A Review of Technical Standards for Smart Cities
2. Smart City Definitions and Domains
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations : “A smart city in ASEAN harnesses technological and digital solutions as well as innovative non-technological means to address urban challenges, continuously improving people’s lives and creating new opportunities. A smart city is also equivalent to a “smart sustainable city”, promoting economic and social development alongside environmental protection through effective mechanisms to meet the current and future challenges of its people, while leaving no one behind. As a city’s nature remains an important foundation of its economic development and competitive advantage, smart city development should also be designed in accordance with its natural characteristics and potentials”.
- British Standard Institution : A smart city is an “effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens”.
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK : “A Smart City should enable every citizen to engage with all the services on offer, public as well as private, in a way best suited to his or her needs. It brings together hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and (digital) technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all”.
- European Commission : “A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. A smart city goes beyond the use of ICT for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population”.
- Innovation and Technology Bureau, Hong Kong : “Embrace innovation and technology to build a world-famed Smart Hong Kong characterised by a strong economy and high quality of living”.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Smart Cities Community : A smart city gathers government, technology, and society to achieve a minimum of the following factors: smart mobility, a smart economy, a smart environment, smart cities, smart governance, smart people, and smart living.
- International Electrotechnical Commission : “A smart city is one where the individual city systems are managed in a more integrated and coherent way, through the use of new technologies and specifically through the increasing availability of data and the way that this can provide solid evidence for good decision making”.
- Japan Smart Community Alliance : The expression “Smart Community” is more widespread than “Smart City” in Japan . “A smart community is a community where various next-generation technologies and advanced social systems are effectively integrated and utilized, including the efficient use of energy, utilization of heat and unused energy sources, improvement of local transportation systems and transformation of the everyday lives of citizens”.
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India : “The conceptualisation of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents. A smart city would have a different connotation in India than, say, Europe. Even in India, there is no one way of defining a smart city”.
- Enhancement of living standards by making informed decisions with advanced technologies to collect, process, and evaluate data.
- Systems are integrated to exchange information.
- Citizens are better informed about their surroundings.
- Sustainability and environmental conservation should be maximized.
- Smart city domains or elements e.g., transport, energy, and health (explained in the following section) can be different due to regional interests.
- Energy and environment: Sustainable growth is created by technology and cities make better use of resources from electronic sensors that monitor leakages, as well as gamification and behavioral economics to support citizens to conduct considerate decisions on resource utilization . Renewable energy including solar and wind will be important sources of energy generation [30,31,32]. Data analytics will be used to enhance energy and power system operation ;
- Economy: The economy will be affected by digitization and disruptive technologies, which will change the needs of several types of jobs. Smart cities need to create strategies to adopt future jobs that will power Industry 4.0 and beyond ;
- Safety and security: As criminals will make use of technology to commit advanced crimes, public safety and security authorities will also use technology for crime prevention by assessing multiple streams of social and crowdsourced information, including super-resolution images  and image fusion ;
- Health and living: The lives of citizens are enhanced with technology and connectivity. Connected communities are achieved with smart buildings. Enhanced social programs and innovated health care sector are data-driven ;
- Mobility: The integrated mobility systems include autonomous vehicles and shared mobility services achieved with the Internet of Things (IoTs). The concept of IoTs occurs when devices are communicating with other devices on behalf of people and will dominate the future of Internet communications . Advanced analytics allow citizens and goods to travel in ways that are safer, cheaper, cleaner, and faster ;
- Education and government: Technological advancement will aid government procedures and give a seamless experience to businesses. Smart cities use analytics to assist authorities to create insight-driven policies, monitor performance and outcomes, allow constituent engagement, and enhance government efficiency. Data and analytics will also assist next-generation teachers to familiarize their counselling and teaching for greater student achievement. More creative and personalized education plans can be created such as virtual learning environments .
- Smart economy: Consists of features surrounding economic competitiveness including entrepreneurship, innovation, flexibility, the productivity of the labour market, trademarks, and participation in the global market.
- Smart people: Concerns not only the level of qualification or education received by citizens but also additional social interactions and perceptions of public life.
- Smart governance: Concerns political involvement, citizen services, and administration functions.
- Smart mobility: Includes local and global accessibility with the presence of ICTs and sustainable and relevant transport systems.
- Smart environment: Concerns attractive natural conditions including green space, less extreme climate, reduced pollution, resource management, and working to achieve environmental protections.
- Smart living: Includes many features of quality of life composed of health, housing, culture, tourism, and safety.
3. International Standards for Smart City
- ISO is a non-governmental and independent global organization with 164 national standards bodies as members. The standards body for each country (e.g., Bureau de Normalisation (NBN) in Belgium and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) in Ghana) works directly with ISO and aims to minimize diversity in technical definitions. ISO standards are applied in various fields including quality management, environmental management, IT security, energy management, health and safety, and food safety .
- IEC is the world’s forefront organization for the groundwork and publication of international standards for electronic, electrical, and relevant technologies, i.e., “electrotechnology” . IEC described technical and international standards as reflecting “agreements on the technical description of the characteristics to be fulfilled by the product, system, service or object in question. They are widely adopted at the regional or national level and are applied by manufacturers, trade organizations, purchasers, consumers, testing laboratories, governments, regulators and other interested parties”. Standards help researchers, industry, regulators, and consumers globally to achieve an optimal experience and meet mutual needs for various countries. Standards establish one of the vital bases for the elimination of technical obstacles to trade.
- ITU is the United Nations bespoke agency for ICTs and enables global connectivity of communications networks . ITU manages international satellite orbits and radio spectrum, creates the international standards that allow technologies and networks to be continuously interconnected, and aims to enhance ICT access for global communities.
4. Smart City Pilot Projects
- There is a lack of discussions on the use of international standards in implementing smart cities. It is important to acknowledge the currently available standards in development when structuring and developing a smart city.
- With standards and technologies are swiftly evolving, many cities need to avoid getting locked into one vendor’s integrated solutions, which makes it more difficult for the city to share data with citizens, developers, and other cities.
- International standards should be developed to address some of the most pressing challenges in a smart city, including potential solutions to a pandemic such as COVID-19 . In combating COVID-19, ISO has made some standards freely available to the public, including ISO 13688:2013 (Protective clothing—General requirements) and ISO 19223:2019 (Lung ventilators and related equipment—Vocabulary and semantics) . Simultaneously, IEC also decided to make some standards and most relevant normative references for critical care ventilators free of charge to industries who are creating products or converting their existing assembly lines to ventilator production . In the current pandemic, many organizations and governments are sharing or publishing data. For example, government health agencies are publishing data concerning regional cases and deaths; symptom trackers are distributing data with researchers and making data public; technology companies are obtaining mobility data which can help us to understand the impact of the coronavirus on our lives. Standards need to support data interoperability, the ability of services and systems that create, exchange, and use data to have clear, shared expectations for the contents, context, and meaning of that data [115,116].
Conflicts of Interest
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|2016||1889–2018 (Evaluating and Testing the Electrical Performance of Energy Saving Devices) |
|2016||P1922.1 (A Method for Calculating Anticipated Emissions caused by Virtual Machine Migration and Placement) |
|2019||P2814 (Techno-economic Metrics Standard for Hybrid Energy and Storage Systems) |
|2020||P2852 (Intelligent Assessment of Safety Risk for Overhead Transmission Lines Under Multiple Operating Conditions) |
|2014||1708–2014 (Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices) |
|2017||P3333.2.5 (Bio-CAD File Format for Medical Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing) |
|2017||P1752 (Mobile Health Data) |
|2019||1847–2019 (Common Framework of Location Services for Healthcare) |
|2020||P2621.1 (Wireless Diabetes Device Security Assurance: Product Security Evaluation Program) |
|2013||P1884 (Stray Current/Corrosion Mitigation for DC Rail Transit Systems) |
|2013||P1883 (Electrical and Electro-Mechanical Bench Test Equipment (BTE) for Transit Rail Projects) |
|2014||P2406 (Design and Construction of Non-Load Break Disconnect Switches for Direct Current Applications on Transit Systems) |
|2016||P2020 (Automotive System Image Quality) |
|2017||P2685 (Energy Storage for Stationary Engine-Starting Systems) |
|2018||P7919.1 (eReaders to Support Learning Applications) |
|2019||P2834 (Secure and Trusted Learning Systems) |
|2019||1876 (Networked Smart Learning Objects for Online Laboratories) |
|2020||1589–2020 (Augmented Reality Learning Experience Model) |
|2017||P7005 (Transparent Employer Data Governance) |
|2017||P7004 (Child and Student Data Governance) |
|2020||P2145 (Framework and Definitions for Blockchain Governance) |
|2020||P2863 (Organizational Governance of Artificial Intelligence) |
|Kenya||Konza will be a smart city with a connected urban ICT network that provides urban services connections and efficient management of those services on a great scale . The city will connect the following four key services: infrastructure services including transportation, utilities, public safety and environment; citizen services including access and participation; city services including city information, planning, and development; business services including support services for local commerce. There is no information regarding the standards adopted in the Konza project.|
|South Africa||Slavova and Okwechime  examined the broader transformative processes taking place in Africa and developed a vision of the future African cities. The authors showed the alignment of critical aspects of the smart city concept with the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Several factors could impact on the transformative process including: (1) balancing the power dimension of smart city projects in Africa; (2) the dichotomy dividing rural regions from urban spaces needs to be reduced; (3) the rapid adoption of technologies to implement a smart city. The relevant standards were not discussed by the authors. The Stellenbosch Smart Mobility Lab helps with developing Stellenbosch to be the first transportation leaning “Smart City” in South Africa . The lab assists with the planning and implementation of mobility applications of the Smart City model. The applications include parking for enhanced vehicle distribution, real-time traffic and transport operations control systems, bicycle-sharing schemes, information services for commuters, and traffic planning platforms. Transport engineers employ big data gained from probe vehicles and human movement patterns as input into several of the aforementioned applications. There is no information regarding the standards adopted in the Smart City model.|
|China||Alibaba’s cloud project, City Brain, uses data collected from video feeds at traffic lights to relieve traffic congestion and gridlock in Hangzhou, China. The traffic management is 92% precise in recognizing traffic violations, aids emergency vehicles to reach their destinations 50% faster than before, and has permitted traffic speeds to grow by 15% . City government leaders and planners can also utilize City Brain to overcome other pressing issues such alleviating a reduced water supply. Alibaba cloud had adopted numerous international standards to meet security compliance, including ISO 27001 and ISO 20000 .|
|Dubai||The Smart Dubai initiative improves the living standards of Dubai citizens . There are more than 130 initiatives with the joint effort from government and private sector entities. Examples of initiatives include the Dubai Data Initiative, the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, the Happiness Agenda, the Dubai AI Roadmap, and the Dubai Paperless Strategy. Khan et al.  identified the best practices linked to Dubai’s smart city and smart tourism. The city had a large amount of data that were unorganized, unstructured, and had very poor relationships. The Dubai Data initiative reinforces the Smart Dubai strategy and its applicable major components that enable the efficient exchange of data and information and modernizes the continuous connectivity for the private and public sectors. The innovative data-sharing initiative will be managed by international standards and best practices for safe, seamless, and fair exchanges of data . However, there is no detail regarding the standards that will be adopted.|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong’s smart city domains include smart mobility, smart living, smart environment, smart people, smart government, and smart economy . The Next Generation GovCloud and Big Data Analytics Platform will modernize the current government cloud infrastructures and implement a new application architecture. Bureaux and departments can accelerate the development and delivery of digital government services, comprising big data analytics and artificial intelligence applications . There is no information regarding the standards adopted in the Next Generation GovCloud and Big Data Analytics Platform. Ma and Lam  explored the interrelationships between several obstacles to open data adoption and suggested practical recommendations to improve open data development for smart cities. The study concluded that the lack of open data policy should be confronted as a matter of urgency in Hong Kong. An open mindset and IT literacy in the government organizations continue to be developed.|
|Japan|| Japan Smart Community Alliance is the leading authority to promote smart communities in Japan . As in Feb. 2019, there are 259 members within the Japan Smart Community Alliance consisting of businesses from the manufacturing, electricity, gas, heat supply and water, information, and communications sectors. The alliance has also developed four working groups as follows :|
|Barcelona||Bakici et al.  examined the city of Barcelona and analyzed its Smart City initiative, including its urban policy implications. This article analyzes Barcelona’s transformation in the areas of Smart City management, drivers, bottlenecks, conditions, and assets. The authors described the Barcelona Smart City model and examined the key factors of the Smart City strategy while considering living labs, Open Data, e-Services, smart districts, initiatives, and infrastructures. The Barcelona Smart City model consists of four domains including smart governance, smart economy, smart living, and smart people. The [email protected] Barcelona region is a central point for innovation and economic development, as small-medium enterprises use the region as a test-bed to trial novel technologies. There is no information regarding the standards adopted in the [email protected] Barcelona region.|
|Romania|| Pop and Proștean  studied the implementation approaches for different smart cities in Romania. The considered cities include Craiova, Napoca, Sibiu, and Timisoara. All Romanian smart cities offer mobile applications to citizens to notify them in real-time of the timing for each individual public transport station. In Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, and Timisoara, traffic management centers are used to monitor traffic lights. In addition, parking systems are available to offer citizens to pay for parking with short message service and identify the number of accessible parking places in real-time. International standards were not discussed on how the services were managed and achieved.|
The Romanian Association for Smart City  is the leading authority of the Smart City Industry in Romania, which consists of professionals and experts from various industries. The association is also supported by over 200 national and international partners. The association aims to create creative-intelligent communities in Romania and achieve this by developing activities related to the Smart City ecosystem. The association has introduced 8 ISO international standards in legislation, however, there are no details regarding them.
Alba Iulia is located in the west-central part of Romania. The pilot project Alba Iulia Smart City has many distinctive features. The project promotes collaborative partnerships across governmental organizations, research institutions, local administration, companies, universities, citizens, and associations. The partnerships are not driven by commercial interests. The solutions are developed and examined by partner companies, with the local administration providing the required support and infrastructure. It is worth mentioning that there is no technical standard discussed for the Alba Iulia Smart City project .
|Sweden||Stockholm aims to achieve environmental goals and efficient cooperation between various stakeholders, including the private and public sectors . Kista Science City is an important venue for ICT research and development. The prominent ICT businesses including IBM and Ericsson settled in Kista during the 1970s and more than 1000 other ICT companies have joined. The city hosts one of the world’s leading ICT clusters and largest urban business districts. Robèrt  examined a local travel planning network in Kista Science City where the travel demand is probable to surpass the capacity of the transport system in the future. There is no information regarding the standards adopted in Kista Science City.|
|United Kingdom|| Caird and Hallett  described that the British Standards Institution (BSI) collaborating with ISO has established a substantial body of work on smart city standards and urban performance metrics. BSI is the leading organization in developing smart city standards and urban performance metrics in the UK. Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 180 details industry-concurred understanding of smart city definitions and terms in the UK, to help developing a robust foundation for imminent standardization and good practices . PAS 180 also helps enhancing smart cities understanding by setting a common language for designers, developers, clients, and manufacturers. The standard will support industry to work more effectively and efficiently and reduce the probabilities of confusion in the supply chain. PAS 180 defines terms for smart cities encompassing smart city concepts for various infrastructure and systems’ components. It covers processes, materials, applications, and methodologies.|
PAS 181 is a smart city framework for city leaders to create, concur and provide smart city strategies that can assist transform their city’s capability to encounter its impending challenges and deliver its potential aspirations . The smart city framework is based on current good practices and is a set of dependable and repeatable tasks that city leaders can use to support create and execute their smart city plans. The framework does not expect to describe a one-size-fits-all model for the UK cities. PAS 181 emphases on the enabling processes for the pioneering usage of data and technology, composed with organizational modification, can assist deliver the varied visions for potential UK cities in increased efficient, sustainable, and effective habits.
Manchester CityVerve  uses IoTs technologies to transform the city. The program focuses on four aspects of transformation including “culture and public realm”, “energy and environment”, “health and social care”, and “travel and transport”. Milton Keynes is a fast-growing city in the UK. MK:Smart  is a large collaborative initiative to develop innovative solutions to support economic growth in Milton Keynes. The state-of-the-art ‘MK Data Hub’ plays a critical role in the project which facilitates the acquisition and management of big data of city systems from numerous data sources. The data concerns with energy and water consumption, transport data, data from satellite technology, economic and social datasets, and crowdsourced data from social media or specialised apps. Caird and Hallett  examined both projects and concluded that the city authorities were unfamiliar with the smart city indicator frameworks .
|Brazil||Macke et al.  described that the city of Curitiba, Southern Brazil to be a green, inclusive and livable city. It is the top ten smartest cities globally speaking. Curitiba has several well-known sustainability programs. Effective leadership and devotion to intelligent transportation planning aided Curitiba to turn into a sustainable city and a standard for effective urban planning. The city’s achievements are considered in six factors namely integrated urban planning, pedestrian priority zones, environmental awareness, waste management system, effective public transport system, and social justice. Smart living can be attained by delivering the four factors namely, community integration socio-structural relations, material well-being, and environmental well-being. International standards are not discussed in the work. Afonso et al.  studied Brazilian capital indicators and developed a maturity model called Brazilian Smart City Maturity Model to allow transform public databases into useful indicators to assist city managers in planning. The authors mentioned that the ISO 37120 standard provides 100 different performance indicators for cities. The standard consists of 17 themes, 46 core indicators, and 54 indicators that can help define public policies based on different domains. The model is an ongoing work.|
|Canada|| The Smart Cities Challenge is a national competition open to all municipalities, local or regional governments and indigenous communities . The Challenge promotes communities to adopt a smart cities approach to enhance the living standards of citizens through data, innovation, and connected technology. The Challenge aims to address four areas including (1) to realize outcomes for residents; (2) empower communities to innovate; (3) forge new partnerships and networks; (4) spread the benefit to all Canadians.|
Edmonton is experiencing a resident-led digital transformation supported by the city’s council. The city developed the Business Technology Strategy, the first-of-its-kind in Canada to guide data usages, different technologies, and business solutions to enhance citizen’s life . The Edmonton’s Smart City Strategy is an innovation ecosystem of academia, government, residents and industry that abides by ISO 37106:2018. This standard is guidance for leaders in smart cities and communities across the private, public and voluntary sectors concerning how to create a collaborative, open, digitally enabled, and citizen-centric operating model for their city that drives a sustainable future. The standard focuses on creating cities that (1) makes present and future citizen needs as the driver behind investment decision-making, planning and delivery of entire city spaces and systems; (2) combine physical and digital planning; (3) determine, foresee and react to emerging challenges in an agile, sustainable, and systematic manner; (4) develop changes in the capacity for joined-up delivery and innovation within organizational boundaries for the city .
Saskatoon aims “to be the city that breaks the cycle of Indigenous youth incarceration by creating a new cycle focused on building purpose, belonging, security and identity” . The ConnectYXE initiative is based on three pillars (1) to empower indigenous youth and their families by giving real-time information and choices for how to use services across the city; (2) to work with partners by developing a data repository for all relevant programs and services accessible; (3) to exploit innovative technology by connecting systems, distributing data and using artificial intelligence. The collective data will give a city-wide image of what is accessible and the needs of those supports at all times. This enables service providers and decision-makers to frequently study and recognise gaps, changes, and better approaches to respond to the needs. Presently, technical standards were not discussed in the proposal for ConnectYXE.
|United States of America||New York aims to become an equitable and smart city to improve government services and citizens living standards . The transformation contains multiple programs including “New York City Connected Communities”, where the government develops computer centers in the places with highly concentrated poverty rates. Over 100 centers have been developed, which have improved the level of digital literacy and enhanced the quality of life by developing employment opportunities. The digital centers are in parks, computer resource centers, New York City Housing Authority Centers, recreation centers, libraries, and senior citizen centers. Another initiative is “LinkNYC” developed in 2014. The purpose was to develop a free ultra-high speed WiFi network to connect the whole city with free high-speed internet service. The city has installed over 7500 communication junctions with free WiFi network, domestic phone calls, and cell phone charging facility. Kansas City, Missouri is one of the smartest cities due to its successful technology utilization . Along the two-mile track of the Kansas City Streetcar, a 15 million USD public-private partnership has facilitated the placement of 328 Wi-Fi access points, 178 smart streetlights that can monitor traffic patterns and available parking spaces, 25 video kiosks, pavement sensors, and video cameras. They are all connected by the city’s fiber-optic data network. It was determined that the three smart city projects including New York City Connected Communities, LinkNYC, and the Kansas City Streetcar have not discussed technical standards.|
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Lai, C.S.; Jia, Y.; Dong, Z.; Wang, D.; Tao, Y.; Lai, Q.H.; Wong, R.T.K.; Zobaa, A.F.; Wu, R.; Lai, L.L. A Review of Technical Standards for Smart Cities. Clean Technol. 2020, 2, 290-310. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2030019
Lai CS, Jia Y, Dong Z, Wang D, Tao Y, Lai QH, Wong RTK, Zobaa AF, Wu R, Lai LL. A Review of Technical Standards for Smart Cities. Clean Technologies. 2020; 2(3):290-310. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2030019Chicago/Turabian Style
Lai, Chun Sing, Youwei Jia, Zhekang Dong, Dongxiao Wang, Yingshan Tao, Qi Hong Lai, Richard T. K. Wong, Ahmed F. Zobaa, Ruiheng Wu, and Loi Lei Lai. 2020. "A Review of Technical Standards for Smart Cities" Clean Technologies 2, no. 3: 290-310. https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2030019