Standardisation and smart cities: how to better address citizens’ needs?

A new Technical Report assesses key issues that standards need to address in smart cities. The report includes important aspects for older people, namely accessibility, usability, interoperability, personal data protection and security. It also details how services to citizens are to be designed to maximize benefits to the community.


Local communities use standards but don’t contribute to drafting them. As a result, standards do not always meet the needs of local communities and their citizens.

In its technical report Smart cities and communities – Standardization for citizens and consumers, drafted with the support of the European Commission and EFTA’s secretariat, ETSI *, one of the European Standardisation Body, clarifies whether further standards are needed for citizens in smart cities. The report also take full account of other standards under way and provides a comprehensive set of recommendations.

“(…) 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”.

* ETSI stands for European Telecommunications Standards Institute. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organisation in the information and communications technology industry fulfilling European and global market needs.

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