In the wake of the World Smart City Forum, which was held on 13 July 2016 in Singapore, representatives of IEC, ISO, ITU, IEEE, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI gathered for a meeting initiated by the IEC. This meeting was a global first and part of an ongoing dialog among standards organizations. The aim was to accelerate and better align Smart City standardization work, which is essential for successful Smart City deployment. Between 60% and 70% of humanity is expected to be living in urban environments by 2050.
Cities need to make better use of resources and become more efficient: Policies, regulation, citizen involvement and standards are all key components needed to build a viable Smart City. While all are important, in a path towards smarter cities, standardization will play a key role in ensuring consistent outcomes. Standards are relevant in the physical world, where they allow for the interconnection of hardware and technologies, but also in the virtual space where they facilitate data collection/sharing as well as city operation.
In today’s cities much of the infrastructure is installed by a diverse set of suppliers and maintained by different agencies who sometimes work in isolation. To connect them both physically and virtually, standardized interfaces need to be put in place, and this is where standards organizations such as the IEC, ISO, ITU, IEEE, CEN, CENELEC, ETSI and others will have an important role to play.
For city planners, utilities, service and technology providers, standards are essential enablers, facilitating an expected performance and quality level, consistent reproducible outcomes as well as compatibility between technologies.
This was the first time these different standards bodies from around the world met to examine how to work together for the greater good of cities and citizens.
Participants expressed their commitment to uphold principles of mutual respect, transparency, openness and sharing of new work information. Discussions looked at gaps; where standards are needed but work is not yet advanced; overlaps, where different organizations may be active; and, how the standards world can collaborate to better serve the needs of cities and citizens.
Over the coming months the organizations will work together to develop a viable framework for cooperation in order to optimize outcomes and reduce duplication, wasted time and expense. A follow-up meeting organized by ISO is planned for 2017.
Says Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO: “As a global, not-for-profit organization, the IEC saw the opportunity for greater Smart City cooperation and provided the impulse 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.”
Says Kevin McKinley, Acting ISO Secretary-General: “At this first meeting we successfully shared initiatives and discussed opportunities for greater collaboration. We now have a good foundation on which we can build, and at ISO we look forward to future cooperation with our partner organizations. This will mean ISO members engaging even more with cities, planners and other stakeholders, to serve their needs and increase awareness of the value International Standards can bring to the development of Smart Cities."
Says Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “Cities develop and mature in a diverse range of ways, reflecting differences in history, culture and geographic and economic environments. 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). Here ITU has a leading role to play as the United Nations specialized agency for ICTs. 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.”
Says Bruce Kraemer, President IEEE Standards Association: “IEEE-SA has always acknowledged the importance of openness in standardization development as it relates to Smart Cities. IEEE-SA is committed to continue working collaboratively within an ecosystem that encourages mutually beneficial relationships among an array of standards setting organizations and regulatory agencies. This meeting of the world’s key standards organizations focused on Smart Cities and marks a significant step in building a framework for global cooperation that leads to more efficient technological development and implementation for Smart Cities. IEEE-SA is actively fostering Smart City developments and looks forward to supporting these efforts.”
Says Bernhard Thies, CENELEC President: “As European Standardization Organization responsible for developing and defining standards at European level, CENELEC has a role to play in supporting the sustainable and smart evolution of urban living, keeping pace with the changes brought by digitalization of technologies, and promoting the harmonization of the EU single market. Standards can be relevant tools in helping cities, industries, service providers and citizens meet EU energy and climate goals, and smart energy is just one of the ‘building blocks’ for the development of Smart Cities.
“Because of the complexity of Smart Cities, a collaborative effort is needed for greater simplicity and to clearly map all relevant standards, to identify and address standardization gaps. In order to create a ‘Smart City architecture model’ for enhancing integration, we can take inspiration from existing work on smart grids and industry 4.0. This year CENELEC and IEC celebrated 25 years of technical cooperation, and we welcome the opportunity to strengthen our collaboration, and support a common and consistent approach in order to undertake innovative urban transformation. Together with other standardization organizations, as well as international fora and consortia, we have the opportunity to formulate our future!”
Says Friedrich Smaxwil, CEN President: “Standardization in Europe forms a critical part of the evolution European cities need to make over the coming years, in order to meet the 20/20/20 energy and climate goals. Population growth, economic stress on resources, rapid urbanization are increasing strains on energy, transportation, water, buildings, and public spaces. Solutions for cities need to be found – solutions which are both ‘smart’, namely highly efficient and ‘sustainable’ while specifically generating economic prosperity and social wellbeing of the citizens.
“Cities are expected to deliver more and newer services as well as to increase competitively. CEN standards are available and represent relevant tools to achieve this. The CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities Coordination Group (AFNOR Secretariat) has been working towards this objective since 2013. Further cooperation would be needed to adopt a ‘system/cross sectoral approach for standardization’ on this topic and improved collaboration with relevant stakeholders is key. CEN welcomes better collaboration among SDOs as fundamental aspect to identify gaps, avoid duplication of work, and ensure European contributions to global solutions for Smart Cities.”
Says Luis Jorge Romero Saro, Director General of ETSI: “At ETSI we have a long-standing experience of working on international projects with other standard bodies. As a founding member of the well-known 3GPP and oneM2M partnership projects, ETSI and its partners are working in standard technology building blocks for Smart Cities. ETSI is also part of NIST’s International Working Group on IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework. We are happy to be part of this new initiative to help enhance the collaboration among parties so that all expertise and knowledge are shared and enable the development of standards to the design of smarter, more secure and more sustainable cities in the future.”