1 The role of standards
What role can standards play in the development of smart cities – for example in the development of effective strategies, the management of risk and data integration? Here you explore these questions before looking at some case studies of national and international smart city and IoT standards.
BSI is the UK’s national standards body. Its standards, designed for voluntary use, are powerful tools that can help drive innovation and increase productivity. The BSI website explains the point of standards:
A standard is an agreed way of doing something, which could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials. [Standards] are the distilled wisdom of people with expertise in their subject matter … who know the needs of the organizations they represent.
In 2014 the BSI issued a set of smart city standards and publications that had been commissioned by the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). BIS initially commissioned a standards strategy for smart cities in the UK. The result, The Role of Standards in Smart Cities, identifies how standards can accelerate the implementation of smart cities, providing assurance to citizens that the risks are being managed appropriately (BSI, 2014a). During development, BSI conducted a review of existing standards, a gap analysis and a public consultation to identify the problems that cities face in implementing smart city solutions. Four key issues emerged from the study.
- How will city authorities set their objectives for smart cities and measure progress?
- How can cities create the shared understanding to deliver the vision?
- How will information be captured and shared between infrastructure and services?
- What risks are there in moving to smart city services and how can these be managed?
A BSI Smart City Advisory Group was set up to address these challenges and to provide strategic vision for the BSI standards programme. This group is also supported by an interoperability committee that focuses on the information and technology aspects of smart cities.
Next you can see the BSI standards that are being developed.