By Standards Australia

Smart cities are no longer an idea for the future. Right now, across Australia, smart city projects are being piloted and trialled. Aiming to support this effort and the further development of smart cities and communities projects are standards.

Standards set out minimum requirements for various services, products and systems and aim to equip industry with safe, consistent and reliable guidelines. For smart cities, standards can be a useful tool in supporting successful projects and safeguarding against potential issues.

On the road to smarter cities

Earlier this year, Standards Australia published the Smart Cities Standards Roadmap, a comprehensive document that provided eleven clear and accountable recommendations for the development of safe, sustainable and resilient cities and communities.

Based on five key goals, the recommendations cover the need to support the implementation of existing smart cities framework and policies, while also ensuring that Australia is involved in and can influence smart cities development at an international level.

The recommendations cover a range of standards-related work and call on the Australian Government to support the development of data use and sharing initiatives. They intend to identify technical issues, prioritise the order of standards development and consider systems for adopting international standards.

The goals and recommendations also complement the NSW Government’s Smart Places Strategy, which has been developed to assist Australia realise the real value of smart places and interconnected systems.

The publication of the roadmap is an important step in Standards Australia supporting the many different avenues that government, industry and communities can take in implementing and building smart cities.

Smart standards for our sectors

Alongside the roadmap, Standards Australia has published a range of internationally aligned standards on smart cities in the last few months. These standards aim to assist the Australian Government, and their state and territory counterparts, as well as local councils, to build more adaptable cites.

As well as the difficulties presented by COVID-19, cities across the globe are facing other challenges including environmental changes, economic instability and population growth.

These standards aim to provide clear criteria by which cities can measure and compare their strengths and weaknesses in facing these challenges.

One of the standards adopted, AS ISO 37120, even provides a framework for cities to measure their performance against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, relating to cities and human settlements.

The international standards in smart cities adopted in 2020 include:

  • AS ISO 37100, Sustainable cities and communities – Vocabulary
  • AS ISO 37122, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for smart cities
  • AS ISO 37106, Sustainable cities and communities – Guidance on establishing smart city operating models for sustainable communities
  • AS ISO 37120, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for city services and quality of life
  • ISO 37123, Sustainable cities and communities – Indicators for resilient cities
  • ISO 37101, Sustainable development in communities – Management system for sustainable development – Requirements with guidance for use
  • AS ISO 37104, Sustainable cities and communities – Transforming our cities – Guidance for practical local implementation of AS ISO 37101

These standards are important tools in assisting countries to build resilient cities and help communities recover and learn from a range of situations, like the one we are currently facing with COVID-19.

Standards are vital in helping in the implementation of new technologies and the definitions and methodologies set out in these standards will aim to help Australia as we use data to make our cities smarter.

A resilient future

Smart cities standards have the potential to help Australia build resilient infrastructure and smart policies, which in future could assist us to rebuild from such challenges as we have faced in 2020 and even thrive in the years ahead.

Standards Australia will continue to work on standards that help support transportation, energy, education, sustainability and other sectors to make our communities safer and more resilient for the future.

If you have any questions on Standards Australia’s work and engagement in the smart cities space, please get in contact at


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