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ITU and UNECE launch platform to promote smart cities

As the United Nations call for public policy to promote ICT innovation in urban areas, the ITU and UNECE  have launched an advocacy platform for smart cities.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have launched the ”United for smart sustainable cities (U4SSC) global initiative”. Its goal is to advocate for public policy aimed at promoting the central role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in enabling the transition to smart cities.

The smart cities initiative will build upon existing international standards and key performance indicators (KPIs). “ICTs have become central to innovation in almost every sphere of social and economic activity, making collaboration essential in maximizing the contribution of ICTs to sustainable development,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “The U4SSC global initiative will bring together stakeholders of the public and private sectors to ensure a coherent, integrated application of ICTs within smart sustainable cities,” said ITU Deputy Secretary-General Malcolm Johnson.

The U4SSC initiative fits into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim at making cities ”inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. All United Nations agencies, municipalities, industry, academia and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the U4SSC global initiative.

UN bodies that have already expressed their intention to join the initiative include UNIDO, ECLAC, FAO, UNFCCC, WMO, UN Women, UNEP, UNEP-FI, WHO, WTO, UNCCD, UNU-IAS, UNDESA and UNECE.

The Rome declaration

The U4SSC initiative was launched at the ITU-UNECE Forum on “Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for sustainable development goals” in Rome, Italy, where the ITU and UNECE presented a set of KPIs. These should be used to measure the smartness and sustainability of cities. Dubai, Singapore, Manizales, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Valencia and Rimini have already agreed to trial these KPIs, the ITU and UNECE said. 

The Rome declaration was also adopted at the Forum. The ten-point manifesto aims at promoting the transition to smart sustainable cities, using KPI’s and standards. Here are the ten goals of the Rome declaration:

  1. Promote the use of the ITU-UNECE Key Performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Encourage the adoption of internationally agreed standards
  3. Mobilize expertise and promote knowledge sharing
  4. Enable smart participative governance
  5. Foster the harmonization of methodologies, key performance indicators and standards
  6. Build capacities through knowledge sharing and trainings
  7. Implement pilot and flagship activities
  8. Enhance urban planning and design as a powerful tool for managing urbanization
  9. Develop a Global Index for Smart Sustainable Cities
  10. Boost U4SSC as a global platform for advocacy

It is estimated that by 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

IIoT News Recap: Huawei completes 5G field trial; Car makers to pay for self-driving car accidents; Cisco warns about connecting every ’Thing’; SoftBank selects NEC; Today’s forecast: M2M subscriptions in Sweden

smart cities

5G: Huawei completes 5G key technology tests in field trial

Huawei completed outdoor macro-cell tests in Chendu, China. ”The test results successfully demonstrated that the new 5G air interface technology can effectively improve spectrum efficiency and to meet diverse service requirements for 5G defined by ITU-R,” Huawei said. The field trial was sponsored by the IMT-2020 5G Promotion Group, a partnership on 5G technology and global 5G standard launched by China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT).

Autonomous driving: Car makers to foot the bill for accidents in the U.K.

The U.K. government has given more details about its plans around driverless car insurance, revealing that autonomous driving car makers will be held responsible for accidents, rather than ”drivers”, the Inquirer reports. “In the event of a serious collision when in driverless mode, it would be the vehicle at fault instead of the human driver,” said roads minister Andrew Jones.

Opinion: Cisco warns about risks of connecting all “Things” that can be connected

A common assumption is that everything that can be connected will eventually be connected. It might however be wise to consider the risks attached to connecting any ”Thing”. ”When a link is established, we should know not only that a connection has been created, but also why, what risks will result, and how those risks will be managed. If connections must be made with care—or in some cases not at all—then why should we assume “things that can be connected will be connected?” Cisco wrote in a blog post. ”Technology developed based on the faulty assumption of permanent separation will yield hidden vulnerabilities when it is almost inevitably connected.”

IoT cloud: Softbank selects NEC for IoT/M2M service platform

SoftBank has entered an agreement with NEC, whereby NEC will provide the operator with an IoT and M2M service platform, that enables SoftBank to launch its IoT Cloud Service on Connexive. Connexive is a service platform that provides a network connection for devices. “Connexive provides all of the necessary basic functions for IoT, enabling operators to provide IoT services to their enterprise customers efficiently and effectively. NEC will continue to support SoftBank both from a business and technical perspective to expand and enhance their IoT capabilities,”said Masaaki Nakano, general manager, Carrier Services Division, NEC Corporation.

Today’s forecast: Sweden’s sim-based M2M subscriptions up 10 percent in 2015

The number of M2M subscriptions using mobile phone numbers in Sweden increased by ten percent in 2015, compared to 2014, according to a new report by Swedish telecommunications regulator PTS. There were in total 6.7 million M2M subscriptions at year end. Telenor Connexion continued to dominate the market, with a 77 percent market share and 5.2 million M2M subscriptions. Tele2 had 55,000 subscriptions at the end of 2015.

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