São Paulo Digitizes Public Services

The Mayor of São Paulo, João Doria Jr., recently outlined his smart city vision for his city, which includes digitizing public services provision and enhancing public security through the use of technology. He has prioritized the digitization of the city government’s services in a bid to reduce costs and bureaucratic processes.

“We aim to make São Paulo a global capital, not a province – and that includes making it a digital city,” Doria said. “The first task to make that happen is reduce bureaucracy. Public services provision will be completely digital – you will no longer see paper, stamps and all that. People will no longer have to physically be there to ask for any kind of service as they will be able to request what they need via their computer or smartphone.”

The digitization of the city government’s gazette has already generated savings of about $3 million, and a pilot project is in place that seeks to reduce the time to register a new business from 128 days to one week.

About 1500 surveillance cameras have been installed in areas of high crime levels, with plans for an eventual 10,000, in order to improve public security. The cameras are linked to Detecta, a monitoring system provided by Microsoft used by São Paulo’s military police. This technology monitors a specific area and collects data and in case of an incident, it uses the information it gathers with the one stored in the local databases and provides officers with details about those involved in a very short time.

Microsoft provided an example of how the system works: “If a suspect flees in a red car and only part of the license plate is known, the system can be configured to locate all vehicles with that partial license plate number that share the same color, and display the locations on a map. The nearest police patrol car will also be alerted about the incident.”