manner for cyber security management (Access Control, Anonymization, cyber defense, data fusion, data pre-processing, data harmonization etc.).
A handbook of operational practical solutions was created and S4AllCities provided a policy recommendation toolbox for public authorities focusing on the cyber and physical security of the cities.
The project explored its impact on society as well as potential unintended consequences. Results indicate that S4AllCities can reduce risk, increase the cooperation of citizens, improve anticipation and decision making of security stakeholders and deter terrorist actions. Technology dependence, more people surveyed and prescriptions about normal/abnormal behavior are the unintended identified effects of the project. The acceptance of S4AllCities varies among cities/countries surveyed. Considering gender issues, our study suggested that women have higher threat perception, accept more the use of surveillance technologies, trust more on institutions, perceive higher effectiveness of security technology, and support more the use and implementation of S4AllCities than men. No gender differences were found for privacy concerns and the perceived intrusiveness of the S4AllCities technology.
S4AllCities architecture