Smart cities guide for sharing data and information launched by British Standards Institution

The British Standards Institution (BSI), the business standards company, has launched a new guide on establishing a framework for sharing data and information services in cities. PAS 183:2017 Smart Cities – Guide to Establishing a Decision-Making Framework for Sharing Data and Information Services – was developed at the request of the Cities Standards Institute, at least in part to support a transparent approach towards making decisions. The Cities Standards Institute is a collaboration between the BSI and the Future Cities Catapult to create a standards-based community of good practice for cities and the companies with whom they work.

Creating specific data sharing agreements can help decision-makers fully realise the benefits and value of data and information services in a city. Currently, data is mostly used for a specific purpose by cities, often related to a public task, with the value of data sharing yet to be fully explored and realised by cities. Data isn’t yet widely viewed as an essential asset which can be used to transform a given city. There’s also untapped potential for data to provide the basis for new commercial models in smart cities.

An effective decision-making framework for sharing data can help ensure that city decision-makers – in the public, private and third sectors alike – have the best overall data to help shape their decision-making. The consequences for missing data or the misinterpretation of data can lead to wrong actions, sometimes with debilitating consequences for an organisation or, indeed, the wider public.

PAS 183 defines the data framework for sharing city data to enable discussions between the specialists who build and design the physical and digital services and the decision-makers using data to transform their city. The guide covers types of data in smart cities, establishing a data sharing culture, a data value chain and its roles and responsibilities, the purposes for data use, assessing data states, defining access rights for data and data formats of transportation.

Full data interoperability requires a data framework to be created across the entire spectrum of data for a city: open, closed and shared data. For some cities, there will also be a need to establish specific data sharing agreements, particularly so where data is being shared by multiple organisations simultaneously.

Guidelines for appropriate data use

Dan Palmer, head of manufacturing at the BSI, said: “PAS 183 was created to make the process of sharing different sets of data as easy as possible and set out guidelines for the appropriate use of data. This PAS provides clarity around what types of data can be published as open data, what can be shared and what should be kept private. The sharing of as wide a range of data as possible is essential in order for both city authorities and citizens alike to make informed decisions about the options open to them.”

This guide is part of a wider suite of PAS documents including PAS 180, 181, 182 – guides which define the vocabulary terms for smart cities, a smart city framework and a smart city concept model.

PAS 183 doesn’t cover national security issues, good practice for the use of data by the citizen, existing interoperability agreements between cities, defining application programming interfaces or any data sharing rules and regulations specific to a particular jurisdiction.

The following organisations were involved in the development of PAS 183 as members of the Steering Group: BSI Consumer and Public Interest Network, Cities Standards Institute, Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, D4SC (Design for Social Change) Ltd, Digital Built Britain (BIM Task Group), Digital Catapult, FlyingBinary Limited, Fujitsu, Future Cities Catapult, the Greater London Authority, Imtech Traffic & Infra UK Ltd, iStand UK, Living PlanIT SA, the Local Government Association, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, Ordnance Survey Ltd, Red Ninja, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, SmartKlub Ltd, University College London and UrbanDNA.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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