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ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposals Related to Sustainable Development in Communities and Smart Urban Infrastructure

As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all interested stakeholders to submit comments on two related proposals recently submitted to ISO. Comments are requested by January 13, 2012.

Sustainable development in communities
AFNOR, the French member body to ISO, has submitted a proposal for a new field of activity in the area of sustainable development in communities.

According to AFNOR, standards in this area would develop a holistic and cross-sector approach that communities, their related subdivisions, and others may translate into systems, guidelines, and supporting techniques tailored to their own features and needs. Among other things, these international standards could contribute to poverty reduction, social integration and community cohesion, natural resources protection, and improvements in community and occupational health and safety.

Smart urban infrastructure metrics
A new work item proposal for the development of harmonized metrics that evaluate the "smartness" of a city's fundamental infrastructure has been submitted by JISC, the Japanese member body to ISO.

According to JISC, the purpose of the proposed activity is to improve the international trade environment of urban infrastructure by harmonizing the rapid proliferation of city indicators. A wide range of evaluation metrics for urban infrastructure are currently used, making it difficult for city planners and others to evaluate multiple proposals or plans for constructing or renewing their urban infrastructure. The intended deliverable is a product measurement standard on metrics for urban infrastructure as an integrated, large-scale product. Harmonized metrics, JISC states, would provide a tool to mitigate negative impacts on future generations, such as climate change, by materializing ongoing and future urban development in a more sustainable way.

Services and quality of life
A proposal currently under development by the Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF), the World Bank, and UNEP aims at standardizing a system of 115 indicators and their related definitions and methodologies to appraise services and quality of life in cities. It intends to foster the emergence of an agreed benchmark to which any city may refer.

Although different in scope and program of work, these three proposals are viewed by AFNOR, JISC and GCIF as complementary and intended to cover different aspects of city and community indicators, infrastructures, and utilities.

The AFNOR proposal, if approved, would set up a new ISO Technical Committee on Sustainable Development in Communities which could serve as an appropriate structure for the development of the JISC and GCIF/World Bank/UNEP proposals if they also move forward in the ISO system.

Submit Comments
ISO members have been asked to vote and comment at this time on the first two proposals indicated above. All comments should be sent to Steven P. Cornish, ANSI senior director for international policy ([email protected]). Feedback received by the January 13 deadline will be reviewed and compiled for the recommended ANSI position and comments, which will then be presented to the ANSI ISO Council (AIC) for formal approval.

ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions on issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC. Click here to download the document.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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