I have over the last few weeks been having a number of discussions around the creation and standards for a smarter city. Culminating last week with a very interesting first review of PAS 181 - a Smart City Framework. This is activity being undertaken and led by BSI.
In a smarter city it is impossible to predict what technology will be able to do in the future. Therefore, establishing a set of principles will ensure that a certain amount of predictability and stability can be expected. This is important, especially when it comes to raising investment for smarter city projects.
A standard however is slightly different. It is a mark in the sand, (a starting point perhaps in a smarter cities context). Standards need to be kept, maintained and invested in. Standards sound like hard work...
However, I know that an outcome from the discussions to date is the need to recognise that a certain set of ingredients ensures a smarter city will have a greater chance of success, and thus worthy of being seen to operate to a standard.
One of these ingredients will be Governance. Not the most exciting topic I realise. But GOVERNANCE is probably more important than the decisions actually made. As at least a well governed smart city framework will at least have owners and a community that cares - i.e. you can change course!
The governance discussions I am now having at a project level are very similar to those I had during the early SOA deployments in the early 00's.
The key here though is that in a smart c ity, multiple engineering disciplines need to talk to each other seamlessly. So the dictionary in PAS 180 (A standard perhaps!?) will be critical to keeping all us engineers on the same page.
All in all, the coming standards from BSI PAS 180, 181 & 182 - are going to help make the smarter cities world a little more staid and boring, which is just what a young upstart sometimes needs.