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Private Sector Key to Smart City Success

Matt Ball on February 12, 2016 - in Corporate, Design/Engineering, Smart Cities

If Smart Cities are to work for their citizens and communities, the private sector needs to make more of its data freely available, concludes a report by BSI (British Standards Institution) and Ordnance Survey (OS).

The City Data Report, which was constructed with the help of 30 UK and international cities working in the Smart City environment, goes on to highlight the value of data sharing if Smart Cities is to be a success.

The report claims data sharing is a necessity, because communities will demand more from their city and as a result Smart City leaders and those responsible in the private sector will need to increase the volume and diversity of data sharing to address and resolve common problems.

The report acknowledges requirements for Smart Cities vary depending on demographics, industry, geography and the economy, but that there are also a core set of problems faced by cities. Given this, the report suggests that similar datasets will be required globally, albeit to different extents, but that it should be possible to group datasets to fit into pre-defined categories. Crowd sourced data will also become more prevalent as a new source of geo-located real-time data.

The report also links Building Information Modelling (BIM) to the future of smart city development and the approach to construction and the impact on the city and vice versa. The report explains that for this data to support BIM and Smart City development it needs to be openly shared, and recommends that this will most likely happen under commercial arrangements, hosted by an independent custodian.

Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI, says: “The UK leads the world in shaping business standards. To make the most of the global opportunities from smart cities, experts representing all stakeholders must play their parts in structuring this new knowledge. Through this report we are pleased to be shaping the global Smart Cities agenda; working with Ordnance Survey helps us to map out a practical way in which we meet the challenges of engineering and data management inherent in major city development projects.”

In the past six months, OS has increased its Smart City activities. It has won significant funding to develop Smart City capabilities in various British cities, and is the lead partner on the Atlas programme that will see Britain become a global leader in the development of autonomous vehicles.

Miranda Sharp, head of Smart City practice at OS, says: “OS is a data driven organisation. The quality of our data also means we both develop and comply with standards related to geo-spatial data. This background has positioned us well to work alongside BSI in supporting them in understanding the wider global demands for data that smart cities will require over the coming years.

Sharp continues: “It is our belief that for Smart Cities and BIM to work, all parties need to share data anonymously and the management of that data needs to be impartial and independent. It is the only way informed decisions to improve the lifestyle of the citizen and the economic and efficient operation of the city can be made.”

Read the final report (PDF)

About Ordnance Survey
As Britain’s mapping agency, OS makes the most up-to-date and accurate digital and paper maps of the country. Each day OS makes over 10,000 changes to its database of more than 450 million geographic features. Since 1791 OS content has been used to help governments, companies and individuals work more effectively both here and around the world. The information OS gathers helps keep the nation, economy and infrastructure moving.

About BSI
BSI (British Standards Institution) is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI is the UK National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated.

Renowned for its marks of excellence including the consumer recognized BSI Kitemark™, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including Aerospace, Automotive, Built Environment, Food, Healthcare and ICT. With over 80,000 clients in 172 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe. To find out more, please visit the BSI website.

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