Over 320 participants joined the recent IEC Academy workshop on smart cities. Organized by IEC SyC Smart cities, the workshop brought together eight speakers who shared their expertise about the new technologies that are shaping smart cities.
Michael Mulquin, Chair of SyC Smart cities, provided an overview of the current work of the IEC in the development of smart city standards. As he noted, cities depend on standards for much of their infrastructure. The IEC has identified over 1800 standards which are essential to the proper functioning of a city.
However, as Mulquin notes, “we need to understand the whole system and how the different parts fit into the system as a whole”. As part of its systems approach to smart cities, the IEC is developing a Smart City Reference Architecture, including case-studies, as well as common terminology that can ensure a common understanding of various terms.
In order to understand how countries are approaching smart city solutions, Kyoung-Sook Kim from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) provided an overview of the development of a smart city reference architecture in Japan. This approach calls for a common architecture that can be applied across systems and cities with the aim of achieving ‘society 5.0’, which is defined as a “human-centred society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social issues using a system that integrates the physical and cyber worlds”.
The government has recently published a white paper about the smart city reference architecture which will soon be available in English.
In his presentation on the use of digital twins for smart cities, Bart De Lathouwer from OGC discussed how the combination of 3D city models with the dynamic data gathered using sensors can help us better understand our cities and how we want them to develop.
This information is applicable for both indoors and outdoors, above and below ground. In Rotterdam, city planners could use 3D models with available data to better understand the implication of constructing buildings higher than the current maximum building height. However, as De Lathouwer noted, challenges exist and will “require that the standards community come together”.
Eric Simon from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided an overview of the underlying concepts supporting smart cities. He highlighted the many definitions that exist for terms such as smart cities and many of the technologies used. He discussed the importance of IoT, which is “at the core of smart cities”, distributed computing, artificial intelligence and the residents of cities and how they participate within the system.
Several speakers discussed specific technologies that can help promote interoperability and scalability. This included OASC Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), Context Information Modelling from FIWARE and TM Forum Open APIs.
In a final presentation, Alexander Samarin from IEC SyC Smart cities discussed the IEC systems approach to building smart cities which enables to successfully manage complexity.
Presentations will be made available on the IEC Academy website.