SDG11 | Smart Cities
April 26, 2018

United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative agrees 2018-2019 action plan

By Paolo Gemma, Huawei, Vice-Chairman of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative

Key Performance Indicators help us to judge the degree to which a strategy is successful in meeting its objectives. Indicators are fundamental to self-assessment, enabling us to fine-tune our strategies to ensure that they follow their intended course.

No two cities are the same. Cities face different urban-development challenges, with the result that the priorities of smart city strategies often differ significantly. The benefits of self-assessment are clear, and here we see the motivations behind smart city innovators’ call for Key Performance Indicators.

ITU and UNECE, together with 14 other United Nations bodies, have responded to this call with the delivery of a set of Key Performance Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities.

Dubai and Singapore led the way in implementing the indicators and over 50 cities have since followed suit, joining a global project to implement these indicators and report their experience.

RELATED: Dubai reports results from implementing ITU’s Key Performance Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities

This project is led by ITU and UNECE as part of the work of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative (U4SSC). This initiative is supported by 16 United Nations bodies. Its primary aim is to advocate for public policy to ensure that ICTs – and ICT standards in particular – play a definitive role in the transition to smart sustainable cities.

U4SSC is co-chaired by Gloria Placer Marurí, Ministry for the Digital Agenda of Spain, and Nasser Al Marzouqi, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates. I am proud to serve as Vice-Chair of U4SSC alongside Victoria Sukenik, Ministry of Modernization of Argentina.

We met today in Malaga, Spain, for the third meeting of U4SSC, a meeting we considered a critical juncture in the work of U4SSC.

Our meeting took stock of our achievements to date and discussed proposals to update the U4SSC Terms of Reference in view of the expected evolution of our work. We rallied around an action plan for 2018 and 2019, ensuring that we are well positioned to deliver on our updated Terms of Reference.

The collaboration initiated by U4SSC has led over 50 cities to join our project implementing the U4SSC Key Performance Indicators. This is testament to the value of cross-sector collaboration and we are very pleased with this achievement.

We have now taken on an exciting new challenge in discussing the potential development of a ‘Global Smart Sustainable City Index’ derived from these Key Performance Indicators. This project is led by ITU and Smart Dubai.

Our discussions of a potential ‘Global Smart Sustainable City Index’ will be taken from a wide variety of perspectives, considering many different city contexts and many different dimensions of smart sustainability.

This is exactly the right starting point.

Our more than two years of experience implementing the U4SSC Key Performance Indicators has given us the required knowledge base, and resulting confidence, to launch our discussions of an Index at this U4SSC meeting.

RELATED: New ITU case study shares insight into Singapore’s ‘Smart Nation’ strategy

Our KPI project includes cities such as Dubai and Singapore, Switzerland’s Pully, Colombia’s Manizales, Italy’s Rimini and Tunisia’s Kairouan and Bizerte. Participating cities represent the full spectrum of levels of infrastructure development.

U4SSC has built relationships with a diverse selection of cities, all with different priorities atop their smart city agenda, and we are supported by a diverse set of expertise drawn from the different mandates and specializations of the 16 United Nations bodies backing U4SSC.

Learn more about the work of U4SSC

Today’s U4SSC meeting presented certificates to Singapore, Bizerte and Pully for their successful implementation of U4SSC indicators to assess progress towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

U4SSC is highly targeted towards learning from experience. It encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing, helping us to build smart cities safe in the knowledge that we are building these cities with internationally agreed technical tools such as those developed by ITU-T Study Group 20 (IoT and smart cities).

U4SSC has provided expert guidance on the transition to more efficient, sustainable urban environments – in the form of four reports:

The U4SSC collection methodology complements three sets of Key Performance Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities. Two sets of indicators provide a framework to measure and report progress relevant to the ICT aspects of a smart city, in terms of the use of ICTs (ITU standard Y.4901/L.1601) and the impact of ICTs on sustainability (ITU standard Y.4902/L.1602). The third assists cities’ efforts to measure their progress towards the achievement of the SDGs (ITU standard Y.4903/L.1603).

Learn more about the work of ITU-T Study Group 20

Public-private collaboration will be critical to the transition to smart cities.

ITU-T Study Group 20 (IoT and smart cities) is a valuable meeting of experts in technology and policy. ICT standards experts are learning how their work could best assist city leaders in achieving their smart city ambitions, and city leaders are learning where ICT standards will help them to innovate efficiently and at scale.

ITU-T Study Group 20 will meet in Cairo, Egypt, 6-16 May 2018.

  • Executive Summaries of past meetings of ITU-T Study Group 20 can be found here…
  • All approved ITU standards under the responsibility of ITU-T Study Group 20 can be found here…
  • Recently approved ITU standards (2017-2020 study period) developed by ITU-T Study Group 20 can be found here…
  • Draft ITU standards under development within ITU-T Study Group 20 can be found here…

An IoT solution showcase will run 6-8 May in parallel with the upcoming meeting of ITU-T Study Group 20, complementing three events held in conjunction with the meeting:

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United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative agrees 2018-2019 action plan

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