smart city

A framework for smart city interoperability

Cities embracing smart community innovation must ensure the solutions and products they choose are interoperable in order to leverage their investments and expand city services.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology's draft Internet of Things-Enabled Smart City Framework presents a consensus language, taxonomy and framework of common architectural features to help cities quickly get smart city projects off the ground. 

“Many of the smart city solutions today are custom solutions, and there are number of architecture solutions worldwide but they haven’t converged,” Martin Burns, who works in NIST’s Smart Grid Program office, said at the Feb. 8 at the Global City Teams Challenge. “The goal is to create a reference framework for developmental and incremental smart cities.”

The IES-City Framework has three components:

  • the discussion and use cases;
  • the artifacts – the detailed spreadsheets describing and comparing the various features of the architectures; and
  • the Smart City Application Framework tool, a worksheet that cities can use to map out their requirements, readiness and expected benefits.

The framework calls for identifying common pivotal points of interoperability, or standardized interfaces in cyber-physical systems. The PPIs can be grouped into services such as authorization and confidentiality, and the framework enables these services to be grouped into zones of concerns. 

The IES-City Framework suggests ways application developers and device manufacturers can work together through trusted infrastructure that allows for agnostic development.

“You can turn the more complicated architectures into a simplified view with this structure,” Burns said.  “We think people will build consensus around these zones of concerns and [companies] will naturally convergence to gain a greater market share of participants.”

More information on the draft IES-City Framework and artifacts can be found here.  NIST is accepting comments on the draft framework for the next 60 days.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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