The ‘Cities set Standards to be Smarter and more Sustainable’ conference was hosted by the European Standardisation Organisations on the 19th of October in conjunction with the 2017 World Standards Day theme ‘Standards make cities smarter’.
Cities are not always fully aware of what standards can offer, as they may not be familiar with the value that voluntary standards bring and how to become involved in the standardisation system. It is essential for standardisers to strengthen communication and work closer together with cities. This conference was an important step, as it brought cities and standardisers together to discuss priorities and needs of cities to become more sustainable, through smartness.
ECOS Policy Officer Thomas Willson participated in the panel discussion ‘Benchmarking and stakeholders’ needs for replication and scaling up’, where he underlined the importance of integrating sustainability as a key concept in smart city standardisation and ensuring balanced representation and effective participation of all relevant stakeholders. Effective participation is vital as standards are built on the breadth and depth of the stakeholders that participate. The need to reach a shared understanding of relevant concepts should be a priority, combined with efforts to address barriers to participation.
The conclusions of the debates will feed into the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI sector forum on ‘Smart and sustainable cities and communities’, which acts as the advisory and coordinating body for European standardisation activities in this field.