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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

ITU-T, Smart Sustainable Cities at a Glance

​ITU-T, Smart Sustainable Cities at a Glance

In order to deal with increasing urbanization trends, smarter and more sustainable means of managing urban complexitiesreducing urban expenditureincreasing energy efficiency and improving the quality of life for urban residents, have to be developed.

In this regard, the concept of Smart Sustainable Cites (SSC) is used to discuss the utilization of modern technologies for everyday urban life. In SSC, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are merged with traditional infrastructures. ICTs have a crucial role in SSC as it acts as the platform for the aggregation of information and data to help enable an improved understanding of how the city is functioning in terms of resource consumption and services. ICT based services in SSC include intelligent transport systems, which can significantly improve urban mobility.

Integration of ICTs into existing urban services in SSC can also assist in:

Urban sensors in SSC have the potential to provide city stakeholders with access to real-time spatial, economic and environmental information about their cities. 

Thus, ICTs in SSC are not only capable of establishing defined urban functions but also promote the essential degree of engagement among citizens, governments, private stakeholders, and other interested parties, in the designing and planning process for cities. This helps ensure informed participation to create shared knowledge for urban governance along with providing the platform for urban simulation which inform future designs for economic, social and environmental development.

Additionally, the infrastructure of SSC in terms of its operational functioning and planning through management, aims for equity, fairness and the realization of a better quality of urban life. 

Transitioning to SSC is a gradual process. While guiding urban stakeholders through the process, ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC) elaborated on a series of steps, which can be adopted by urban stakeholders at any stage. Based on the work of the FG-SSC, key desirable features for SSC along with defined key performance indicators to monitor smart city transitions, have been elaborated in the flipbook on "Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: Striving for sustainable development goals".

The work on SSC is being continued by the new ITU-T Study Group 20 on “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)”, which provides a unique platform to influence the development of international IoT standards and their application as part of urban-development master plans. This Study Group provides IoT standards developers, the opportunity to target their standardizations efforts towards specific applications and various urban parameters, thereby responding to the requirements of standards implementers including city administrations, energy and water utilities, healthcare providers, and transportation authorities.