BSI helps put SMART Cities on the map

The British Standards Institution called in to help shape the future of Britain’s SMART cities

Britain’s cities should set the pace in exploiting Smart City thinking for the future, according to Dr Scott Steedman of the British Standards Institution (BSI). The organization is carrying out the study for the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to formulate a standardisation strategy for Smart Cities that will help realize the UK’s vision for the cities of the future.

BSI is assessing how best practice codes and standards for Smart technologies could bring substantial benefits to services such as healthcare, transport, utilities and waste management by integrating data from sensors across the urban environment. As cities face increasing pressure on the resources that drive their economies, Smart solutions have the potential to revolutionize the efficiency and sustainability of urban communities.

The concept of the Smart City as the next stage in the process of urbanization is high on the political agenda both in the UK and throughout the EU. Smart Cities are underpinned by an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and its integration with the services that a city delivers. Weather information could be combined with traffic sensors to anticipate congestion and keep traffic moving. Leaks in water networks would be detected automatically; pumping stations would adapt flexibly to patterns of use using smart meters, reducing energy consumption and costs to the consumer.

BSI’s consultation on Smart City standards coincides with the re-election of Boris Johnson whose ultimate vision for London City Hall is to build a Smart City driven by digital communication on a platform of ecological sustainability that will lead the world in innovation and mobility.

BSI’s study to articulate the strategy standards reinforces the company’s unique ability to work with governments and organizations to help them innovate, drive performance and manage risk. BSI equips the world’s most forward thinking institutions with the standards of best practice to help fulfil their potential. Realizing the vision for Smart Cities will require a similar framework to help deliver best practice infrastructure and technology solutions for the modern world.

Dr Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI, explains: “Agreeing how knowledge and standards can set the principles by which a Smart City works and the technologies that will drive it forward are an essential first step.

“For Smart Cities to work, the city’s infrastructure and service delivery channels need to support the objectives of city planners across environmental performance, healthcare and promoting sustainable growth.

“Smart Cities are not just about better buildings and infrastructure, they are about sensing what’s about to happen across the urban environment and helping people or systems take appropriate action.

“Smart Cities will be exciting places to live: productive, successful and stimulating for everyone who comes into contact with them, using technology to exchange information, analyse problems and offer better solutions.

“It might be traffic congestion, crime, mobility or even the weather that stops a city reaching its full potential, but whatever it is, Smart solutions will help bring together people, technologies and information for a better outcome.”

As BSI helps shape the strategy it is seeking the input and expertise from governments and local authorities procuring Smart City technology; researchers, regulators and consumer groups representing those using Smart City developments; as well as manufacturers and service providers supplying Smart City solutions.

The strategy, which will identify the needs and concerns of stakeholders and explore where standards might facilitate the wider uptake of the Smart Cities concept, looks at what cities are trying to achieve, what needs to be in place to help cities provide Smart services and how user concerns about issues like privacy and reliability can be managed.

BSI is conducting workshops on 29 and 31 May for those with the experience and expertise that might shape the future of Smart Cities. For more information visit:

Article from BSI