GCI and WCCD to launch new ISO standards for smart & resilient cities alongside ISO 37120 revision

Since its first publication through the work of the Global Cities Institute in 2014, ISO 37120 - the ISO standard for Sustainable development in communities: Indicators for city services and quality of life - has been the world’s first standard on city data, and has become the only guide for building standardized data for cities, allowing for measurement of cities’ progress, meaningful comparisons across cities, and city-to-city learning.

Patricia McCarney, Director of the Global Cities Institute and President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD), has worked with the ISO/TC-268 city indicators working group to publish a revised ISO 37120. The revised standard was developed at the ISO/TC-268 working group meetings in Berlin from May 30 - June 2, 2017, and was finalized in October 2017 at the ISO/TC-268 working group meetings in Mexico City.

Chaired by Dr. McCarney, the TC-268 city indicators working group is responsible for the creation and ongoing development of ISO 37120. The revised standard reflects feedback from cities based on the initial phase of implementation, in accordance with the core mission of the standard to be a data-driven tool built by cities, for cities.

The vital role of standardised data for guiding cities’ planning, investment and development to meet 21st century challenges will now be bolstered through the introduction of two new standards: ISO 37122 - Indicators for Smart Cities and ISO 37123 - Indicators for Resilient Cities.

Cities worldwide are supporting the construction of these two new international standards, and testing and piloting these indicators. A workshop on Indicators for Sustainable, Smart and Resilient Cities took place March 13, 2018 in Surrey, Canada, where Canadian and U.S. cities gathered to provide feedback on these early drafts. The Surrey meeting also focused on ISO 37120 and how this comparative data can guide economic investment - for example, by aggregating it along the Cascadia Corridor from Vancouver and Surrey, to Seattle and Portland, and further south along the Pacific Coast cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Guadalajara.

The early development of these new indicators has also taken place at the ISO/TC-268 working group meetings in Berlin and Mexico City, and will continue in the upcoming working group meeting in Zhuhai, China in May 2018. Consultation with cities to develop ISO 37122 and ISO 37123 is ongoing, in order to ensure cities are driving these standards in line with their priorities for measurement.

Building on the work of ISO 37120, both standards. ISO 37122 and ISO 37123) will include new indicators to build cities’ capacities for cultivating Smart City principles and technologies and for resilience in the face of shocks, hazards and stresses.

A New ISO Standard for Smart Cities: ISO 37122

Leveraging data and emerging technologies to improve city services and infrastructure is a vital component to the Smart City vision embodied in IS0 37122, yet the standard also recognizes that Smart City principles go beyond this. The key elements of a smart city, as envisioned by the TC-268 city indicators working group, are manifest in the city’s continual improvement in its ability to provide sustainable and inclusive social, economic and environmental outcomes, and include themes such as smart connected infrastructure, smart environment, smart economy, smart government, smart living and smart mobility.

A New ISO Standard for Resilient Cities: ISO 37123

As cities face unprecedented growth and challenges in the 21st century, their ability to respond to shocks, hazards and stresses while maintaining essential services and safeguarding their population.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is contributing to the development of the ISO standard for resilient cities as part of its Making Cities Resilient Campaign, which now has more than 2500 participating cities, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the first major agreement of the post-2015 UN development agenda focused on helping cities manage disaster risk.

ISO 37123 embodies the concept of a resilient city as one that is able to adapt to, recover quickly from, and transform itself through shocks, hazards and stresses, whether environmental, economic or related to other 21st century challenges.

Together, ISO 37120, ISO 37122, and ISO 37123 provide a “family of standards” to guide cities across the world in their development as sustainable, smart, resilient cities. Through these standards, the Global Cities Institute and the WCCD are leading data-driven planning and development for cities across the world.