The Committee collaborates with the Uraía Platform in the organization of its second workshop in Nicosia

We inform you that as founding members of the Uraía Platform for the innovation in the municipal management, from the Committee we are collaborating in the organization of the second capacity building activity of the Uraía Platform, an initiative led by UN-Habitat and the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV).

The workshop will be held on 19 and 20th of April 2016 in Nicosia (Cyprus) in the framework of the CEMR Congress.

This year, the activity focus its work on the impact of SMART technologies in the municipal budget, and more specifically how, through technological innovation, municipalities can increase their revenue by improving local tax collection, while reducing expenditure thanks to energy efficiency policies.

The objective of the workshop is to exchange experiences on initiatives that used SMART technologies to improve tax recovery and increase energy efficiency and how these experiences produce an impact on municipal budget and are transformed into better services to all citizens.

The workshop will result in a document that will seek to capitalize on the exchanges, case studies, challenges, opportunities and views shared by decision makers who face similar situations regarding the pressing need to address the citizen’s demands in more innovative ways. Getting more resources yes, but also spending less, and better.

The workshop will combine plenary sessions and more in-depth debates in working groups, as well as a technical visit to SMART experiences of the Municipality of Nicosia.

The most intense part of the activity will take place on the 19th April and will count on with the part of the Uraía Partners, but being open, with no cost, to other cities interested in taking part previous approval by the Uraía´s Secretariat. Uraía will be able to finance the travel and three nights’ accommodation for 10 participants from developing countries. To request your registration and make a petition for scholarships you may contact directly

The 20th April will take place as part of the CEMR Congress, and will be open both for the registered participants to the workshops and the registered participants to the Congress which will begin on the 20th in the afternoon. You may find all the registration information to the CCEMR in the following link

The workshop is addressed to representatives from local governments, network of cities, research centres, international organizations, and private sector companies. The working languages of the workshops are French, English and Spanish.

Please click on the links below to access the following reference documents:

Registration form
Concept note Nicosia Workshop

More information

Uraía's publication about SMART Public-Private Partnerships is already available

Uraía is releasing its first publication: 'Public-Private Partnerships for SMART City Management. Recommendations for local governments to prepare and implement SMART PPPs'. The Committee has collaborated in the elaboration of the publication.

The publication 'Public-Private Partnerships for SMART City Management. Recommendations for local governments to prepare and implement SMART PPPs' is now available for download.

The document is the result of the discussions held during Uraía’s first capacity-building Workshop which took place in Oslo (Norway) last June. The working paper elaborated in collaboration with the participants who attended the workshop - including representatives of local governments, city networks, service and technology providers, civil society, international organizations and research institutes from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa - gathers general recommendations on city-business cooperation in the field of SMART projects and is based on the participants’ experiences.

After introducing the context of Uraía and the Oslo Workshop, the document explores the main characteristics of SMART PPPs as compared to more conventional PPPs. In the following, the Recommendations are divided into three sections, following the logic of the project implementation:

Phase 1 – institutional prerequisites
Phase 2 – Partnership negotiation
Phase 3 – Project implementation and management

A series of case studies give concrete examples of SMART PPPs implemented by the municipalities of Porto Alegre (Brazil), Johannesburg (South Africa), Agra (India), Sousse (Tunisia) and Valencia (Spain), drawing on their experiences and lessons learned. Additionally, interviews with experts and local government representatives give valuable insights to all relevant project phases of SMART PPPs.

The Recommendations were presented at the UCLG’s 2nd Seminar on Modernizing Municipal Management taking place on October 1–2 in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Uraía team would like to thank the contributors and the workshop participants for their valuable inputs to this document, and sincerely hopes that it will constitute a reference work for local and regional governments in the field of SMART Public-Private Partnerships.

The document can be downloaded in English HERE,Spanish HERE and in French HERE.

More information:

Local is human, local is efficient, local is beautiful: highlights from the 3rd World Forum of Local Economic Development in Turin

Local is human, local is efficient, local is beautiful – these were key messages of Pope Francis in the opening ceremony of the 3rd World Forum of Local Economic Development (LED), which took place between 13 and 16 October in Turin, Italy. Hosted by Mayor Piero Fassino, the Forum gathered 2,000 participants from over 100 countries, including a delegation of around 200 members of our World Organization. With a rich agenda, including three plenary sessions, 30 panels and 26 workshops, the event evidenced the power of the local level in economic development through the hundreds of experiences, practices and statements shared by participants.

The general theme that global objectives can only be achieved if the focus is local and a bottom-up approach to implementation is adopted was expressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, in his keynote speech: “The SDGs will only be achieved when countries and communities work together, becoming one big city. Local environments are central to the success of the SDGs. It is important that global goals are developed in cites, regions and territories.” He further called on mayors to reach out to citizens and ensure their participation in this process.

Widely represented in the Forum, the UCLG delegation included Vice President Mpho Moruakgomo, the Mayors of Dakar, Chefchaouen, Matola, Maputo, Belo Horizonte, Tunis, Bethlehem, Las Cabezas de San Juan and the Governor of Santa Fe, as well as the Secretary General of UCLG Africa and representatives from the World Secretariat, the Committee on Urban Strategic Planning, and the Working Groups on Intermediary Cities and LED, as well as our partners FAMSI, FMDV, ORU FOGAR and CNM.

Opening the Forum on behalf of UCLG, Khalifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar, stressed the importance of “thinking global and acting local” and emphasized the need for human centred development. Following the discourse of the Mayor of Turin on how LED has enabled the city to transform its industrial roots to become the diverse, cultural and innovative city it is today, he urged local authorities to take responsibility for their own development, expressing the view that “Africa is the driver of future development”.

Echoing the sentiments of the UN Secretary General, speaking in the plenary session on LED as an effective approach to reduce inequality, Antonio Bonfatti, Governor of Santa Fe characterized decentralization as “the leaven of development”, where a strong call to take producers, in particular small farmers, and micro-business into account in LED policies was expressed. This view of the effectiveness of the small-scale urban economy was evidenced by Marcio Lacerda, Mayor of Belo Horizonte and President of the FNP, stating that there are now 300,000 SMEs in Belo Horizonte that are contributing to the city’s development. The need to effectively capture tax revenues as a key means of financing LED was also raised.

The potential of LED to provide a meaningful framework for conveying and integrating the key actors and dimensions associated with the effective implementation of the SDGs at the local level was also discussed, with Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN for Economic Development, emphasizing “all SDGs relate to territories”. The achievements of the Global Taskforce during the Post-2015 Development Agenda negotiations were recalled by panellists, who underscored the need for nations to express clearer policies on LED that include associations of local governments. Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, stressed that LED will only work if international organizations such as the UN work directly with those on the front line, adding that “there will be no development if it is not carried out at local level”.

Cooperation and partnerships were also key themes running through the sessions. The Mayor of Matola, Calisto Cossa, stressed the importance of finding joint solutions between all actors, and stated that “triangular cooperation and the education of women are essential for cities and nations to grow”. The Mayor of Chefchaouen and Chair of the Working Group on Intermediary Cities, Mohamed Sefiani, stressed the value of South-South cooperation projects carried out with UCLG and the ILO, and provided examples of urban realities in LED such as local policies and cooperatives involving farmers and consumers; proving that partnerships work best when they focus on local priorities set by the communities. The crucial role that intermediary cities play in bridging the gaps between metropolitan centres and rural zones was also recalled. UCLG Vice President, Mpho Moruakgomo further stressed the need to create partnerships, including PPPs, to reduce dependence on the State, and since “all partnerships create synergies, generate skills and enable knowledge transfer”.

The Forum also provided a great opportunity to launch the organization’s new key positioning document on LED, based on policy inputs from the UCLG Working Group, presided by FAMSI and FCM. The publication expresses key messages such as the crucial role of local authorities in leading development in territories, creating employment and fostering urban rural linkages, and the need to strengthen the capacities of the local level and recognize the importance of urban planning strategies in order to do this.

Focusing on a key area of the organization’s agenda, the Urban Strategic Planning Committee and UN-Habitat organized a panel session dedicated to opportunities for LED through effective public space policies, showcasing a range of perspectives related to the social, cultural and economic benefits of public space, markets, job creation and the informal economy, logistics and mobility, protected land and citizen participation. Interventions from the floor also touched on the links between gender and dignity in public space policies and the right to the city.

UCLG also coordinated an interactive peer learning activity looking at migration in Turin and its role in local development from economic, social and territorial points of view. This was implemented through a tour of the Porta Palazzo market, the largest open market in Europe, led by migrant guides trained through the project "MygranTour”. The tour gathered over 50 participants, including many technical and political representatives of municipalities from around the world, who observed first-hand how economic activity was a key factor of integration and inclusion.

Metropolis and FMDV also led a session on re-localizing economy and finance for local sustainable development, and UCLG Africa held a workshop to exchange regional experiences on the challenges and prospects of LED in Africa.

An opportunity to bring together a range of actors, the three days of intensive discussions helped to nurture the partnership between UCLG and various UN agencies; with the ILO praising the increased recognition of local authorities within the UN since Habitat II and calling for increased capacities and support, and UNDP raising the importance of partnerships between the UN and the local level.

The European Directorate General for Development Cooperation also emphasized the many steps they have taken to recognize and support local authorities, including their role as their largest donor, with 1.7 billion funding provided to regional and local governments. Rosario Bento Pais, Head of Unit for Local Authorities and Civil Society, said that peer to peer and other forms of cooperation were crucial to implement LED, which must be managed by a territorial approach.

In addition to congratulating the great success of the Forum, the closing ceremony reflected on the steps ahead to attain the desired results and implement effective LED policies, especially with a view to achieving the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. Representing UCLG, Francisco Toajas Mellado, Mayor of Las Cabezas de San Juan and Chair of the Working Group on LED, recalled the challenges that all mayors, both in the north and south, face in terms of providing their citizens with a strong local economy and decent jobs, and the importance of implementing the SDGs at the local level to drive economic development. According to Giovanni Camilleri from UNDP ART, in order to do this, each country must contribute their own efforts and resources to the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, up to 3% of their GDP. To conclude the event, the key outcomes of the Forum were summed up in the Final Declaration, presented by the Vice Mayor of Turin, Enzo Lavolta.

More info:
UCLG key positioning document on LED
Video produced by the City of Turin with some key moments of the Forum
Video of the Speech of Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
Final Declaration of the LED Forum

Source: UCLG

The 2nd Seminar on the Modernization of the Municipal Management was held successfully

The Seminar gathered in the City of Sao Paulo more than 230 leaders of Latin America that debated on issues such as economy, governance, environment and quality of life.

The Committee annual event organized by the National Confederation of Municipalities of Brazil (CNM) which holds the Vice-presidency of the Committee for Latin America, the Organization of American States (OEA), the Development Bank of Latin America, the Presidency of the UCLG Committee –held by the City of Bilbao- and the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Associations (FLACMA) was held from September 30th to October 2nd in the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The opening ceremony was held on September 30th with the presence of representatives from the CNM, the OEA, the Development Bank of Latin America , the City of Bilbao and the City Sao Paulo and FLACMA. All of them remarked the importance of good governance in municipal management and the celebration of this kind of meetings for the exchange and share of knowledge among cities.

Economy, mobility, governance, citizen participation, environment and quality of life were some of the main subjects discussed along the Seminar. The debates took place in 6 panels in which representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and Bilbao shared their experiences and best practices.

The modernization of municipal management and the use of new technologies for boosting citizen participation centered most part of the debates. The so called “Citizen Laboratories –spaces where different people gather to develop joint projects- were also PRESENTED IN THE Seminar as instruments for the promotion of innovation and citizen participation.

The sustainable urban mobility and environmental management were also subjects of interest during the Seminar. As well as the importance of the Public-Private Partnerships as drivers for the development of cities.

During the Seminar, best practices of transparency in the municipal public administration and the right of access of citizens to the municipal information were also presented. The Seminar also allowed the exchange of experiences on the modernization of management and public purchase systems.

The second day of the Seminar also included a key-note speech of Ms. Mercedes Peñas Doming, Former Executive Director of Demuca Foundation and First Lady of Costa Rica. She spoke on the importance of women in politics, the bureaucracy of services and the democracy, among other challenges for the modernization of the nation.

Follow the links below to access the event report (in Spanish) and photos of the Seminar:

Photos of the Seminar

Presentations made during the Seminar

7 days left for the Committee Annual Event in Brazil

With the aim of exchanging knowledge and boosting the collaboration between cities, this year’s Committee Annual Event will be held from 1-2 October in the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil, under the title “2nd Seminar on the Modernization of the Municipal Management”.

The Seminar is organized by the National Confederation of Municipalities of Brazil (CNM) which holds the Vice-presidency of the Committee for Latin America, the Organization of American States (OEA), the Development Bank of Latin America, the Presidency of the UCLG Committee –held by the City of Bilbao- and the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Associations (FLACMA).

This event will represent a unique opportunity to exchange and disseminate innovative experiences in the field of the Municipal Public Management with the aim of reinforcing public administrations in the region and fostering innovation in the public sector.

Registration to the seminar has no cost and it will have available interpretation to Spanish and Portuguese.

More information:

The Committee participates in the UCLG-Mewa Smart Cities Committee Meeting with a Video Message

The UCLG Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities was invited to participate in this year’s edition of the UCLG-Mewa Smart Cities Meeting which has being held in the City of Konya, Turkey.

Unfortunately, it was not possible for the Presidency of the Committee to attend the meeting, but Mr. Xabier Ochandiano, City Councilor for Economic Development, Commerce and Employment of the City of Bilbao in representation of the Presidency shared some words with the attendants though a video message.

You can watch the video message in the following link:

First Call for Pilot-Projects of the Uraía Platform

We inform you that the Uraía Platform has recently opened its first call for Pilot-Projects support. The deadline for projects submission is August 31st 2015.

One of the main activities of the Uraía Platform is to facilitate pilot projects implementation by offering technical assistance to partners that are willing to experiment in their territories. It will particularly encourage the development of pilot applications to improve municipal finances. According to the demand of the partner, Uraía might offer technical assistance for:

  • The elaboration of economic, legal and financial feasibility studies of the project; and procurement procedures.
  • The identification of service & technology providers.
  • The identification of adapted technologies for the project.
  • The identification of experiences from other municipalities and organization of technical visits.

How to apply:

Only two projects will be selected in 2015. If you are interested in submitting a project from your local government, please fill the APPLICATION FORM and return it to before August 31st 2015.

More information:

The Committee renews its website


From the Committee we have being working during the months of June and July in the renewal of the Committee website and we are glad to inform you that the website is online.

We wanted to create a more attractive website that can facilitate the dissemination of the activities in which from the Committee we are working on. From the Presidency of the Committee we would like to extend an invitation to all the Committee members to use the website as a communication channel to inform on their activities related with the Committee by sending news, experiences and events.

If you would like a news or event to be published in the website, please contact:

The Committee collaborates with the Uraía Platform in the organization of its first capacity-building workshop in Oslo

The Committee has being an active partner of the Uraía platform since it was launched in 2014 during the workshop "SMART Technologies for municipal sustainability" held in Santander.

On June 29th and 30th 2015, the Uraía Platform organized its first capacity building activity in Oslo, Norway, on "Public-Private Partnerships Negotiation for SMART City Management".

More than 35 representatives from local governments and their associations, private sector, research centers, civil society and international organizations from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, participated in the first Capacity-building Workshop of the Uraía Platform on Public-Private Partnerships Negotiation for SMART City Management in Oslo on June 29 and 30 organized in partnership between FMDV and UN-Habitat with the support of the UCLG Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities.

During the two-day Workshop - including a field visit to Oslo´s SMART City initiatives, panel discussions, round tables and informal discussions -, the participants shared their experiences and knowledge on negotiating and implementing Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the field of SMART technologies for improving public services. The representative from the City of Porto Alegre (Brazil), for example, shared its Open Data policy called "Data PoA". The representative from the Municipality of Kinondoni, Tanzania, shared its program to collect taxes through a mobile phone application. The City of Johannesburg, South Africa, spoke about its experience of establishing a PPP contract in public lightning. Representatives from the private sector as Veolia or Change Tomorrow presented their work with local governments. Representatives from institutions such as Nomadéis, OCDE or Instituto Superiore Mario Boella, gave specific recommendations on how local governments should implement PPPs for SMART management. Some of these recommendations are: the careful evaluation of the local government´s capacities; a balanced distribution of risks and potential benefits between city administrations, the private stakeholder and citizens; the careful examination of the business partner, and the adaptation of PPP frameworks to technological innovations in fast-changing contexts.
The Workshop highlighted common concerns and shared difficulties, the need for fostering experience exchange and dialogue between the private and public sector as well as among cities that often face similar problems and challenges in the negotiation of PPPs and in the provision of public services. The informal, participatory and inclusive format of the Workshop allowed for engaging discussions and an in-depth analysis of the needs of local governments in the process of establishing and implementing PPPs involving SMART technologies.

The discussions of the Workshop will inform a set of Guidelines aiming at supporting local governments in their negotiation of contracts with the private sector for the implementation of SMART technologies applied to municipal management. It should establish a roadmap with main steps to prepare and negotiate a PPP contract, keys elements of success, main risks and difficulties encountered and mistakes to avoid.

For more information:


The Committee met in Porto Alegre on June 12th to define the work plan for 2015

The UCLG Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based cities organized on the occasion of the UCLG Executive Bureau in Porto Alegre, a working meeting with the committee members on the 12th of June 2015.

The meeting was chaired by the City of Bilbao, Chair of the Committee and the National Confederation of Municipalities of Brazil (CNM), Vice-chair of the Committee for Latin-America. The meeting was attended by more than 20 representatives of cities and international organizations.

During the meeting, the Committee reported on the activities developed in 2014 and the first semester 2015. The Committee also informed on the scheduled activities for the second half of 2015.

The meeting also had as main objective, to work on the preparation of the next committee activity, the seminar on "Modernization of the Municipal Management" scheduled to take place on 30 September and 1-2 October 2015 in São Paulo State, Brazil.

The meeting was quite interactive, since the attendants expressed their questions and their interest in taking a more active role in the committee activities.

See meeting pictures