Smart Region: The case of Trento

City of Trento

Municipality of TrentoWith its 120,000 inhabitants, Trento is the third-largest city located in the heart of the Alps and the capital of the Province of Trento. It is also known as one of the IEEE Smart Cities in the world.

Trento smart city logoIn continuity with this recognition, Trento is currently focused on finding a smart, privacy-preserving way to analyse the vast amount of data collected from different devices and sensors already installed and on improving their potential for the future. The data collected by sensors are crucial to support an effective and pragmatic decision-making process based on the awareness of a specific situation or context.

With more than 600 video cameras and other sensors used for the city and its departments’ surveillance, Trento is the best place for testing  MARVEL project’s framework. More specifically, the use case of Trento is based on monitoring various outdoors areas (parks, squares, underpasses and crossroads), to prevent and predict dangerous situations. The results of MARVEL project will contribute to the overall improvement of the local territory and to the citizens’ quality of life.

The use cases

The use-cases focus on monitoring some public spaces in order to identify anomalous or potentially dangerous situations. These situations include but are not limited to robberies, aggressions / fights in a crowded area, drug dealing, car accidents and so on. Once these situations are detected, the notification system will alert the operational center of the local police station via an alarm. The same system will be used for creating a custom view on a smart interface to highlight the relevant cameras. The 5 specific trial-cases are:

Trento Christmans Market

I. Crowd monitoring

The goal is to select views of those areas which are relevant for different reasons (more crowded than others, particular crowd movements). One of the possible areas could be the “Christmas Market” that counts thousands of visitors during the opening period. Due to these characteristics, the number of robberies and aggressions is likely to increase. Moreover, cases of people fainting or feeling unwell are quite common and require urgent interventions by the authorities.
Another relevant place could be the weekly market located in the city centre. Also in this crowded environment, some dangerous acts are likely to happen. The MARVEL framework will be deployed to prevent these situations by alerting the operational centre of the local police. The centre will afterwards notify policemen/policewomen that are on-site or close to the market.

Trento railway station_Alex_Flickr

III. Subway monitoring

This use case deals with the audio-visual monitoring of the long subway underneath the train station in order to detect aggressions, screams and anti-social behaviours. This area is very particular and is often avoided by pedestrians or cyclists since the passage is very long and narrow, hence subject to robberies and other unpleasant occurrences.
The MARVEL framework will be here deployed to detect possible dangerous situations at all times, but especially during those hours with less pedestrian frequency. Moreover, illegal graffiti makers are among the occurrences detected by MARVEL framework. In order to make this subway more secure, the already installed cameras and the microphone that will be installed thanks to MARVEL project will be connected to the local police centre to process audio-video streams and alert in case of suspicious actions.

Bird view of Trento

V. Analysis of a specific area​

Collection of data (number of people, cars, trajectories, events) in a specific area of the town (outside the train station of Trento, for example) will be performed to support long-term decision-making of public authorities (e.g., the subway mentioned above). The Municipality of Trento wants to monitor some strategic places of the city in order to assist the Public Administration in policy-making and defining targeted actions. The MARVEL framework fits into this scenario, implementing the estimation of people, cars, buses, taxis, bikes, calculating their trajectories and quantifying any relevant event during a specific timeframe or the entire day.

Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore in Trento

II. Detecting criminal / anti-social behaviours

The goal is to monitor some areas in order to detect criminal or anti-social behaviours. The system will trigger an alarm or provide a custom view. MARVEL framework will be deployed in order to detect possible dangerous situations like: robberies, aggressions, and drug dealing especially during night-time.
The system analyzes the visual and audio data streams of the cameras already installed in the selected area. It then warns the local police operational centre, which sends a squad to the location if needed. Moreover, the stream is saved into the local server of the local police for any further investigation. The target square could be S. Maria Maggiore.

IV. Monitoring of parking places

This use case concerns audio-visual -but mostly visual -monitoring of a parking place, including analysis of car trajectories, detection of cars out of the parking slots, car damages, car robberies, obstructions, etc. The target of this use case is the “Ex Zuffo” Parking Area which is one of the widest parking areas in Trento (around 1000 slots). It is typically used by citizens who park their cars then move around the city centre using public transportation, bike-sharing service or e-scooters.
The MARVEL framework will support the prevention of robberies or damages to the parked cars through the audio-video analysis of the existing cameras and the microphones that will be installed thanks to MARVEL project. Moreover, the car flow related to the parking area can be integrated into the pilot thanks to the electromagnetic traffic sensors installed underneath the road. The system will analyse the audio-visual data to detect potential issues that may refer to the scenarios described above.

What is your experience living in or having visited a smart city? Was any of these services already provided there? We are welcoming any ideas or input from citizens or experts in the field. Please reach out using our contact form. You can also find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Signed by: the Team of the Municipality of Trento

Key Facts

  • Project Coordinator: Dr. Sotiris Ioannidis
  • Institution: Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH)
  • E-mail: 
  • Start: 01.01.2021
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Participating Organisations: 17
  • Number of countries: 12

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under grant agreement No 957337. The website reflects only the view of the author(s) and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.