Today more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this figure is expected to rise significantly in coming years.

This places new demands on key city services and infrastructure such as transport, energy, health care, water and waste management.

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) play an important role in connecting these resources, securely managing the massive amounts of data generated, and providing the relevant services that are required.

A ‘smart city’ uses digital technologies to:

The creation of smart cities will only be achieved with a holistic approach, supported by globally acceptable standards that enable fully interoperable solutions that can be deployed and replicated at scale.

CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Sector Forum on Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities

ETSI is a member of the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Sector Forum on Smart and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SF-SSCC).

The CEN-CENELEC-ETSI SF-SSCC, created in January 2017, is a long-term joint group of the ESOs that acts as an advisory and coordinating body for European standardization activities related to smart and sustainable cities and communities.

The tasks of the group include:

The SF-SSCC activities are built upon the initial results and recommendations produced by the original Smart and Sustainable Coordination Group (SSCC-CG).

Our Role & Activities

We are working on several aspects of smart cities:

City Digital Profile

Our Industry Specification Group (ISG) City Digital Profile (CDP) develops a standards-based framework and corresponding technology roadmap that enables city administrators to deliver advanced services to their citizens, whilst respecting essential environmental factors, sustainability objectives and reducing overall complexity and therefore also reducing costs.

Those city services are intended to improve the overall quality of living in the city and make them increasing attractive to citizens, investors, business, innovators and visitors / tourists. An important part of the work of ISG CDP is to ensure the citizen representation, either directly, via city members or relevant partner groups (e.g. TC HF, Eurocities, and City Protocol Society). By adopting a standards-based approach, it is expected that cities will be able to ensure improved levels of quality and experience to the users, ensure the sustainability of the deployments as well as maintaining a certain level of provider independence. 

To enable this, ISG CDP provides Cities with a focal point within a recognized standards body where they may share, collect and develop their various technology requirements based on common use cases, with a focus on those that have cross domain aspects. In clearly documenting scenarios, use cases and technology requirements that are based on a shared City-view, ISG CDP intends to identify and document the standards-based technical solutions that are recommended to enable a wide range of city services.

Providing this framework and roadmap for technology investment and deployment, will significantly increase market confidence level in city infrastructure investments, as well ensuring the interoperability of technical solutions and the ability to replicate those solutions across domains, between cities and at scale. ISG CDP collects initial feedback on the results from early trials and pilot projects and seeks to identify best practice recommendations for city service deployments to be made available to the ISG community and beyond.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications

M2M communications will form the foundation layer for our future world of smart devices, smart appliances, the smart home and smart cities. Among other things, our Smart M2M committee (TC SmartM2M) has analysed the impact of smart cities on the Internet of Things in an ETSI Technical Report (TR 103 290).

Much of the work relating to M2M in ETSI takes place in our global standards initiative oneM2M which is developing technical specifications for a common M2M Service Layer that can be readily embedded within various hardware and software, and relied upon to connect the myriad of devices in the field with M2M application servers worldwide.

The oneM2M standards cover requirements, architecture, application programming interface (API) specifications, security solutions and mapping to common industry protocols such as CoAP, MQTT and HTTP. By building upon well-proven protocols that allow applications across industry segments to communicate with each other, oneM2M enables service providers to combine different IoT devices, technologies and applications, a critical feature in their efforts to provide services across a range of industries. oneM2M has already been used in service provider deployments in South Korea, Asia and Europe for smart city and transport system deployments.

Green smart cities

Our Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing committee (TC ATTM) and particularly the recently created working group ATTM SDMC (Sustainable Digital Multiservice Cities) is working towards the creation, development and maintenance of standards relating to the relationship between deployment of ICT systems and implementation of services within cities and communities.

Our Industry Specification Group on Operational energy Efficiency for Users (ISG OEU) is developing global Key Performance Indicators for green smart cities, covering both residential and office environments.

Context Information Management

Our Industry Specification Group on cross-sector Context Information Management (ISG CIM) develops technical specifications and reports to enable multiple organisations to develop interoperable software implementations of a cross-cutting Context Information Management (CIM) layer, for smart cities applications and beyond.

Smart City Framework

ETSI is also an active participant to the ESPRESSO Project (systEmic Standardisation apPRoach to Empower Smart citieS and cOmmunities) which focuses on the development of a conceptual Smart City Information Framework based on open standards and identification of relevant open standards, technologies and information models. The project will analyze potential gaps and overlaps among standards and will provide guidelines on how to effectively address these.


ETSI has recently started a new project within its Human Factors Technical Committee, to provide a Technical Report with recommendations giving an overview of existing and needed standardization relating to the requirements of inhabitants of (or visitors to) smart cities or communities.

We would like to cover a diverse selection of views, from every interested category of stakeholder, to ensure we can assess what citizens need, and how these needs can be met. 

We would like as many people as possible to complete our survey on smart cities standardization.


A list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search

Related Committees

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