This paper explores how standards will play a critical role in facilitating the creation of smarter cities with systems that are optimized by using a comprehensive information view from pervasive instrumentation. The underlying premise is that the combination of standards, models, and a new suite of design tools and techniques will be needed to address various challenges and make significant progress toward the creation of smarter cities, as defined in this paper. We start by giving examples of where standards have enabled the transformation of large-scale industry systems, such as banking. Drawing from these insights, this paper shows how standards are applicable to the creation, adoption, and management of diverse hierarchies of systems found in cities. In addition, we provide a perspective on key standards currently deployed in cities and areas of development required to address inefficiencies that will help guide the design of new city-wide systems. © 2011 by International Business Machines Corporation.