Standards are an agreed way of doing something. Many people recognise they are important, but they are often overlooked and misunderstood. For example, did you know that a typical laptop is built based on more than 300 different standards?
Now think about all of the different things and processes that make up an entire city. From basic things such as standards that allow you to turn the lights on in your home and ensuring you have fresh drinking water, to communication protocols that enable real-time public transport information. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 standards relevant for cities, yet currently the potential benefits standards can have on the economy, productivity and society as a whole are not being fully realised.
Whilst no two places are the same, they all face common challenges and opportunities. In an increasingly urbanising world, it’s essential for cities to work together, learn from each other, and use common standards that enable scalable city solutions.
This isn’t easy. Industry, academia, and cities themselves are all working in isolation to develop products and services for the cities of today and tomorrow. There are also many standards organisations that work in isolation of each other often creating competing standards out of touch with the real problems that need to be solved and publishing in ways that are difficult to access and understand.
As a result, our research has found, users of standards must navigate a fragmented standards marketplace with little confidence in what’s available.