New international standard to enable city leaders to deliver on sustainable growth

BSI, the business standards company, has published a new international standard for city leaders to meet the challenges of urbanization and grow sustainably.

BS ISO 37106:2018 Sustainable cities and communities – Guidance on establishing smart city operating models for sustainable communities was created following a five-year process of research and engagement with city leaders. It defines a smart operating model for cities, which enables them to operationalize their vision, strategy and policies at a faster pace.

At the heart of this standard is the idea that cities are looking to transform the way they operate. This means moving from an inefficient, disjointed, producer-focused model to a ‘smart’ model: citizen-centric, digital, agile, open and collaborative. BS ISO 37106 provides detailed, proven guidance on how to deliver these changes in practice, focussing on four main areas:

  1. Delivery principles: for city leaders to use to steer decision-making

  2. Key cross-city delivery processes: practical guidance to help different divisions within a city work together better

  3. Benefit realization: clearly linking smart city investments with the social, economic and environmental outcomes the city aims to achieve

  4. Risk management: a checklist of issues which a city should regularly monitor

The standard does not prescribe a one-size-fits-all model; rather, local government is encouraged to apply this framework for collaboration in a way that is flexible to meet local needs, e.g. tackling air pollution or improving social care provision. Through innovative use of technology and data – coupled with organizational change – each city can help deliver its own tailored version of smart and sustainable growth.  

David Fatscher, Head of Sustainability at BSI, said: “BS ISO 37106 provides a common framework for how city leaders across the globe – whether in London, Leicester, Lahore, Lagos, or Los Angeles – can develop, agree and deliver smart city strategies that can transform the lives of the people who live and work there.

“Sustainable growth is about more than saving the planet for future generations. Through collaboration across different areas and by embracing new technology, city leaders can deal with the challenges of the future in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way. The UK has led thinking on smart city standards, with this international standard evolving from the widely adopted guidance document, PAS 181.”

As well as the public sector, the standard will also be of interest to decision-makers in the private and voluntary sectors who may work closely with local government.

More information on BS ISO 37106:2018 can be found here:

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