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TM Forum publishes smart city platform manifesto

The platform architecture and open API definitions are expected to unleash innovation and help cities become truly smart

The TM Forum manifesto has been signed by 40 major cities around the world
The TM Forum manifesto has been signed by 40 major cities around the world

The TM Forum has announced its City as a Platform Manifesto with initial backing from more than 40 major cities, regional and international government bodies, telecoms operators, technology firms and associations.


Unveiled at this year’s Smart City InFocus event in Yinchuan, China, the manifesto sets out 10 key principles which aim to bring private and public sector together when deploying digital city platforms.


According to the industry association, all manifesto signatories share a common desire to develop a new city-scale data economy that drives sustainability and inclusivity, by using digital platforms.


“As the world’s population expands and cities become denser, smart city programmes are contributing to a better quality of life. However, technology by itself will not solve the challenges facing urban centres around the world,” said Carl Piva, VP and managing director of TM Forum’s smart city initiative.


“Instead a shared, collaborative approach between the public and private sectors is needed in the development of local data economies to create services that will improve lives.”


All signatories to the manifesto have agreed to follow 10 common principles when deploying city platforms to serve residents, local businesses and other stakeholders. These principles will act as guide to those setting public policy and a design philosophy to unite the many organisations involved in each smart city programme, including large and small technology companies.


The manifesto has been signed by 40 major cities and government organisations including Atlanta, Belfast, Chicago, Dublin, Las Vegas, Leeds, Limerick, Liverpool, Medellin, Miami, Milton Keynes, Tampere, Utrecht, Wellington, Yinchuan, and the European Commission.


Global communication service providers (CSPs) and technology firms including Orange, Tele2, NEC, and associations and other institutions such as CABA, FIWARE Foundation, Fraunhofer, Future Cities Catapult, Leading Cities and the OASC have also signed.


“At OASC, we know that a thriving global market, that really caters for local needs, is only wishful thinking without a strong common ground: open standards, open APIs, open architectures,” said Martin Brynskov, chair of Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC).


“We support TM Forum’s focus on the city as a platform because of [its] deep commitment to these principles.”


Interoperability is also key to the FIWARE Foundation. "Open Standard APIs are crucial to foster a sustainable investment by solution providers, particularly SMEs and start-ups, who can target a digital market where their solutions can be interoperable with others’ and portable across cities,” added Ulrich Ahle, CEO of FIWARE Foundation.


“We are proud that FIWARE NGSI has been recommended by TM Forum as the API unleashing the potential of right-time access to information describing what is going on in cities. We are also collaborating with TM Forum in delivering the components that support the transition from traditional open data approaches to advanced data economy concepts, transforming cities into engines of growth."


If you like this, you might be interested in reading the following:


TM Forum launches global Smart Cities Benchmark

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Blueprint to smart launched for cities

TM Forum launches end-to-end Smart City Maturity & Benchmarking Model

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Driving towards a more open future for data

TM Forum and FIWARE Foundation are collaborating on a smart city API reference architecture which will help enable unlock innovation and economic growth

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