This report will provide an excellent overview of the key drivers and trends in the Safe City market, market sizing and forecasts for technologies driving revenue and a regional analysis of recent safe city projects.

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Executive summary

Executive summary –The market for safe city technology in 2019

  • The global safe city market was worth US$21.6 billion in 2019. It is forecast to reach US$35.8 billion in 2024. The market is made up of a range of technologies; each contributes to the underlying dynamics that influence growth.

  • Asia Pacificwas the biggest regional market, making up approximately 45%of the global market with US$9.9 billion in revenues in 2019. This is unsurprising as the safe city concept has experienced great success in the region. Drivers of this market include urban population growth, strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and an often top-down governance structure which has led to successful projects in China, India, Pakistan, Singapore, and other countries.

  • Video surveillance equipment and hardware (US$6.7 billion) made up 31% of the market. Strong surveillance infrastructure is critical to the success of a safe city, as the surveillance inputs drive the analytics and operational procedures. Much of the infrastructure, especially in the western hemisphere, is aging. As a result, upgrades to the equipment will continue to support market growth.

  • Closely following video surveillance revenues were information and communications technologies (US$6.3 billion), mainly datacenter network and server equipment. Stable growth in this segment from 2019 to 2024 is a result of the need to upgrade the backbone on which safe city technology runs.

  • The fastest-growing markets are forecast to be LTE broadband, used in critical communications, at a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2024 and Enterprise and Internet Protocol (IP) storage at a 22% CAGR over the same period. The professional communications sector’s transition to networks, which allows higher bandwidth applications including video, text, and image transfer, attributes to the fast growth in the market for LTE. The market is relatively nascent with many projects ramping up over the next 1–3 years, which will also contribute to rapid growth.

Safe city technology revenues -World

The market for safe city technology in 2019

Executive summary: Safe city technology market growth by region

Executive summary: Safe city technology revenues by region

Executive summary: Safe city technology category breakout

Chapter 1 – Introduction, scope, and research method


  • This is the fifth edition of the IHS Markit report examining the safe city market. The report provides insight into the safe city concept and its opportunities for technology vendors, systems integrators, and consultancies. The report examines safe city architecture, requirements, and successful regional cases.
  • The study also provides detailed quantitative analysis surrounding the major technologies encompassed in the safe city space. The data presented includes traditional security and surveillance equipment (for example, cameras and associated hardware), and other technologies, including analytics, storage, and control room technologies, used for dispatching personnel resources to an incident.
  • Additional quantitative analysis provides perspective on the suitability of various countries’ readiness to adopt a safe city initiative. 

Safe city concept

  • For the first time in history, there are more people living in cities than in rural areas. According to the World Bank, over 50% of the world population lives in cities, and this trend is expected to continue. This migration to urban areas will improve living standards and financial prosperity, but increasing urbanization comes at a cost. More concentrated populations put greater pressure on infrastructure, resources, and the security systems of the respective cities around the world. Many cities are beginning to face similar challenges, and leaders are being pushed to invest in solutions to combat these challenges using a method that is efficient, scalable, and sustainable.
  • For this reason, the smart city concept was developed. IHS Markit defines a smart city project as one that uses an integrated information and communications technology (ICT) system to improve efficiency, manage complexity, and enhance citizen quality of life through sustainable city operation improvements. The smart city concept covers six major areas: safe city; mobility and transport; energy and sustainability; social infrastructure, structures, and physical infrastructure; and smart economy. IHS Markit also provides a dedicated intelligence service to the safe city market. This study focuses specifically on the safe city concept, which includes the safety and security of citizens, property, and assets. It is often viewed from a security, safety, or operations perspective because each has distinct associated technologies.
  • Cities implementing a safe city usually start with a wider smart city model, which encompasses several technological pillars. Smart city focuses on connecting devices to enhance the lives of a city’s citizens. Although a smart city does not always imply a safe city, the safe city concept must use smart city concepts, including data gathering, analysis, and cross-agency collaboration.
  • IHS Markit defines a safe city as a security concept that integrates critical security information from a range of sources onto a consolidated information technology (IT) platform. This platform can combine information collected from video surveillance cameras, sensors, biometric applications, access control systems, and other technologies. It may also be integrated with situation management software, such as physical security information management (PSIM) or security information management (SIM), to aggregate data from different sources and centralize decision making.
  • The safe city concept often promotes interoperability between law enforcement, emergency services, and other agencies because the aim is to streamline operations and provide situational awareness to all stakeholders involved in the management of a city’s security. Safe city takes a multiagency approach to emergency response. Whereas traditional law enforcement has often been siloed with several separate agencies responding to emergency incidents individually and using disparate emergency response technologies and recordkeeping systems, a safe city approach unifies emergency response, increases situational awareness, and allows law enforcement to respond to incidents much more quickly and efficiently.

Smart cities

  • It is often thought that the greatest emphasis of safe city is on technological implementation and investment, but research discussions indicate operations and emergency response system design are more critical. Today, investment in technology is not enough to improve a city’s criminality issues or to give a sense of safety.
  • Safe city involves technologies that tackle crime and seeks to improve the model for emergency assistance. The concept is used to increase visibility of the police force in a city, improve communication between various security and emergency services, help to prevent criminal activity, and improve the safety for residents of the city. This may reduce collateral damage and impact on personnel and technological resources, which ultimately helps a city to save time and costs.
  • To be a safe or smart city, a city requires fiber or Ethernet networks for video surveillance technologies. These network technologies interconnect the disparate security and surveillance systems in a city or town. The city size does not alter its ability to be safe or smart, but different city sizes require differing technological investment levels, stakeholder buy-in, and degrees of planning. Safe city solutions are often layered on top of a basic or legacy infrastructure, such as a surveillance system running on a cable or fiber network. The starting point is usually the traffic management system because it has the camera infrastructure in place to support traffic flow. Planning the use of legacy infrastructure and the need for new infrastructure are key considerations.
  • The definition and requirements for a safe city vary regionally. Politics and regulations play a role; for example, large cities like London, Paris, and Abu Dhabi have different laws on surveillance use, which must be considered before beginning a safe city project. More considerations are discussed in Chapter 5.
  • The study explains some major considerations for end users who are beginning a safe city project, including how the value chain works and the distinct differences in opportunities and architecture in the different regions

Key goals of a safe city initiative

  • Reduce crime and terrorism, address threats such as natural disasters, manage traffic, and alleviate urban congestion
  • Increase collaboration between stakeholders, including law enforcement, government, traffic, utilities, and private sector, by using a multiagency approach to city management
  • Circulate information including surveillance feeds, traffic information, and crime records data across stakeholder agencies, while ensuring only relevant data is shared with the corresponding agency
  • Improve predictive emergency response and threat mitigation, audit trails and reporting, and enhance the capabilities of technology already installed
  • Leverage transformative technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity, big data, and cloud storage to improve system resilience and capacity. Use mining techniques,
    crowdsourced data collection, data visualization, and trend analysis to maximize the function of existing assets to improve operations further.
  • Deploy existing emergency services personnel in a more effective manner, and prepare them better for the incident site
  • Improve partnerships between agencies, private sector, and citizens

Technology scope

  • The following section explains the technology market coverage of the safe city report and defines the components included in the analysis. The scope of this report is not exhaustive of technology that can be used for a safe city, but analysts sought to include the most relevant technologies based on current research coverage and discussions with supplier firms.
    • The scope of this report includes the following technologies:
    • Video surveillance
      • Hardware
      • Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS)
    • Enterprise and IP storage for video surveillance
      • SAN, NAS, and DAS storage
    • Video analytics
      • Software
    • Command and control room technologies
      • Computer-aided dispatch software
      • Call-taking software/911
      • Closed-circuit television (CCTV) Integration
      • Geographic information systems
      • Other
      • Recording software
      • Records management software
      • Voice dispatch
    • PSIM software
    • LTE broadband
      • Infrastructure
      • LTE devices
      • Managed services
      • System integration
    • Information and communications technology (ICT)
      • Datacenter network equipment
      • Datacenter server equipment

Chapter 2 – Market statistics and analysis

Introduction – Safe city market analysis

  • IHS Markit estimates the global safe city market was worth US$21.6 billion in 2019. It is forecast to reach US$35.8 billion in 2024. The market is made up of a range of technologies; each of which contribute to the underlying dynamics influencing growth.
  • Macro factors, including economic growth and rapid urbanization, are fueling the need for integrated safe city systems, which use data inputs from a range of sources and take a multiagency approach to reduce crime and manage city security. Economic growth (specifically GDP in this case) is a major driver of the safe city concept because of the high amount of capital required to begin a safe city project and the substantial funding required for maintenance and system upgrades.
  • With increasing urban population, greater levels of surveillance are required to manage a city and keep citizens safe. For this reason, as urban population increases, governments begin to invest more in their city surveillance systems.
  • Several micro trends, often specific to the safe city technologies themselves, also impact the market. Many, including analytics, cloud, higher-resolution cameras, and broadband networks, facilitate the speed at which a safe city project can become productive by enhancing the quality of intelligence for law enforcement and making the technological capabilities more cost effective.
  • Overall, IHS Markit expects the public safety sector to head toward the safe city concept. It makes sense from a cost standpoint and for its ability to improve emergency response speed and effectiveness, ultimately helping to save more lives.
  • Note: Safe city revenues included in the report are an aggregate of various vertical markets, including public safety, city surveillance, government, and transportation. (These verticals were split further in some cases at the discretion of the analyst.) Systems integration markup has been included on top of these revenues because the technologies are supplied to the city via a systems integrator (SI)

Technology trends enabling the safe city concept

Technology trends enabling the safe city concept

Safe city technology market revenue breakout

Safe city technology market revenue breakout

Safe city market analysis – Technology breakout

Safe city technology revenues - World

  • Video surveillance is by far the largest technology segment in the safe city market, owing to the heavy reliance of the security industry on video and regional requirements. Much of the technology within safe city functions complementarily or adjacently with video.
  • Growth among the categories varies over the forecast period (2019–24)
  • LTE broadband is forecast to grow at a 15% CAGR.
  • Enterprise and IP storage is forecast to grow at a 22% CAGR.
  • Video analytics is forecast to grow at a 29% CAGR.
  • Video surveillance is forecast to grow at a 12% CAGR.
  • PSIM software is forecast to grow at a 9% CAGR.
  • ICT is forecast to grow at a 4% CAGR.
  • Command and control room technology is forecast to grow at a 4% CAGR.

Chapter 3 – Safe city projects

Safe city project history

Safe city projects by region

Smart cities projects

  • As of November 2019, IHS Markit estimates approximately 182 safe city projects are completed or under way globally.
  • China (39), the United States (32), India (8), United Arab Emirates (7), and Brazil (6) had the largest number of publicly announced safety and security projects.
  • Latin America has a high rate of full safe city rollouts compared with other regions. In Asia Pacific, partial safe city rollouts are more common because of the size of the cities in the region.

Safe city projects

  •  Asia Pacific
  • The safe city concept is prevalent in Asia Pacific. Many cities in India are adopting the concept, with strong focus on its 100 Smart Cities Program. In China, several large cities have invested significantly in surveillance networks. The market in China may not present the best opportunity to multinational firms because of the presence of its local firms. Price sensitivity and the absence of local relationships are barriers for multinationals to the Chinese market. To get around this, some suppliers have begun partnering with Chinese firms. One notable example is the partnership between Hexagon, a CAD and GIS vendor, and Huawei, a telecommunications and technology giant.
  • There is an opportunity in India, as described consistently in the research interviews. There has been a surge of interest in safe and smart cities because of the Mumbai bombings in 2008 and incidents that followed. Most cities are in a start-up phase of safe city project. Large cities are the focus in the near term; ‘phase one’ of the program includes Jaipur, Lucknow, Aurangabad, and Hyderabad. Delhi and Bangalore have also implemented safe city projects. Other larger cities are expected to announce the beginning of safe city projects. Small towns will do so in the long term.
  • Australasia will develop the concept over the next few years. Many Australian law enforcement agencies have indicated interest in smart dispatching systems.
  • Korea and Singapore are increasingly interested in smart cities, especially after Singapore’s “test bed” project.
  • Europe
    • Germany and France will present opportunities because of recent terrorism related events. London and the rest of the United Kingdom continue to extend the existing surveillance systems. London already has a vast surveillance network, which gives the country an excellent base for a wider safe city initiative.
    • Many countries in Europe have “smart city” initiatives under way, which make them a good fit for a more integrated approach to security.
  • Middle East and Africa
    • The Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates, has installed wide-scale projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Jeddah and Saudi Arabia also have notable initiatives. The top-down approach drives these initiatives, thus the Middle East presents a strong opportunity. In Africa, there are projects in Kenya, Madagascar, and South Africa.
    • The challenge in the Middle East is that it is essential to have a local relationship, which is often a barrier for many Western firms. 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil has several completed projects, especially before the Olympics and World Cup. The country has built one of the most advanced control room systems. Rio de Janeiro’s profile in the later of this chapter provides more details.
    • Currently, the investment in security systems has been scaled back because of the political and economic climate and the cooling of the petroleum sector. However, because of historical issues with crime and security, IHS Markit predicts investment to increase near the end of the forecast period (2024) and beyond, as systems, such as Rio’s, need maintenance and upgrades.
    • There is also a major opportunity in Mexico and, like Brazil, has an extensive surveillance network and control room system in one of its major cities, Mexico City.
  • North America
    • In the United States, many cities have smart cities’ roads. Most of the larger and more established cities like Washington D.C., New York City, and Chicago have extensive surveillance networks and analytical add-on applications.
    • Boston, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. are ahead of the curve compared with larger cities, such as New York City, with legacy infrastructure challenge to tie their systems together.
    • There are mixed opinions on the North America’s safe city market. On one hand, some technology suppliers do not believe there is an opportunity in North America because many cities have installed extensive surveillance networks and control rooms. Other suppliers, including storage vendors, analytics firms and consultants, see an opportunity in North America because of the need to optimize and integrate the existing systems.
    • North America is a mature market regard to implemented technologies, so it presents a better opportunity to storage vendors, analytics providers, and consultants who can continue to build the existing infrastructure.