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Case Study - City Standards Institute

The City Standards Institute is a network of local authorities and businesses. It is run by the Future Cities Catapult in partnership with the British Standards Intitution. It aims to develop standards and common approaches that appropriately respond to the needs of cities.

One city does not a market make. The role of standards is to provide common reference points for city authorities and businesses in order to reduce the need to create bespoke solutions for the problems of a specific customer. This enables businesses to develop and sell products to multiple cities and lowers the barriers to entry for new market entrants who traditionally find it difficult to sell innovative new products to local government.

Standards development

Future Cities Catapult works on standardisation activities across different parts of the sector, from the portability of planning data, to best practice for managing cyber security in cities. Our staff convene round-tables of experts in the sector to understand the need for future standards, contribute to steering groups discussions in the design of new standards and support the communication and dissemination of new standards once they are published.

Standards publication

In 2017, two standards were published as part of our collaboration with the BSI:

  • ‘PAS 183’: this standard provided a guide to establishing a decision-making framework for sharing data and information services
  • ‘PAS 184’: this standard provided a guide to developing project proposals for delivering smart-city solutions

The PAS standards are guides aimed at council leaders and officers and businesses wishing to work with councils. They enable city leaders to make better decision by providing a consistent benchmark against which they can compare themselves.

Trevor Gibson, Smart City Leadership and Development Manager at Opportunity Peterborough said: “What standards do is enable cities to take advantage of best practice elsewhere, look at frameworks that help them develop a journey and benefit from new technologies.” “The standards produced through this process have real practical benefits for cities on the ground, not least because they’ve been involved in their production and they’re based on real city challenges.”

Standards recognition

Through the work that Future Cities Catapult has conducted in ensuring the City Standards Institute is a success, the Huawei Smart Cities Index 2017 recognised the work of the CSI as a key factor in furthering the development of smart cities across the UK and beyond, with many of the cities interviewed for the study also referencing our work in this space.

150-word summary:

The City Standards Institute is a network of local authorities and businesses. It is run by the Future Cities Catapult in partnership with the British Standards Institution. It aims to develop standards and common approaches that appropriately respond to the needs of cities.

The project was funded by the UK central government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with further contributions coming from CSI members.

Outcomes from the project include the recently created ‘PAS 183’ and ‘PAS 184’ standards which provide guides for sharing data and information services and developing project proposals for delivering smart-city solutions respectively.

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