It is predicted by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. These urban areas will need to ensure that the populations living within them are adequately provided with basic resources such as safe food, clean water, sufficient energy, whilst also ensuring overall economic, social and environmental sustainability. Cities are required to substantially increase the efficiency in which these resources operate and how they are used. The problem, however, is that many of the systems used in cities today, originate from different suppliers and are maintained by different agencies sometimes working in isolation. In order to connect them, both physically and virtually, standard interfaces need to be created.
A community has been launched as part of the lead up to the first World Smart City Forum, which is organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Standards Organisation (ISO), to be held in Singapore on the 13th July 2016.
Kevin McKinley, Acting ISO Secretary General stated, on the creation of the platform; “Smart cities make sense: they waste less, offer better quality of life and ensure a brighter future for the next generation. But cities face many challenges in their quest to improve. ISO standards help cities measure and improve their performance, for example with standards for city indicators, sustainable communities and city infrastructures. These standards provide best practices and harmonised solutions that can be used everywhere, and allow city planners and decision-makers to benefit from global expertise.” Whilst, Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said, “The information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure of a Smart City should ensure openness and interoperability, achieved by coordinated adherence to common standards. Smart cities will employ an abundance of technologies in the family of the Internet of Things (IoT) and standards will assist the harmonised implementation of IoT data and applications, contributing to effective horizontal integration of a city’s subsystems. ITU collaboration with city leaders builds on cities’ requirements to develop standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.”