Smart Cities


Connecting things: a need for harmonized rules

regional concerns

Cities need to substantially increase the efficiency in which they operate and use their resources.  Major efficiency improvements can be achieved by horizontally interconnecting individual systems such as electricity, water, sanitation and waste management, transportation, and also security, environmental monitoring or weather intelligence. Such an approach allows for increased information sharing and coordination and helps manage incidents in one sector that impact the others. It also offers considerable opportunities in terms of cost-reduction and the creation of new value-add services.


But interconnection is easier said than done. Many of the currently deployed systems in cities originate from different suppliers and they are maintained by various agencies that generally work in isolation. The IEC provides many of the International Standards that are needed to safely connect and automate much of the city infrastructure that generates or uses electricity and contains electronics.

The use of International Standards also facilitates the long-term maintenance and repair of city infrastructure. Spare parts can be bought anywhere in the world at more competitive prices.

Most Smart Cities are not built from scratch in one go. They gradually evolve and become smarter, bit by bit. With time, these individual islands of smartness grow together and interconnect, but only if they use the same harmonized technical rules that are embodied in Standards.


Facilitating tailored Smart City development

Building a Smart City is highly complex. Every city faces its own challenges and requires its own mix of solutions. However, there is one common denominator that greatly simplifies this task: International Standards.

International Standards can considerably facilitate the development of tailor-made solutions that are adapted to the particular circumstances of a given city. Standards are essential enablers that assure an expected performance level and compatibility between technologies. Standards propose common metrics that permit the comparative analysis and benchmarking of solutions.


Standards = many solutions

The large majority of big and small companies that build electrical and electronic components, devices or systems that are sold beyond a single market participate in IEC work and use IEC International Standards.

And while Smart City development will go far beyond integrating the right technologies, it is comforting to know that many of these devices and systems will support smooth and integrated Smart City development.


Everything electric and electronic

Electricity and electronics are an integral part of nearly all city systems.
For this reason the IEC doesn’t propose a single suite of Smart City International Standards. Instead, literally hundreds of IEC International Standards come into play to tailor the integration of energy generation, buildings, transportation, lighting, healthcare, safety/security and a multitude of city and financial services to the needs of each individual city.