Normative assets of smart cities and indystry 4.0

Cities develop and evolve in very different ways, depending on the diversity of their historical, cultural, geographical and economic contexts. Urban cities like New York, Singapore and Barcelona, ​​considered among the most equipped cities with advanced smart technologies, are still seeking to equip their main tracks of urban traffic systems with more sophisticated control sensors. This shows how much the concept of intelligence (urban or industrial) is very volatile, fluid and elusive. Moreover, the term "smart city" od “Industry 4.0” are not subject to any standard semantic or terminological consensus. Although Industry 4.0 is currently a top priority for many companies, research centers, and universities, a generally accepted understanding of the term does not exist. As a result, discussing the topic on an academic level is difficult, and so is implementing Industry 4.0 scenarios. The definitions remain heterogeneous and strongly linked to context and conjuncture of circumstances, including those proposed by standardization bodies strongly committed to smart systems like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) or ISO.

If digitization seems a priori to be the keystone of the global dynamics around Smart Cities and Industry 4.0, it remains nonetheless that these two concepts - as wall as many others - emerge rather from an urban and entrepreneurial ecosystems, themselves at the crossroads of several dominant international trends such as the environmental issues of climate change, pollution and renewable energies, the scarcity of natural resources and famine, rural exodus, education and public health, and especially the growing use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in urban planning and development and in business and industry. An often quoted definition of smart cities summarizes this urban ecosystem in six dimensions considered to be intelligent: economy, mobility, environment, population, quality of life and government.


Industry 4.0 is generally coined with Vertical networking of smart production systems, Horizontal integration via a new generation of global value chain networks, Through-engineering across the entire value chain and Acceleration through exponential technologies. For both concepts Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and networking seem to constitute a vital component.

ICTs can thus enable greater collaboration between various socio-economic and industrial actors and a more active involvement of citizens through open access to data that would facilitate their participation in urban governance. Citizen engagement will actually materialize a more humanistic, social-focused trend that the Smart City is supposed to provide to the inhabitants and by which it will counterbalance the techno-economic pragmatism that will inevitably hasten to settle there. From this equilibrium could emerge a successful smart city based on essential criteria that take into account technological, industrial or economic issues as well as societal concerns about mobility, environmental issues, the living conditions of the inhabitants and the governance model. Ultimately, the ideal would be to "jointly satisfy issues related to the economic development of the territory, and to increase social welfare, knowledge and human capital."

Because of the wide variety of aspects that characterize the concepts of the smart city and Industry 4.0, we will limit ourselves to two main indicators.

A technological perspective

Smart City and Industry 4.0 harness the ubiquitous connectivity capabilities of our environment designed for objects that form the Internet of Things (IoT) and increasingly complex tasks made possible through the use of artificial intelligence (IA). Already under development, these technologies (such as 4G and 5G networks) should allow to deploy by 2030 a number of innovations, particularly virtual reality and augmented reality. These innovations, which are part of a logic of exponential evolution of numerical computation capabilities and intelligent data processing, could play a crucial role in the emergence of new urban environments with a high technological density as frameworks for the convergence of a more evolved collective intelligence. Both Industry 4.0 and Smart City approach therefore require a real new horizontal thinking that goes beyond the sectoral silos and reinvents new interaction processes and migrates to new ways of providing digitized services. The same layers of ICT infrastructure can be shared across multiple services, where there used to be vertically and costly managed systems. This is one of many forms of enhanced technology integration in the horizontal design of the Smart City or factories of the future.


In this complexity, individual urban or industrial systems are becoming more intertwined and dependent on one another to manage cities and big factories in a more coherent, preventive and informed way by providing instant public or manufacturing services and real-time intervention in breakdown of damaged systems.

For this reason, large and reliable big data centers (datacenters) are already operating in several cities around the world in a fluid way to collect data from large networks of sensors and electronic transmitters. This is how many cities around the world manage, for example, traffic congestion and urban traffic control as in London, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, New York, Melbourne, Toronto etc. The main components of their traffic control systems are administered in a main data center comprising subsystems for collecting, recording and analyzing data.

To provide these high-quality services, telecommunication networks and the Internet are the backbone of the global digital network, reflecting, among other things, ITU's strong commitment to the global Smart Cities and Industry 4.0 projects.

The intelligence of cities and factories will now be determined by more sophisticated emerging technologies that will transform public and manufacturing spaces and dramatically impact relationships between humans and machines. It is also a question of cutting-edge technologies whose performances can be seen via virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), or artificial intelligence (AI), as technologies of the future that will be very soon covered by research in the NBIC fields (Nanotechnologies, Biotechnologies, Informatics and Cognitive sciences).

Advances in VR & AR play an essential role in the development of "Smart Factories" or "Industry 4.0", and in the success of "Smart Home". RV & AR are advancing rapidly into a new phase of context-rich user experiences that combine different sensor types, portable computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). This capacity is a unique opportunity for value creation that offers great opportunities to visualize complex urban and manufacturing systems, to improve these systems through virtual or real spaces, to live and share innovative experiences.

But it is on the side of artificial intelligence (AI) that the major innovations for the Smart City and Industry 4.0 are expected to happen, particularly in the areas of planning urban governance and fabrication chains. "Artificial intelligence has the ability to facilitate the exfoliation of inequalities in access to services by individualizing them, and to learn by itself how to unlock the pockets of competitiveness needed to restore the ability to invest in our services"(Fain, 2017).

Beyond the ingenious contributions of VR, AR and AI, the services of tomorrow digital city and the factory of the future will be profoundly more sophisticated as they are articulated around "revolutionary" technological products that have not yet passed the doors of laboratories. These products will come from the research fields of artificial intelligence and expert systems, nanotechnology, biomechanics and quantum computing, in short NBIC technologies.

NBIC technologies will inevitably be at the rendez-vous as a natural extension of the current algorithmic "miracles" of AI as in the driverless car and android-assistants. But these technologies will evolve well beyond the current boundaries between man and machine. They will operate a more dramatic crossover between technology and the living, to leverage the capabilities of today's digital systems and push them toward a more pronounced fusion with the biological. We tend towards intensive robotics era and supra intelligent systems in city managing and factory automation.

The intersection of nanotechnology (the infinitely small) and genomics (the genetic codes of micro-organisms) are already being crossed in cybernetic element projects for the improvement of the physical and mental characteristics of human. The AI ​​will leave without delay the laboratories walls to be put to contribution in new products of the GAFAM. Google, for example, has taken serious positions in the field of robotics to prepare for the popular post-object phase and heading for the connected personal assistant.

We will inevitably welcome in a less and less hypothetical future new inventions that will revolutionize our way of life and the organization of our society and industry. Nevertheless, these technologies, whose business models related to information technology and digital technology in general can make a great contribution to the cities of tomorrow and the factories of the future, can only be fully understood and exploited massively by ensuring that their advantages exceed those of current technologies. The question that arises from this angle is about unique contextual characteristics, application needs, and exceptional interaction patterns with users that require a redefinition of networks, technologies, and communication systems in Smart City and Industry 4.0 environments.

A normative overview

We know that the systems and devices that would govern the Smart City of tomorrow and the factories of the future require more sophisticated norms and technology interoperability standards than those of today's cellular networks. By the year 2020, the number of autonomous elements that will be connected in the IoT is estimated at about 30 billion, as well as convergence and interoperability solutions are necessary and unavoidable. "Cities, as we know them yet, face a complex challenge - traditional planning, procurement and financing processes do not meet the needs of smart cities”. Smart Factories are also a set of a very complex systems and subsystems that need integrated and convergent ways of functioning. For Industrie 4.0 to come true, it is essential to implement the horizontal integration of inter-corporation value network, the end-to-end integration of engineering value chain, and the vertical integration of factory inside. This is not achieved by just intelligent machines and robots communicating through an advanced software product. These machines need communicate through transversal software, algorithms and transparent industrial processes. Smart factories like smart homes require significant collaboration among companies, governments, and academic institutions. The normative solution remains ineluctably the only alternative to manage key aspects of intelligent systems converging all these stakeholders together.

Everything in a smart city or a smart factory is bound to be harmoniously connected through IoT and Big Data. This means that cities and factories will be able to obtain more relevant answers using large data, while IoT will ensure that all physical aspects of a city or a factory are interconnected on a common network. Also, as IoT evolves, it is crucial to ensure convergence and interoperability between connected devices, recognizing that a city or a factory is a set of different infrastructure systems that, quite often, operate independently of each other. This technological fragmentation constitutes an obstacle for the industrial market in which complex heterogeneous systems of sensors and actuators must normally form a homogeneous communicating entity. For this reason, integrated approaches are needed to fully exploit the potential of smart infrastructure.

A city's or a factory’s intelligence is not about the technology itself, but about how that technology is set to be used in an integrated, consistent and interoperable way between a wide variety of applications. Such an approach will not only prevent replication of network equipment for each type of activity, but will also prevent deployed technologies from being trapped in tight and isolated technology silos. It is also valid for a specific field of application such as Industry 4.0 where it is increasingly necessary to provide integrated systems in which electrical energy plays a central role. Smart Grids can make the connection between Smart Buildings and Smart Cities. The exchange of digital data is at the center of this evolution.

However, to ensure that smart constructions is profitable, it is essential that a common ground or set of standards be defined to establish the uniformity of the global phenomena of smart cities or factories. The role of standards is, among other things, to support the widespread adoption of common approaches to the implementation of smart products and services to facilitate the rapid development of a fair and efficient market. Therefore, these standards should "not be limited to the standards defined by a few major sectors, or not be fragmented by geographical area".

Ultimately, only the development and agreement on a set of standardized solutions allows the creation of "umbrella" networks covering an entire urban area or an industrial space through which devices belonging to different production entities communicate in a transparent way. The task is therefore difficult because the complexity of the concept of Smart City or Industry 4.0 would lead to as many norms and necessary standards as there are tools, data and services to monitor the technical performance and functional systems. What is lacking today are the appropriate framework conditions for large-scale deployment of smart technologies.

IoT networks, just like the Internet or Smart Grid, should be built on a set of standardized and structured protocols to provide the flexibility to support this growing range of applications, while providing extremely robust connectivity. They must also be fault tolerant while offering the ability to handle a very large number of devices.

Standards provide common language and understanding, facilitate consensus-based solutions, and stimulate private and public partnerships. They represent tools, guidelines for cities for the deployment of urban solutions with high commercial potential and general acceptance of stakeholders.

On the other hand, they require considerable work potential due in part to the scale and scope of Smart City and Industry 4.0 activities. It is a true "standards factory" for the Smart City and Industry 4.0 that is emerging at the local, national, regional and international levels to promote the development of interoperability standards and other standardization measures required for construction of smart cities and factories of the future.

The development of standards for a smart city or a smart factory can be quite complicated, especially since both, even in their conventional sense, have complex and interrelated systems such as buildings, transport, health, education, public safety, energy, water, waste and telecommunications. Each of these sectors has a battery of norms and standards that would be difficult to identify and describe in an exhaustive manner. In addition to being local, national, regional and international, these standards and norms are often nested by a system of referencing adding complexity for their traceability and monitoring.

Optimizing the current broad normative corpus by the criterion of digital intelligence constitutes a non-less complex challenge for standardization bodies. Many experts believe that there are many standards covering interoperability in many urban and industrial service delivery systems, but there is a lack of standards for cross-functional interoperability between these systems. As a result, the current Smart Cities and Industry 4.0 standards have not yet reached optimal maturity.

Partly motivated by this type of constraint, international and national standardization bodies have been starting for less than a decade to identify and propose standards for activities and technologies associated with smart cities and Industry 4.0.

ISO is engaged in smart cities on more than one front, both by its own technical committees or jointly with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) within JTC1 (Joint technical Committee 1), a joint structure for standardization of digital technologies.

Among the latest and most widely used global standards, ISO and IEC jointly developed ISO / IEC 30182: 2017, which establishes guidelines for establishing a data interoperability model of smart city concept.

Concerning Industry 4.0 ISO and IEC also collaborate to produce various international standard convergent under auspices of the “Reference Architectural Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0)”. RAMI 4.0 is a framework for a set of international standard dealing with Safety, Security, Semantics, Hierarchy levels, Information Layer, Communication layer, Digital Factory, Process control, Life-cycle, Monitoring conditions, Energy and Engineering aspects of a Smart factory.

The list of ISO and IEC standards that cover a wide range of issues are so long to be detailed here. However, the “fabric of standards” for the Smart City and Industry 4.0 is only in its infancy. But the normative dynamic around both concepts is gaining momentum even though limited to a few developed countries that concretely participate in the two highly strategic areas of Smart Cities and Industry 4.0 which are the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI),

In addition to its collaboration with ISO in JTC1, IEC also plays an extremely important role in the infrastructural aspects of the technical regulation of the electricity supply system of smart cities and smart factories. The IEC has produced more than a hundred mandatory standards that have a significant impact on the construction of Smart Grid system. The IEC 60050 standard contains a variety of standard definitions for smart grids and regulated electricity meters in the IEC 62052 series of standards.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), through its vocation and leadership in the field of electronics, develops standards and associated activities for the infrastructure and networking necessary for the design, generation, automation, operation, distribution, support and connection of energy to cities and industry systems. Its standards cover intelligent energy via Smart Grid as well as networks and smart connectivity, converged home networks, the Internet of Things (including ecological community networks), educational technologies, security, efficiency energy, intelligent transportation, e-health, learning technologies, e-governance, cybersecurity, 5G, etc. The IEEE thus remains at the forefront of the movement of smart cities with specific standards that cover the principles of interoperability between systems integrated into the Smart Cities and industrial infrastructure.

In the end, it is important to remember that the actual set of standards for Smart Cities and Smart factories does not only include standards produced by ISO, IEC or ITU, but also extends to other international, regional and national bodies. National standards bodies are very active in this area, such as DIN in Germany, NEN in the Netherlands, Afnor in France, ANSI in the United States and BSI in the United Kingdom, which are considered among the largest contributors to the development of strategic standards for smart cities and industry 4.0.

The international normative process is now in full swing and as usual, it is exercised in a spirit of consensus on the principles of convergence and technological interoperability, not forgetting that it is also called to develop coherence with the questions of ethics and social balance but also the cultural neutrality of the Internet to "anticipate prejudicial pre-emptive effects in particular: mobile, connected objects, smart cities, education, health, etc.