Smart cities data standards released

UK standards body BSI has published a guide to help standardise data and systems to help local government guide the creation of “smart cities”.

BSI says that its new guide to data interoperability, PAS182, will make it easier for the public and private sector share information to promote economic growth.

The company was commissioned to produce the document by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is aimed at city leaders – particularly policy developers within local government.

A statement from BSI said: “Data can transform the capability of a city, enabling the development of systems and services, and supporting informed decisions.

“However, decision-makers and citizens are unlikely to have the necessary expertise to decipher this data, which is often labelled using language and terms from the originating sector, but forms a barrier with other sectors.

“PAS182 addresses this lack of interoperability by defining an overarching model of concepts and relationships that can be used to describe data from any sector.”

As an example, BSI said that data held by the fire service on occurrence of fires could be combined with demographic data and information on the occupier status of properties to enable the distribution of fire detection equipment in the areas of greatest risk.

The document was developed in collaboration with organisations including central government, Glasgow City Council, London Borough of Redbridge, Peterborough City Council, the Local Government Association and Socitm, the representative body for public sector ICT professionals.

BIS said that the document could lead to reduce costs due to the removal of the need to recollect and verify data.

It could also lead to the formation of shared objectives, collaboratively developed and supported by common information.

Paul Davidson, director of standards at Local e-Government Standards Body said: “The smart city concept model helps multi-agency projects to organise data, and make connections from shared policy objectives through to joined up systems. It is relevant wherever many organisations provide many services to many communities.” 

BSI simultaneously released another document (PD8101) which identifies ways that the planning process can help support the creation of smart cities through good urban design.

Scott Steedman director of standards at BSI said: “Smart cities need standards. The UK leads the world in shaping business standards.

“If we are to make the most of the global opportunities from smart cities, we need to work fast to structure the knowledge that can help city leaders, communities, innovators and technology providers recognise what good looks like and how these concepts can bring benefits for all.”

Colin Marrs

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