Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.
Sufficient fresh water; universal access to cleaner energy; the ability to travel efficiently from one point to another; a sense of safety and security: these are the kinds of promises modern cities must fulfil if they are to stay competitive and provide a decent quality of life to their citizens.
Building a Smart City is highly complex. Every city faces its own challenges and requires its own mix of solutions. However, there is one common denominator that greatly simplifies this task.
International Standards support the development of tailor-made solutions that can be adapted to the particular circumstances of a given city. They contain expert knowledge and best practices, and are essential enablers in ensuring quality and performance of products and services. In addition, they drive compatibility between technologies and help users to compare and choose the best solution available.
Standards also open the door to a larger choice of products and services. They help increase competition and foster innovation. In a systems approach they enable the integration of structures or solutions from different suppliers.
International Standards make things work safely and smoothly together at every level in cities. They provide the foundation for electricity access and all the many devices and systems that use electricity and contain electronics. They support the information and communication technologies that enable data collection, exchange and analysis, and information security. Last but not least they provide important guidance for all aspects of city life, including energy-efficient buildings, intelligent transportation, improved waste management, building sustainable communities and much, much more.
With Standards, we can make our cities smarter, step by step. Individual islands of smartness can grow together and interconnect.
It is comforting to know that International Standards will support smooth and integrated Smart City development.