Standards are important, and often not as dry as they sound at first.  Especially in a fast evolving market such as smart cities where there are a lot of people and organisations advancing a lot of developments in the name of smart.  

The Cities Standards Institute (CSI) - a collaboration between the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the Future Cities Catapult - is the organisation in the UK that is bringing order to the rapidly developing smart cities market.  Their mission is to bring together “cities, businesses, academia and innovators to identify the common challenges that cities face, find ways to overcome those issues and introduce standards and common approaches to help guide the evolution of future cities”.

UrbanTide and the smart cities standards

Pippa and Steven of UrbanTide were involved in the drafting and review of these first smart cities standards when working on Glasgow’s £24m smart cities programme:

  • BSI PAS (Publicly Available Specification)* 181: Smart city framework – Guide to establishing strategies for smart cities and communities
  • BSI PAS 182: Smart city concept model – Guide to establishing a model for data interoperability

PAS 181 distills current good practices into a set of consistent and repeatable patterns that city leaders can emulate, as they develop and deliver their own smart-city strategies.  It focuses on the enabling processes by which innovative uses of technology and data can, together with organisational changes, make future cities more efficient, effective and sustainable.

PAS 182 is aimed at breaking down barriers to putting smart-city concepts into practice. It tackles ways in which city authorities can make systems interoperable and facilitate data sharing between agencies. By setting a standard way for organising information, it aims to help businesses create the right datasets and get the most out of the data available to them.

Two new standards on the smart cities block 

UrbanTide is a founding member of CSI and has supported the development of two new standards that were launched on 20th May 2017 in an event at the Future Cities Catapult:

***drum roll please***

BSI: PAS 183

The data framework for a smart city classifies data assets as either metadata, reference data or thematic data.

BSI: PAS 183 (Smart cities – Guide to establishing a decision-making framework for sharing data and information services): showing how a city-wide, strategic-level approach to the development of a smart city programme should be applied at the level of an individual smart city project.

It’s introducing a new governance model for shared data – data we are currently not using and locking down. It deals with the regulations and problems in a thematic way and recognises the underpinning infrastructure
— Professor Jacqui Taylor, Flying Binary Ltd on BSI: PAS 183

BSI: PAS 184

There are interactions and feedback loops between all these good practice components, and the starting point for different projects may vary.

BSI: PAS 184 (Smart Cities – Guide to developing project proposals for delivering smart city solutions): the data sharing framework it sets out can help ensure that a smart city has the best overall data on which to base sound decisions. Also because data sharing will likely provide the basis for new commercial models in the smart city.

 

 

 

 

These are both exciting new developments and relate directly to current work within UrbanTide - BSI: PAS 183 in relation to USMART, our smart cities data platform product, and BSI: PAS 184 in relation to our services work - notably smart project proposals that we are currently developing with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) and Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (BDBC).

Professor Jacqui Taylor (Technical Author, BSI: PAS 183) & Chris Parker (BSI: PAS 184) are to be congratulated on their work in bringing this important smart cities reference material to the market.  

The complete range of BSI smart cities standards can be found and downloaded here.

*A Publicly Available Specification (PAS) is a sponsored fast-track standard driven by the needs of organisations and developed according to guidelines set out by BSI.  After 2 years, a PAS is reviewed and a decision is made as to whether it should be taken forward to become a formal British Standard.  A PAS standardises elements of a product, service or process.

 

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