Today, 55 percent of the world\u2019s population lives in urban areas, and that number is expected to grow to 68 percent by 2050, according to estimates from the United Nations. Projections show that continued urbanization \u2014 or the gradual shift from rural to urban areas \u2014 combined with the overall growth of the world\u2019s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050.\nAt the heart of this growth are megacities \u2014 or cities with more than 10 million inhabitants. By 2030, our world will be home to as many as 43 megacities, up from just 10 in 1990. This explosive urban population growth is just one of the reasons why cities must put innovative strategies and technologies to work to adapt to the new pressures and rising expectations that come with population growth.\nThere is good news on this front. From health, transportation, housing, safety, security, education and environment to culture and tourism, today\u2019s public safety and city leaders have an historic opportunity to harness digital technologies to improve public safety and quality of life for urban residents. This is a key takeaway message from a new eBook from Dell Technologies and Intel, \u201cSmarter, Safer Cities: Improving Public Safety in the age of AI and IoT.\u201d As the title suggests, this eBook focuses on ways in which city managers and public safety leaders can put innovative technologies to work to make our cities smarter and safer, and our lives better.\nThe eBook notes that the Information Age is changing city life in ways that rival the changes that came 150 years ago with the Age of Industrialization. In this new era, an emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists and companies are joining forces to create Smart Cities \u2014 communities that are building the infrastructure necessary to continuously improve the collection, aggregation and use of data to improve the lives of their residents.\nMultiple trends are coming together to empower Smart Cities. These include the growing data revolution, the proliferation of low-cost sensors and other Edge and IoT devices, and advances in information and communication technologies, artificial intelligence, computer vision and related technologies. Together, these forces for change are enabling cities to modernize infrastructure and lay the groundwork for smarter, safer cities.\nLet\u2019s consider a few examples called out in the eBook.\n\nIn the event of an emergency in a Smart City, video cameras and sensors provide detailed information to public safety officials so that they can assess the situation more effectively and respond faster.\nAn intelligent system triggers emergency response actions, including deploying first responders, medical teams, and firefighters to the precise location of the emergency.\nAmbulances move freely through the city, connected to a network integrated with traffic signals and communicating with hospital staff while they are on the go.\n\nAs those examples show, Smart Cities bring together solutions that improve emergency preparedness and provide first responders and law enforcement with greater situational awareness, while enhancing the quality of life for urban residents.\nUltimately, making our cities smarter means equipping them with the tools and technologies to address the problems that residents care most about. People want to feel safe and secure as they live, work, play, socialize and raise their families. And they want the opportunities that come with smarter, safer cities \u2014 cities that attract businesses, foster innovation and create the stability necessary for sustained growth.\nThat\u2019s the big vision. What we now need is a shared commitment to move forward with the strategies and digital solutions that create smarter, safer cities.\nTo learn more\nFor the full story, see the eBook, \u201cSmarter, Safer Cities: Improving Public Safety in the age of AI and IoT.\u201d For a graphically oriented look at the case for Edge and IoT solutions in digital cities, take a look at the Dell Technologies \u201cDefining the Digital Future of our Cities\u201d infographic and for additional information, visit: DellTechnologies.com\/IoT.\nKirsten Billhardt is the Director of Edge and IoT at Dell Technologies.\n United Nations news release, \u201c68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN,\u201d May 16, 2018.\n United Nations. \u201cWorld Urbanization Prospects 2018.\u201d May 16, 2018.