Smart City Strategic Growth Map Version 1


systEmic standardisation apPRoach to Empower Smart citieS and cOmmunities

Co - funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under grant agreement No 691720

Welcome The world is evolving at incredible pace. It should come as no surprise to discover there are already more than 100 definitions of the term ‘Smart City’, and very many industry-specific standards that are worthy of consideration by anyone involved in gaining officiallyrecognised Smart City status. However, the ESPRESSO Smart City Strategic Growth Map should make life much easier for you and your colleagues to achieve that goal.

Who are we and what is ESPRESSO? ESPRESSO is a project that brings global experiences together from a range of diverse fields, with members representing different industries, organizations, academic partners and cities around the world. Every one of our members may have something to offer you, either as a specialist skill or as a source of knowledge. Together, we have developed a Smart City Information Framework – one that is based on the use of open standards. We have demonstrated that open standards offer a sustainable, robust way of fostering collaboration and promoting the innovation that is so hard to define but very necessary for success in establishing or developing a Smart environment. However, as the concept of Smart Cities and those open standards continue to evolve, so will our work and the guidance we offer. Today, ESPRESSO’s comprehensive Information Framework identifies what you will need to start bringing relevant data, workflows and processes together, which will make it easier for you to manage the journey towards Smart status and confidently measure your progress in the future.

ESPRESSO – systEmic standardisation apPRoach to Empower Smart citieS and cOmmunities Why use the Smart City Strategic Growth Map? Our Strategic Growth Map takes a straightforward, agnostic approach to helping you clarify where you are on the journey to becoming Smart. It reduces the risk of your work being diluted by multiple stakeholders who can’t integrate their work effectively and it also helps you decide what your next steps are likely to be. We start by giving you the clearest view of what it means to be Smart and recognising the open standards that are obviously relevant. We look at the technologies and information models that may be useful, and the potential gaps and overlaps in standards that you may encounter along the way. We also explain how you can identify immediate challenges using our unique 100 point questionnaire assessment.

Who is the Strategic Growth Map for? It’s ideal for you if you’re a decision-maker at the city level. It’s also a team-building tool, helping you to establish clarity if you and your colleagues are supporting (or involved in) the decisions needed to kickstart a Smart project.

Completing this Smart City Strategic Growth Map is the ideal first step on that journey.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


The standard approach Where is the future of your city heading? Are you duplicating effort and wasting resources? Do you know the value standards can bring? With Espresso you can: Join the Smart City Stakeholder community (SmaCStak) to learn about the ESPRESSO project and experience the benefit of engaging with the community. Understand how Standards can boost business Receive Certification for your City

Wake up your city with a standard, ESPRESSO!

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


“Open standards in IoT deployments would accelerate growth by 27% and reduce deployment costs by 30%” White Paper sponsored by InterDigital

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Your city, your future Every city is unique. The many strands of history that fill the pages of a tourist brochure may be the same that influences and challengesyour aspirations to become a truly Smart City. Geography. Culture. Socio-economics. The maturity of your infrastructure and the existence – or not – of technology, in and around the area: there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, but there are some common challenges. Population growth, migration, and unsustainable use of resources are also good examples – and these are some of the wider considerations that most cities will face.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development details three dimensions of economy, society and environment that shape over a dozen common development goals, most of which will have a direct impact on the success of an urban environment. In achieving that success, ‘smarter thinking’ is often necessary. Many cities have already found ways to overcome these challenges and we can draw useful insights and inspiration from their experiences. The result, hopefully, will be a world in which – one day – a network of Smart Cities is able to improve the quality of citizens of all nations. A city’s administration needs to reassess the way it engages with the different city stakeholders.

Common challenges for urban areas today

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


What makes a city smart? As we said, the term ‘Smart City’ means different things to different people. However, while they may use different definitions, most Smart Cities would agree there’s little benefit in taking sector-specific approaches and that in general they share the same key objectives:

Whichever definition you decide is right for you, becoming Smart will involve recognising and understanding your unique needs and then addressing them in an intelligent way. There’s a lot to consider:


a desire to improve the quality of life for their citizens;






an aspiration to deliver sustainability, resilience, and high quality services;






greater engagement with society and collaborative leadership;


informed decision-making and reduced levels of risk;


and the innovative, appropriate, and efficient use of technology.

For the purpose of this publication, we consider that a Smart City is a city that integrates physical assets, digital capabilities and every city’s greatest resource – its citizens – so that it can achieve a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for everyone involved.

Start with joined-up thinking Ever since the financial crisis in 2008/09, national and local governments have had to rethink the way resources are allocated. ‘Doing more for less’ is not just a well-used catchphrase, it’s a maxim for effective growth. It lets decision-makers substantiate the need to work in harmony, and creatively rethink their public service delivery both in terms of cost and effectiveness. To become a truly Smart City, you cannot plan your progress in silos.

Be ready for change You’ll need to work collaboratively, harnessing new ideas that can shape the future and determine how your citizens will live, work and interact with each other. You’ll need mechanisms in place that can help you secure long-term resilience – and you’ll need to be sure of interoperatbiliy throughout.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Smart Cities adopt a ‘system of systems’ view to their plans Wherever your focus is initially, you and your teams can guarantee to work more efficiently if you adopt a ‘system of systems’ view from the outset: a way of working to standards that are designed specifically to help you monitor, measure, and adapt to change – good or bad.

Prioritising the effective use of standards Put simply, standards are agreed ways of doing things which are open for reuse and provide a shared understanding of what constitutes good practice. When recognised standards underpin a piece of work, you have a firm framework within which many different components and systems can come together.

To become a truly Smart City, you cannot plan your progress in silos.

Standards broker harmony and project confidence. They can also help to communicate a vision (perhaps to investors or citizens), and to promote the benefits of developing social, environmental and economic sustainability. Open standards achieve all of those aims, and have the additional economic and moral benefits of ensuring transparency and preventing vendor lock-in.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Understanding the value of standards 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08

Improving efficiency – Standards ensure that efficiency savings can be monitored and measured, when a city increases its uptake of technological solutions. Creating markets – Standards stimulate innovation and competition. Software solutions based on open standards compete on an equal basis in open markets. Enabling economies of scale – Standards can stimulate a market, which leads to reduced costs – particulary when many cities follow a common path. Preventing vendor lock-in – Standards can break the chain of contracting a single company for a whole product by building products and services to agreed standards. Securing finance – Standards help city leaders to communicate their vision in a language that’s commonly understood by investors. In turn, this usually makes it easier to capture evidence supporting the request for funding. Enhancing sustainability – Standards help decision makers to consider the environmental impact of their activities and provide appropriate measures. Finding common ground – Standards produce a shared language that enable stakeholders to communicate without misunderstandings.

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Providing confidence – Standards provide certainty for citizens – and suppliers – as services, products, and processes can be replicated successfully. Ensuring interoperability – Standards allow for integration and coherence across a range of technologies and systems. They help define the points of interoperability. Enabling integration – Standards provide resilience and reliability when integrating physical and digital infrastructures, or structured and unstructured data. Protecting rights – Standards that exist for information security management and data protection function around data capture, storage, transfer, and deletion. Assessing performance – Standards help people assess what they are doing well and what needs improving: a standardised approach is vital for measuring progress accurately. Saving time – Standards provide roadmaps, complete with directions, created by experts who have the benefit of good practice. They can be implemented on the spot. Minimising risk – Standards decrease the risk of a project, a product or service being a development failure.

Supporting development – Standards are universally divided into three different types: Management standards, data standards, and technical standards.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Smart cities need standards Cities are complex, dynamic entities. As you will know, most have a heterogeneous populations, a variety of needs, diverse opportunities and challenges, multiple stakeholders, and a large number of data sets to contend with on a daily – if not hourly - basis. Many cities still operate in a highly fragmented state, too, with specific functions, services, and domains being handled by individual departments. Information Technology (IT) strategies, city planning, and other key processes may have become siloed, which will present even more challenges if you are trying to forge a new, connected, interoperable environment.

Standards enable Smart Cities by improving smartness, resilience and sustainability Standards help you find your way Until recently, that ‘silo mentality’ has resulted in the awareness of city standards being patchy at best. Now, however, there is a wider acknowledgement that city standards can play an important part in developing a clear vision, targets and goals, assessing and evaluating progress, and in fostering innovation.

Technological innovations, while important, are not a driving force. It is standards that facilitate the communication between technologies, systems, and stakeholders.

ESPRESSO focuses on the development of a conceptual Smart City Information Framework that’s based on the use of open standards. That said, it is somewhat ironic that Standards Developing Organisations (SDOs) themselves operate in a fragmented industry. With several national and international SDOs creating standards, having many comparable standards to choose from can be confusing. Adoption is usually voluntary, so it is up to the user – you – to decide which ones are the most useful. Our work will help you understand which SDOs exist, which Smart City standards exist, how you can measure the maturity of your governance processes and the maturity of your sectoral systems, how you can implement standards, and what a shared Smart City language looks like.

It is standards that facilitate the communication between technologies, systems, and stakeholders. Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Smart technology needs standards With so much technological innovation at their fingertips, you have many options to choose from when it comes to adding value through improved efficiency, enhancing the economic potential of a region, reducing operating costs, fostering new business and services, or improving the living conditions of your city’s citizens.

It is the use of an innovative solution that solves a city’s most pressing problems that makes a city successful. It’s no surprise that enlightened governments around the world are adopting innovative solutions for almost every aspect of their roles and responsibilites in society (we have included some examples in our ‘Smart Solutions in the City Environment’ section). However the deployment of technology or the promotion of innovation on its own is ineffective. It is the use of an innovative solution that solves a city’s most pressing problems that makes a city successful.

Technology is a tool not a solution The integration of data and innovative technologies definitely plays a part in terms of embracing opportunities for citizens’ well-being. The question arises, however, is it the application of technology alone that makes a city smarter? Should the pursuit of technology in your solutions be an absolute goal or should technology be viewed as one componenet in a successful Smart City? After all is said and done, a Smart City is first and foremost a city that understands its citizens’ needs and meets them in an intelligent way. Technology is a tool, it is not a solution.

What happens if systems are developed without standards? Technology-based projects, in particular, have a propensity for bringing different formats, systems and techniques (even languages) together. In most cases, it’s a combination of reliable information and communication technologies (ICT), data analytics, and technological integration that solve the specific needs of a city and its citizens. Digital technologies collect vast quantities of data: their aim is usually to quantify a real-world object of some kind, and then match one particular type of supply to a specific demand. But when integration becomes hard work, it becomes counter-productive - instantly.

Realising your Smart objectives through interoperable technology A Smart City manages to integrate systems with high levels of interoperability. It also combines two things: vertical integration from sensors (which provide low cost communication and real-time analysis), and horizontal integration (which connects everything with isolated legacy systems and citizen-centred services).

Most importantly, interoperability is the key to securing tangible value.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Common, consensus-based standards are the best way to ensure interoperability – and it is important to remember that, without interoperability, inefficiencies will always remain: this prevents any project from realising its true potential or the savings that may have been available. However, when they’re executed faithfully, new – standardized – approaches to city management, data analysis, and technological developments can provide a significant return on investment. They deliver efficiency and cost savings, as well as social and environmental gains that meet a city’s targets and policy goals.

This is why it is crucial to start your Smart City work by focusing on standards. Any systems that do not ackowledge common standards, or identify common ground, will never achieve their true potential. Only when you choose a standardized integrated framework – a system of systems – can you ensure seamless integration, scalability, and efficiency for everyone involved.

Disruptive technologies & innovations

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


Is your city ready? Becoming a truly Smart City requires an approach aligned to your city’s needs, individual priorities, and the challenges you want to overcome. Over time those goals and, indeed, your vision may need to be reviewed in light of the social, economic and technological changes that influence your immediate environment. With that in mind, an effective approach is one that plans for and embraces change.

Strong leadership is key The traditional role of city leaders has changed significantly over recent decades. While once designing and delivering services, public sector leaders are now commissioning service delivery out to other city actors. The effective relationship between the public sector, private sector, third sector and citizens is crucial, but it often lacks trust and needs to be addressed in the light of a new leadership style. To ensure successful deployment of Smart City solutions throughout the value chain, you’ll need to demonstrate leadership across multiple city actors. You will probably need to be supported by accountable individuals from different departments in the municipality, your cross-sectoral service providers and citizens’ representatives too. The development of any Smart City programme should bring in experts with the skills sets that are needed, but the individuals and organisations involved will be depending on you to lead them effectively. Your responsibilities (and the requirements of any leadership team) will encompass all aspects of the ‘smartness’ roadmap.

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO


The Transformation Cycle Strong leadership is at the heart of any successful city transformation process aiming to enable smart solutions that address the needs of the city users. Committing to the goals set in the city strategy and taking action to overcome organisational, technical, or procedural obstacles will facilitate the smart city transformation. This transformation cycle is broken down into four key stages that provide an overview of the tools a city needs to become ‘smarter’. The framework will establish the purpose of the smart city process by helping to develop the vision and targets; all part of the city strategy. It will enable municipalities to review their operating model, service delivery, and physical as well as digital asset management. The cycle will foster a systematic city planning ecosystem based on standards, innovation, and communication. Measuring progress and reviewing the aims of the vision regularly will refocus the strategy and future proof the city.

Here, we’ll look at a model and a set of common tools that can support you in finding effective and efficient solutions for your city. We advocate a city-needs-led approach that disrupts the traditional top-down programme structure. We will take you through the different stages of the model and provide practical recommendations on how to enable your city to become smarter. By understanding the characteristics of each category, you’ll be ideally equipped to take the next necessary steps. What follows in this document, and online, is a way to assess your current use of standards with ease – and to find out which standards will be most appropriate for you and your teams.

To find out where to start, examine your city’s capability and explore the transformation cycle, go online to:

Smart City Strategic Growth Map ESPRESSO



systEmic standardisation apPRoach to Empower Smart citieS and cOmmunities

Co - funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under grant agreement No 691720