The ETSI Human Factors Technical Committee has released ETSI TR 103 455, a Technical Report that assesses the different citizen-related issues that smart city-related standardization in the ICT domain needs to address. These include fundamental aspects such as accessibility, usability, interoperability, personal data protection and security, and how services to citizens are to be designed to maximize benefits to the community. The study gives an overview of existing ETSI and other SDOs standards in that field, including ETSI community indicators. It aligns well with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.
Local communities are essentially users of standards, rather than participants in standards processes. As a result, standards can be confusing for them, and the needs of the citizen must be addressed in standards processes. In ETSI TR 103 455 ETSI’s TC Human Factors, with the support of the European Commission and EFTA Secretariat, makes a comprehensive set of recommendations for the preparation of guidance material to help cities, codes of conduct to help service to the citizen, and standards measures needed to design citizen services.
Matthias Schneider, TC Human Factors Chairman, said that the Report constitutes the first time that local community citizen and consumer requirements in the context of standardization have been addressed. It provides a helpful basis for future standardization to better involve local communities.
Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary General, added that, as the organization representing consumer interests in European standardization, ANEC was hopeful that the Report would lead to a much-improved understanding both within local authorities and in the standards organizations.
Cities are becoming more and more of a focal point for our economies and societies at large, particularly because of ongoing urbanization, and the trend towards increasingly knowledge-intensive economies, as well as their growing share of resource consumption and emissions. To meet public policy objectives under these circumstances, cities need to change and evolve, but in times of ever tighter budgets this needs to be achieved in a smart way: our cities need to become smart and sustainable cities and communities. Equal treatment for all citizens needs to be ensured, and account needs to be taken of data privacy concerns relating to their personal information. More than ever in a post-Coronavirus world, it will be important to keep these needs at the forefront of societal development.