First City Protocol Agreement – Let Us Know What You Think!

By Sue Lebeck

Sue Lebeck is the Chair Emeritus of the City Protocol Task Force (CPTF), an open collaborative R&D community hosted by the City Protocol Society (CPS) to help create the Internet of Cities. Sue is also technology advisor to the Cool City Challenge,  creator of InnovatingSMART, and contributor to GreenBiz.

Dec 17, 2014 | Smart Cities | 0 comments


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The City Protocol is an open and global collaborative R&D group which is helping to create a smart and sustainable Internet of Cities. By Internet of Cities, we mean:

  • An Internet of Things (IoT) as it applies to cities
  • A network of city subsystems working together as a holistic living system
  • A network of cities learning and evolving together in competitive and cooperative ways
  • A network of city-centered groups aligning their work into one scientific and interoperable frame.

As introduced a few months ago, City Protocol seeks to define a common systems view for cities, and co-develop “City Protocol Agreements” (CPAs). The role of CPAs will be to help innovators create and cities deploy interoperable and sustainable solutions which cross city silos and serve diverse (multi-scale, multi-cultural) city profiles. These agreements will help cities and citizens to connect, decide, adapt, collaborate/compete and experiment in a personal, experimental – and yet risk-mitigated – way.

The very process of arriving at these CPA agreements – through cross-sector collaboration and rough consensus within short-term Task-and-Finish-Teams (TAFTs) — will enhance the value delivered by City Protocol. TAFT work will ultimately enable interoperable yet vendor-differentiated solutions, while also providing collaborative needs-expression and learning for cities. Our hope is that Cities will emerge as a community-of-practice and a market force which discovers and articulates its requirements in a collaborative conversation with the private sector of solution providers and partners.

City Anatomy available for Public Comment

The first informational City Protocol Agreement (CPA-I), City Anatomy: A Framework to Support City Governance, Evaluation and Transformation, is currently out for Public Comment.

City Anatomy is the foundational agreement of City Protocol, a first articulation of a scientific, interoperable frame which reflects the muscles and bones of a city of any size or type.

Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of City Protocol

Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of City Protocol

City Anatomy is inspired and informed by early research from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) focused on connecting the physical and digital worlds. Its initial developer is Vicente Guallart, City Protocol Chief Architect and author of the new book The Self-Sufficient City. The ideas were further fleshed out by the ANCHA (ANatomy of City Habitat) TAFT, co-led by Professor Francesc Giralt.

We hope you will read City Anatomy carefully, and forward it to your professional colleagues to do the same.

The City Protocol Society (CPS), which created and supports City Protocol, recently celebrated one year of incorporation, with its first CPS General Assembly annual meeting in Amsterdam in early November. Also in Amsterdam, our growing community convened for its first two-day technical Workshop of the City Protocol Task Force (CPTF). There, we celebrated the completion of City Anatomy, and also advanced TAFTS covering topics ranging from city indicators and data ontologies, to urban metabolisms and lifecycle analyses (LCAs), and from open sensor platforms to city resilience. These Agreements will develop common language and physiologic tools (nervous system, metabolic systems and more) which elaborate on City Anatomy, grounding the Smart City movement and the emerging Internet of Cities.

Smart City enables Sustainable City

At City Protocol, we are proponents of the view that smart, IT-infused cities are a means to an end and not an end in itself. The transformation of Cities we hope to support includes the creation of sustainable, resilient, livable and thriving cities for the 21st century.   Applying IoT concepts, the living system that is a city is enabled to sense and see itself, measure and manage itself, and evolve and transform itself.

Standing room only at City Protocol panel at the Smart City Expo

Standing room only at City Protocol panel at the Smart City Expo

This was the subject of our recent panel at the Smart City Expo and World Congress, where City Protocol members from Cisco, Microsoft, City Zenith, Bismart, and the City of Barcelona shared their City Protocol aligned technologies on a panel moderated by the City of Amsterdam.   To forward this concept further, many more leading Smart Cities — from Dubai to Dublin — have actively joined our work.

In addition to our own current TAFT work, we will also be working collaboratively with the Smart Cities Council and NIST to contribute to a Smart City Framework to be developed by NIST’s Global Cities Team Challenge.

Next Steps

Once our scientific ground is in place, and smart city principles are outlined, our attention will turn to the truly aspirational goals of smart and sustainable cities everywhere. This work is very exciting to me personally, as it aligns neatly with a view of smart/sustainable design that has guided my own work and explorations over recent years.

To join our open community of collaborators, please go to www.cptf.cityprotocol.org and click on “Register”. To learn about becoming an institutional member of the City Protocol Society, go to www.cityprotocol.org/member.html or contact secretariat@cityprotocol.org.  We welcome you!

 

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