International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says it has formed a coalition with the world’s leading standards bodies for the purpose of working together towards actualising the smart cities project.
The bodies include International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), European Committee for Standardization; European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization (CEN-CENELEC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
The coalition was inspired by dialogue at the World Smart City Forum recently held in Singapore, where representatives of the bodies convened at a follow-up meeting initiated by IEC to discuss the means of accelerating and better aligning their standardization work in support of Smart Cities, ITU says.
ITU says that the shared commitment to cooperation resulting from the meeting is expected to assist the standardisation community in developing a well-coordinated contribution to the upcoming which is United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development scheduled to take place in Quitto Equador, from October 17-20, 2016.
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[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]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 and the interconnection of city systems will demand standardized interfaces, and this is where the standards bodies will have an important role to play, ITU note, adding that for city planners, utilities, service and technology providers, standards are essential enablers in achieving consistent levels of performance and quality, as well as compatibility.[/quote]While noting that sustained investment in Information Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ITU observes that with over half the world population now living in cities, ICTs, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important.
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 and the interconnection of city systems will demand standardized interfaces, and this is where the standards bodies will have an important role to play, ITU note, adding that for city planners, utilities, service and technology providers, standards are essential enablers in achieving consistent levels of performance and quality, as well as compatibility.
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 has a leading role to play as the United Nation’s 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”, Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General says.
“Cities develop and mature in a diverse range of ways, reflecting differences in history, culture, 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 the essential elements of a city’s ‘smartness’ will depend on information and communication technologies (ICTs)”, says Chaesub Lee, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.