A nearly 30-year-old industry association that began in an effort to bring global standards to the telecommunications industry has expanded to the Internet of Things, smart health, smart climate – and, now, smart cities.
Digital global industry group TM Forum has launched The Smart City Forum, with initial members consisting of seven cities tasked with driving the development of smart cities worldwide.
The TM Forum member cities participating in the new group are Los Angeles; Lisbon, Portugal; Dublin, Ireland; Vancouver; Atlanta; Bristol, UK; and Toronto. The forum will eventually open up to include members from over 100 smart cities around the world.
By 2020, the smart city industry is projected to be a $400 billion market, according to research firm McKinsey. There will be a huge digital divide between cities that foster innovation and those that resist change, Carl Piva, vice president of strategic programs at TM Forum, told TechRepublic.
The goal of the Smart City Forum, which announced its launch in a Jan. 19 press release, will be to work to integrate knowledge from global leaders and leverage what works in other cities to develop a quasi-database of apps that will be available to everyone, he said.
The city of Atlanta was a natural choice for the new forum because of its work in three key areas: Capture, communication and crunch, said Atlanta Commissioner and CIO Samir Saini, according to TechRepublic.
“We capture what hardware, devices and sensors we’re employing to collect data; the second piece is communication and what we’re doing to transmit information; the third C is crunch,” Saini said. “What we’re doing on the big data side to analyze the data we’re receiving to make more informed decisions, predictive or descriptive.”
Driving interoperability through standardization as well as promoting open data are other key components of smart city success. Because many cities don’t have the resources to develop into smart cities, however, the forum will come up with recommendations on how they can structure partnerships with the private sector to create opportunities.
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