WIth just a handful of Smart cities across the world, the concept is still in its infancy. But while there may not be a clear blueprint for success, some cities are already reaping positive economic rewards for their smart thInking. Wendy Atkins reports……..
Ethos has been selected to be a committee member of the BSI Smart City initiative. The UK Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills aims to support and speed-up the development and take-up of Smart City products and services and to provide assurance to citizens that risks are being managed appropriately.
Because of this it has sponsored the British Standards Institute to create a framework of guidelines, metrics, information management processes and technical standards based on good practices employed in the UK and globally.
While the focus is on the UK, the work is being conducted in partnership with European and International standards bodies, as it is recognised that standards and approaches developed for the UK need to be consistent with those developed internationally.
Ethos has launched a new business activity to help cities implement smart city solutions.
In a Smart City, companies and public bodies involved in energy, water, transportation, health and other key services collaborate in real-time to support the operation of the city, optimizing the use of resources and delivery of services for the benefit of its citizens, businesses and investors. Costs are reduced, as is energy use and carbon footprint – everyone wins!
It is challenging for disparate organisations to work together. Sacrifice of some short-term vested interest for the common good is required; success can be elusive and failure costly. An independent partner is, therefore, needed to mediate arrangements and relationships in a manner that allows stakeholders to shift their perspectives, as well as taking a longer-term view of their own interests. The complexities and interdependencies mean Smart City opportunities are not ‘winner-takes-all’ situations, rather they require collaboration and trust between multiple actors, all of whom can benefit.
Through collaboration with people, whether they be citizens, workers, entrepreneurs, industrialists or public servants, we identify key issues and desired outcomes; these may include a clean and safe environment, a sense of value, predictable journey times, innovative services and a sense of well being. Once these outcomes are defined a successful Smart City program can be implemented.