Smart Cities Initiative

The INCOSE Smart Cities Initiative will draw upon the experience and knowledge of INCOSE members to support communities in developing their Smart Cities Concepts, Applications, Technology and Services (CATS) by leveraging systems engineering tools and principles.   

Smart Cities CATS are being planned and developed across the world to apply information and communication technology (ICT) within traditional urban networks and services; making them more flexible, efficient, and sustainable. The efficiency of operations such as transportation, energy, water supply, building infrastructure management, and waste management are improved within the community for the benefit of its inhabitants, making smart cities greener, safer, faster and friendlier.  Benefits include real-time resource allocation, improved resource use, reduced waste, and enhanced public safety. 

Since the Smart City concept comprises Smart Infrastructure, Smart Transportation, Smart Energy, Smart Healthcare, and Smart Technology, the Systems Engineering knowledge, experience, and skillset of INCOSE members is strategically positioned to support our global communities as they embark on supporting the multi-faceted Smart Cities CATS.

Mission & Objectives


Each of the Smart City CATS being explored around the world focus on a specific set of capabilities and benefits tailored for that locality.  For example, under the US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge, approximately 110 distinct municipal pilot transportation projects are underway, ranging from coordinated traffic lights, bike sharing, urban freight logistics, to first responder response times.  In each case, the pilot is yielding important data for use in a Smart City environment.  As a result, there are plethora activities underway which could benefit from an effort to organize and integrate them into an overall concept of what defines a “Smart City”.  What is not readily available is an overall architectural model of what constitutes a Smart City as a system.  The goal of this initiative is to create a model of a smart city that illustrates the resources that municipalities can use to create a framework for their Smart Cities CATS enabling interconnectivity, reuse, and consistency. 


This Initiative will support municipalities and public agencies in adopting Smart Cities technologies by applying systems engineering principles and tools. This Initiative will support a holistic perspective of development of Smart Cities infrastructure and CATS through an open framework that enables integration of new Smart Cities CATS as the resources evolve.  

This is not intended to provide information on funding Smart Cities CATS.
This is not intended to be the definitive answer to what is a “Smart City,” but is intended to provide a logical extensible open framework for technology developers, municipalities and public agencies.  It is intended that adopting a Smart Cities technologies open framework will assist these stakeholders with the integration of infrastructure and its related smart technology.   

INCOSE will emphasize how Smart Cities is a specific application of System of Systems approach to using Systems Engineering.  Our in-depth understanding of SoS assures that a fundamental foundational approach to establishing Smart City design, development, and operations can be clearly, completely, and concisely developed.  This foundation understanding will then help future cities (large and small) benefit from a well-defined application that can be tailored to a city's specific needs.


Lead:  Jennifer Russell

  • Responsibilities – Chair group meetings; produce meeting minutes; responsible for status reporting to the Assistant Director for Industry; request resources from INCOSE and provide resources to Product Development Leads and members.  

 Co-Lead: Marcel van de Ven 

  • Responsibilities – Responsible to act in the absence of the Chair

Product Development Leads: <TBD> 

  • Responsibilities – Lead development of products

Membership – Significant contributors – 10 members
Membership at large – unlimited members

Working Group Products

Potential Products

  • Stakeholder Management Plan
  • Tailored Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) for Smart Cities (gathers and helps drive all 30 of the processes specified in ISO/IEC 15288)
  • Demonstrated interface template for Smart Cities CATS (N2 diagram)
  • Smart Cities Concept of Operations Template
  • Architecture template for Smart Cities, possibly MBSE model
  • Supporting public communication tools: 
     Definition of why it’s important to use a systems approach to Smart City CATS, tailored for various audiences in the public sector (elected officials, planners, designers)
     Hand-out on considerations for future integration – Smart Cities step one. 
  • Executive Sales Kit Package
     Brief Presentation(s) aimed at – C-Suite, Mayors, Legislators, Executives to assist them in the understanding of the importance of a holistic view of all the new integrations that are likely to occur.

Potential Actions

  • INCOSE's participation in external events – workshops, conferences, plenaries, etc.
     Emphasize INCOSE persons' presentations, panel participation, etc.
  • Conduct separate paper and panel track at INCOSE symposiums
  • Prepare articles and white papers that are published in external (outside of INCOSE) journals.


The Approach for this Initiative will be deliverable focused.  To this end, this initiative will utilize the expertise of several INCOSE technical groups, alliances developed with outside partners/ contributors, and accessing resources available publicly (conferences, etc.).  INCOSE seeks to push out information and resources that will support systematic delivery of Smart Cities.  

First, the team will gather information about where Smart Cities are in development holistically.  The wide CATS of smart technologies to inform cities must be consolidated to present an understanding of the current conditions.    During information gathering, the team will identify existing organizations that focus on or support smart cities.  The team will target organizations that best complement the INCOSE team skills and seek to partner with them.   Next, the team will seek to define a “Why” statement for Smart Cities, defining the ultimate goal of the Cities.

Based on the findings of existing conditions and a clear “why” statement, the team will be able to identify where INCOSE can best contribute to the state of the practice and implementation of smart cities.  

Measure of Succes

The overall measures of success for the Initiative are related to ability of INCOSE to influence and positively support Smart Cities development around the world.  As such, the following measures are proposed to measure the success of the initiative.  Note that detailed measures of success for individual products/services produced will be contained in the applicable individual TPP. 

  • Number of INCOSE members contributing
  • Number of INCOSE Working Groups contributing
  • Number of products published
  • Number of products under development
  • Dissemination of products outside INCOSE
    o Number of downloads
    o Number of citations
  • Number of partner agencies or organizations outside of INCOSE
  • Number of INCOSE Working Groups that team together to work this initiative
    o Number of cooperatively written articles, documents, etc.
    o Number of workshops, plenaries, etc. that are attended by other INCOSE Working Group delegates, thereby demonstrating INCOSE's Smart City involvement.
  • Active participation in and contributions to Standards development projects 
Our monthly meetings are open for all interested people


Please click  the link below to join the monthly Microsoft TEAMS meetings for 2022:

Click here to join the meeting


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Please consider an INCOSE membership if you want to contribute.
The Smart Cities Initiative plans to have meetings at all INCOSE WG events.

Next INCOSE International WG:
IW2022 - TBD
The Smart Cities Initiative plans to have presentations and meetings at all INCOSE International Symposium events.
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