Cities commit to global smart city manifesto

Cities sign up to a global manifesto aimed at accelerating the development of smart cities.

Launched by industry association TM Forum, the City as a Platform Manifesto has been signed by Belfast, Leeds, Liverpool and Milton Keynes, together with other major cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dublin, Las Vegas, Miami, Tampere, Utrecht, Wellington and Yinchuan in China, as well as the European Commission and communication providers and technology firms such as Orange, Tele2 and NEC.

All signatories to the manifesto have agreed to follow ten common principles when deploying city platforms to serve residents, local businesses and other stakeholders. According to TM Forum, these principles act as guide to those setting public policy and a design philosophy to unite the many organisations involved in each smart city programme, including large and small technology firms.

“As the world’s population expands and cities become denser, smart city programmes are contributing to a better quality of life,” said Carl Piva, VP and Managing Director of TM Forum’s smart city initiative. “However, technology by itself will not solve the challenges facing urban centres around the world. Instead a shared, collaborative approach between the public and private sectors is needed in the development of local data economies to create services that will improve lives.”

The principles state that city platforms must:

  1. Enable services that improve the quality of life in cities; benefiting residents, the environment, and helping to bridge the digital divide.
  2. Bring together both public and private stakeholders in digital ecosystems.
  3. Support sharing economy principles and the circular economy agenda.
  4. Provide ways for local start-ups and businesses to innovate and thrive.
  5. Enforce the privacy and security of confidential data.
  6. Inform political decisions and offer mechanisms for residents to make their voices heard.
  7. Involve the local government in their governance and curation, and be built and managed by the most competent and merited organisations.
  8. Be based on open standards, industry best practices and open APIs to facilitate a vendor neutral approach, with industry agreed architecture models.
  9. Support a common approach to federation of data or services between cities, making it possible for cities of all sizes to take part in the growing data economy.
  10. Support the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 – ‘Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.

“The cities that use modern digital technology to create a better experience for each and every citizen, are the true smart cities. TM Forum’s city platform principles offer great guidelines to achieve this goal,” said Suvi Linden, member of the United Nations Broadband Commission and former Minister of Communications in Finland.

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