Cities provide many services to its residents, from electricity and water to safety and public transportation. Data and technology can be used to enhance these services and improve the quality of life for its residents. This is the aim of smart cities.
However, because cities are comprised of many systems, it is necessary for an overarching architecture to connect the systems. The IEC and ISO have set up an advisory group within its joint technical committee on information technology to examine meta reference architectures and reference architectures for systems integration.
IEC spoke with Narang Kishor, a member of the JTC 1 Advisory Group 8 and the IEC Systems committee on Smart cities for his views on smart city standardization.
Defining a smart city
Many definitions have put forward for a smart city. For example, the IEC SyC Smart cities has defined it as a “city where improvements in quality of life, services, sustainability and resilience are accelerated by the effective integration of physical, digital and social systems and the transformative use of data and technology”.
According to Kishor, a smart city should include such core characteristics as sustainability and resilience. He further notes that standards are the “chromosomes of the smart infrastructure” in cities.
Using the IEC systems approach used in India
The IEC has taken a systems approach to developing standards for smart cities. By doing so, the IEC aims to provide a holistic approach in addressing complex situations. India has adopted a similar approach.
According to Kishor, the standardization work began with an examination of the use-cases, the key stakeholders and their requirements. Based on this work, it was then possible to define a comprehensive set of requirements and develop a reference architecture.
As Kishor notes, “we are trying to build a unified, secure and resilient ICT backbone for the smart cities”.
Activities of ISO/IEC JTC 1/AG 8
The IEC and ISO joint committee on information technology has set up an advisory group on Meta Reference Architecture and Reference Architecture for Systems Integration (ISO/IEC JTC 1/AG 8). This group aims to provide the highest level of abstraction for multiple horizontal business domains under a systems-of-systems view, including smart cities.
Kishor is a member of this group and attended a workshop organized in Montreal this summer. This group is currently in the process of developing meta reference architectures for complex domains. This will also include a generic reference architecture and a context reference architecture.