Smart cities are more than just a buzzword. With expanding urban areas expected to host up to 70 % of the total world population by 2050, they are a necessity. “Standards make cities smarter” is the theme of World Standards Day 2017, celebrated on 14 October by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), three leading developers of International Standards.
Sufficient fresh water, universal access to cleaner energy, the ability to travel efficiently, a sense of safety and security… these are the kinds of promises modern cities must fulfil to stay competitive and provide a decent quality of life to their citizens.
Building a smart city is not an easy task. Every urban centre faces its own challenges and requires its own mix of solutions. International Standards contain expert knowledge and best practice that cities can use to develop tailor-made solutions adapted to their specific needs.
International Standards are essential to ensure quality and performance. Without them, different technologies could not work together. They facilitate choice by making it easier to compare different products and services. This encourages competition and fosters innovation. When working with systems, standards enable the integration of structures and solutions from different suppliers.
Without International Standards, cities will struggle to run safe and smooth services. Standards provide the foundation for electricity access and all the many devices and systems that use electricity and contain electronics. They also support the information and communication technologies that enable data collection, exchange and analysis, and information security. What’s more, they offer important guidance on all aspects of city life, including energy-efficient buildings, intelligent transportation, improved waste management, sustainable communities and much more.
“International Standards will support smooth and integrated smart city development,” say the IEC, ISO and ITU leaders in their World Standards Day message. “With standards, we can make our cities smarter, step by step.”
World Standards Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards.
What are smart cities?
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- The WSC is a high-level collaboration between the IEC, ISO and ITU.
- Find out why 14 October is special