Emerging Trends | ICT4SDG | SDG11 | Smart Cities
August 26, 2016

Communiqué: World’s leading standards bodies join forces on Smart Cities

Inspired by dialogue at the World Smart City Forum in Singapore, 13 July 2016, representatives of IEC, ISO, ITU, IEEE, CEN-CENELEC and ETSI convened at a follow-up meeting initiated by IEC to discuss means of accelerating and better aligning their standardization work in support of Smart Cities.

The shared commitment to cooperation resulting from the meeting is expected to assist the standardization community in developing a well-coordinated contribution to the upcoming Habitat III.

Sustained investment in information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With over half the world population now living in cities, ICTs, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important.

Interconnected systems will need standardized interfaces

In today’s cities much of the infrastructure is installed by a diverse set of suppliers and maintained by different agencies that sometimes work in isolation. The interconnection of city systems will demand standardized interfaces, and this is where standards bodies such as IEC, ISO, ITU, IEEE, CEN-CENELEC, ETSI and others will have an important role to play. For city planners, utilities and service and technology providers, standards are essential enablers in achieving consistent levels of performance and quality, as well as compatibility between technologies.

Representatives of the standards bodies will meet regularly to ensure that their cooperation upholds principles of mutual respect, transparency, openness and sharing of new findings. Over the coming months the organizations will work together to develop a viable framework for cooperation. A follow-up meeting organized by ISO is planned for 2017.

ITU’s key role

“ITU has a leading role to play as the United Nations specialized agency for ICTs,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “The Key Performance Indicators that we have developed for Smart Sustainable Cities as well as our various international standards for the Internet of Things will provide valuable tools to drive the New Urban Agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Cities develop and mature in a diverse range of ways, reflecting differences in history, culture, geographic and economic environments”, according to Chaesub Lee, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “It is a great challenge to identify the common characteristics of Smart Cities in a global sense. However it is clear that essential elements of a city’s ‘smartness’ will depend on information and communication technologies (ICTs).”

IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk agrees. He said, as a global, not-for-profit organization, the IEC saw the opportunity for greater Smart City cooperation and provided the basis for such a meeting. We are excited about the prospect of more efficient, inclusive standards development for cities. Cities are complex, multi-dimensional systems of systems. No single standards organization will be able to provide everything cities need. Here, as elsewhere, broad collaboration is required. In this context, sometimes one organization will lead an effort and at other times it will share its expertise while another one leads.”

About the World Smart City Forum

The World Smart City Forum was held on Wednesday, 13 July 2016 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, co-located with the World Cities Summit and Singapore International Water Week.

It was organized by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), in partnership with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union).

These three organizations publish International Standards that provide technical tools to enable the integration of city services and technologies.

Around 300 city planners, city leaders, architects, utilities, transport planners, safety/security/data specialists, standardization specialists and industry representatives joined the event. The Forum was supported by many important city organizations and international, regional and national standards organizations.

World experts addressed key pain points that hinder Smart City development during World Smart City Forum and live-stream in Singapore on 13 July 2016. Programme, presentations, the summary report, as well as videos of all sessions are available here.

NOTE FROM ITU: ITU-T Study Group 20 is working to address the standardization requirements of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart cities and communities (SC&C). An important aspect of SG20’s work is the development of standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.

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ITU is the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technology. Any opinions expressed and statistics presented by third parties do not necessarily reflect the views of ITU.

Communiqué: World’s leading standards bodies join forces on Smart Cities

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