A Tale of Four Cities: Exploring Environmental Characteristics of CCTV Equipment Placement

25 Pages Posted: 27 May 2022

See all articles by Dmitriy Serebrennikov

Dmitriy Serebrennikov

The Institute for the Rule of Law, European University at St. Petersburg

Dmitriy Skougarevskiy

European University at St. Petersburg

Date Written: May 11, 2022

Abstract

Surveillance systems in modern cities are often regarded as the great state panopticon of omnipresent cameras. Here we challenge this view by empirically analyzing the spatial context of CCTV equipment in four European capitals: Moscow, Paris, Brussels, and Edinburgh. We gather locations of CCTV equipment installed in public places by city officials and train a machine learner to predict camera locations given the urban morphology. We then discern differences and commonalities in surveillance system design across the cities. Only in Paris CCTV equipment is found to be evenly distributed throughout the city, resembling a panopticon. In Brussels and Edinburgh CCTV equipment forms an intangible wall in the city center and on the outskirts, resembling a medieval fortress. In Moscow we observe a paternalistic approach where children-related places are more likely to be covered by CCTV equipment. The paper concludes by arguing that CCTV equipment should be conceptualized not as a surveillance system, but as an element of urban security infrastructure.

Keywords: Surveillance studies, security systems, public surveillance, CCTV, cameras

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Serebrennikov, Dmitriy and Skougarevskiy, Dmitriy, A Tale of Four Cities: Exploring Environmental Characteristics of CCTV Equipment Placement (May 11, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4106472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4106472

Dmitriy Serebrennikov

The Institute for the Rule of Law, European University at St. Petersburg

6/1 A Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

Dmitriy Skougarevskiy (Contact Author)

European University at St. Petersburg ( email )

6/1A Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://eusp.org

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