Safety infrastructure that offers immediate and accurate fact-based data will be a corrective to sensationalism, which is what local tourism and business economies require to bounce back from the devastating effects of the pandemic
Global headlines are crowded with news of both America’s infrastructure debate and America’s rising crime rate. These seemingly disparate stories are more connected than you might think. The through-line to the headlines is our national need for a new “Infrastructure of Safety.”
By widening our vision of infrastructure to include real-time, hyper-local safety data – including crime inputs, but also insights related to health information and other critical signals about the safety of our streets – America and the world will become a more open and welcoming place.
After all, what good is the gift to go about our lives that the vaccine has given us if we view our physical safety as still vulnerable? So it’s time our conversation about physical infrastructure was on a global level while including a focus on a new American “Infrastructure of Safety.” Without such innovation, we will fail to address major local and national issues that are as central to a functioning democracy as are operative roads and bridges.
Imagine a trusted, highly-scaled information source that includes population metrics, plus data related to communities with specific, but solvable problems. For instance, the safety of LGBTQ and BIPOC communities are at continual pressures of racism and neglect; they will welcome a better, day-to-day safety dimension.
This is achievable, today. Safety modernization requires no Muskian technological leap; the core technologies exist, and the need is consistent with demands from tourism industry leaders, who are urging the adoption of new frameworks that combine travel with a commitment to well-being, and safety.
A new Infrastructure of Safety can be broad enough to address more than physical safety, but also health issues related to transmissible diseases, air quality, water purity, proximity to hospitals, adequate lighting, other everyday life considerations.
What’s more, it is augmented by user participation, giving residents of neighborhoods around the country – and around the world – the ability to contribute to the collective well-being of their own communities.
The economic multiplier effect of an investment in safety infrastructure would be profound, and also felt on personal, local, national levels.
In many cases, safety risks are exaggerated by the media. We’ve all heard the adage “If it bleeds it leads.” Safety infrastructure that offers immediate and accurate fact-based data will be a corrective to sensationalism, which is what local tourism and business economies require to bounce back from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
As society is recognizing the importance of “soft” infrastructure, defined as “institutions that maintain the economic health, social, environmental, and cultural standards of a country” it is imperative that safety be included in that construct.
The pandemic has overwhelmingly heightened awareness of local health conditions and it is a core part of safety infrastructure – but the implications go much further.
Safety is the hidden web that touches every inch of the worldwide economy: real estate, finance, consumer, hospitality, transportation. There’s a reason that the only more important requirement on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is food and water.
Communities built around this new infrastructure will give parents confidence in sending their kids to school; the street life of cities will flourish; economic vitality for restaurants and hotels will be energized; transitional neighborhoods will thrive; travel and cultural exchanges will blossom.
If infrastructure’s goals are upgrading environments, improving lives, boosting growth and competitiveness, the role of physical, and cultural safety in this process is indisputable. In fact, the absence of it compromises our emotional welfare. A new infrastructure of safety can put them both on the top of our bi-partisan agenda, where they belong.
CEO GeoSure, impact entrepreneur, social innovator, Founder of data science startup GeoSure, the leader in hyper-local safety experiences.
CEO Hanft Ideas, futurist, nationally-known expert in marketing strategy, as well as a prolific cultural critic and journalist. GeoSure advisor, investor.