Regulation and standardization of smart cities, still a question mark

As smart cities is the buzz word around the town these days, question of regulation, of data and standards is yet to be answered. Recently a ‘Smart-Sustainable Cities, Technology & Innovation Summit 2015’ was organized with the support of Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT, Govt. of India; COAI; CENELEC; ETSI; GISFI; ITU-APT; TUGI; PTCIF.

Smart cities are going to generate a lot of data every second which if not analysed can leave these cities in chaos. So the summit was organized with the agenda of discussing aspects like security, integration, regulation etc. and the top experts and planners from the industry brainstormed around such issues.

European expert on smart cities, Anya Margaret Ogorkiewicz, MD of the Keryx Group; Polish Permanent Representative to the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart City Standardisation and Co-ordination Group emphasized the need for such cities  also to be sustainable apart from delivering new services which are globally competitive and are meant to meet energy and environment goals. “European Union had developed standards for city services as part of the common European standardization strategy,” she pointed out.

Dr. Muktesh Chander IPS and Special Commissioner (Traffic), Delhi Police, cautioned about smart cities also providing opportunities for criminals to misuse the networks.  “Criminals will also be smart in such cities. Over 25,000 cyber incidents happen in India in a year but only 4,000 are registered. Police would also have to be trained to be smart in such cities,” he pointed out.  He suggested the use of social media by the police to catch up with the new environment.

Dr. Sumit D. Chowdhury, founder and CEO of GAIA Smart Cities discounted the idea of setting up Smart Cities in green field areas, with policies that would enable organic growth of smart cities in all aspects. “Smartness has to be built-in in every project covering from traffic to housing to transportation to lighting to waste management amongst many others,” added Chowdhury.

Still questions like networks control, lawful intervention in these networks, data custody and all services should have a subtext of security need to be defined. The effectiveness of infrastructure should be built in along with the setting up of it as against current practice of later additions otherwise we are only creating a man-made smart trap.

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