The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set international standard for stakeholders in the tech industry in achieving their smart city ambitions.
The first World Smart City online community was also launched to assist city stakeholders in their efforts to develop Smart Sustainable Cities.
The new community aims to identify the top ‘pain points’ presenting challenges to city development.
ITU says the community launch is part of the build-up to the first World Smart City Forum, organized by ITU in partnership with International Electrotechnical Commission ( IEC) and International Organization for Standardization(ISO).
The Forum will be held in Singapore on July 13, 2016, co-located with the World Cities Summit and Singapore International Water Week.
Houlin Zhao ITU Secretary-General says “the development of Smart Sustainable Cities has become a key policy point to administrations around the world as well as to UN organizations.”
According to him, “the recognition of the potential of smart cities comes in parallel with recognition that building smartness into an existing city, or developing a smart city from the ground up, is a complex undertaking, calling for improved cooperation and more integrated decision-making by a variety of city stakeholders and global standards bodies, such as ITU, IEC and ISO.”
By year 2050, an estimated 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.
According to him, city leaders face a major challenge in the need to supply these populations with basic resources, such as safe food, clean water and sufficient energy, while ensuring overall economic, social and environmental sustainability.
He noted that major efficiency improvements could be achieved by horizontally interconnecting individual systems such as energy, water, sanitation and waste management, transportation, security, environmental monitoring or weather intelligence.
Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO says that, “cities are giant systems with countless subsystems. All of them depend on electricity and hardware to move people and things, collect data and exchange information.”
Vreeswijk, “already now, IEC work impacts all of them. More than ever before, many different organizations will need to collaborate to help make cities smarter; technology integration is a special challenge that requires partnerships and alliances. That’s what the online community and Forum is trying to achieve.”
Kevin McKinley, Acting ISO Secretary-General in his intervention sees that, “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 harmonized solutions that can be used everywhere, and allow city planners and decision-makers to benefit from global expertise”, he adds.
In his submission Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “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 harmonized implementation of IoT data and applications, contributing to the effective horizontal integration of a city’s subsystems”.
ITU collaboration with city leaders builds on the requirements of cities to develop standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.”, he adds.