January 18, 2016
The first World Smart City online community was launched today to assist city stakeholders in their efforts to develop Smart Sustainable Cities. The new community aims to identify the top ‘pain points’ presenting challenges to city development.
The community launch is part of the build-up to the first World Smart City Forum, organized by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in partnership with ISO and ITU.
“The development of smart sustainable cities has become a key policy point to administrations around the world as well as to UN organizations,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “The recognition of the potential of smart cities comes in parallel with recognition that building smartness into an existing city, or developing a smart city from the ground up, is a complex undertaking, calling for improved cooperation and more integrated decision-making by a variety of city stakeholders and global standards bodies, such as ITU, IEC and ISO.”
By year 2050, an estimated 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. According to the ITU, city leaders face a major challenge in the need to supply these populations with basic resources, such as safe food, clean water and sufficient energy, while ensuring overall economic, social and environmental sustainability.
It added that major efficiency improvements could be achieved by horizontally interconnecting individual systems such as energy, water, sanitation and waste management, transportation, security, environmental monitoring or weather intelligence.
“Cities are giant systems with countless subsystems,” said Frans Vreeswijk, IEC general secretary and CEO. “All of them depend on electricity and hardware to move people and things, collect data and exchange information.”