First capacity building activity of the URAÍA Platform

In 2014 the Committee began a relation of collaboration with the Local government and decentralization Unit of UN-HABITAT in diverse issues related to the use new technologies for achieving local sustainable development.

As part of this collaboration, the Committee Secretariat took part in the workshop "SMART Technologies for municipal sustainability" held in June 2014 in Santander and that gave as a result the launch of the "Uraía" Platform.

The Uraía Platform was created as a space for exchange between local governments and their partners about the possibilities offered today with the introduction of SMART technologies in local public management. Uraía facilitates peer-to-peer learning, fosters transfer and adaptation of SMART solutions, and encourages experimentation. Since its launch, the Committee has been an active partner of Uraía.

On June 29 ant 30th of 2015 the Uraía Platform organizes in Oslo, Norway its first capacity building activity on "Public-Private Partnerships Negotiations for SMART City Management"

The final objective of this Workshop is to produce a set of Guidelines addressed to support local governments to negotiate contracts with the private sector in the implementation of SMART technologies applied to municipal management.

The guidelines will look at different case studies presented during the workshop, looking for lessons learnt and common mistakes to be avoided during the negotiation and implementation of PPPs.

If you are interest in taking part in the workshop and presenting your experience, please fill in the "Questionnaire to present experience" and send it back to

The workshop is open to representatives of local and national governments and private companies involved in the provision of public services. There will be available translation to French, English and Spanish.

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




Pioneering cities from across the globe approve new action plan to harness culture in sustainable development

Local leaders launch "Culture 21: Actions" and call for international community to follow suit and fully integrate culture into Post-2015 Agenda

Representatives of more than fifty cities from every continent came together in Bilbao from 18-20 March for the first ever United Cities and Local Governments Culture Summit. Over the three days of this landmark event, local leaders and practitioners demonstrated how they are taking the lead in recognizing, not just the potential of culture, but its absolute necessity for sustainable development.

The UCLG Culture Summit was held at a decisive moment in the international negotiations on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, which will be signed off in September this year by UN Member States. It provided a platform for local and national governments, civil society organizations, and international organizations such as UNESCO, to assess the current position of culture in the Agenda and to share experiences and innovations from cities across the world.

Mayors, councillors and cultural practitioners at the Summit warned that the Post-2015 Agenda risks being rendered irrelevant if the international community fails to keep pace with the lessons learned about the relationship between culture and sustainable development at local level. The work of local and regional governments on the ground has proven that the sustainable development goals related to poverty, gender equality, health, education, climate change, and peace and security, cannot be achieved without taking into account and working with the distinct identities, values and practices of local cultures.

These insights will feed into the ongoing advocacy work of international government networks in the Post-2015 and Habitat III negotiations, particularly the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which has been pushing for a ´localized´ Agenda that takes into account of local realities, including culture, on the ground. The Global Taskforce will take particular note of the strong calls in the session on ´The place of culture in the sustainable development goals´ for robust indicators for targets related to culture and of the value of collaboration between local government and civil society networks on shared issues of concern.

The diverse range of successful cultural policies and programmes presented by cities over the course of the three day event in Bilbao are all based on a common understanding of the mutual interdependence between the economic, social, environmental and cultural pillars of sustainability.

Few cities better exemplify the transformative potential of culture than Bilbao itself, which became a touchstone and international example in this area after its culturally-based regeneration in the late 90s. Mayor of Bilbao, Ibon Areso, underlined his city´s ongoing commitment to investing in culture, saying that, today, "It is more necessary than ever to stop and reflect on the role of culture in all its dimensions."

These principles are reflected in "Culture 21: Actions", approved by the UCLG Committee on Culture at the Summit on Thursday and published the following day in English, French, Spanish and Basque. This new tool provides adaptable guidelines to enable cities committed to culture and sustainable development to assess and improve their work in these areas, and to exchange experiences and good practices with one another. Over the next two years, UCLG will establish a work programme to facilitate peer-to-peer learning related to "Culture 21: Actions" between cities from different continents.


La reunión de la Comisión sobre “Smart Local Governance” se celebra con éxito

Los días 6 y 7 de noviembre se celebró en Bilbao la reunión internacional "SMART LOCAL GOVERNANCE: El reto de la buena gobernanza en la administración local.

La reunión organizada por la Ciudad de Bilbao que preside la Comisión de Ciudades Digitales y del Conocimiento de CGLU, la mayor red de ciudades y autoridades locales a nivel mundial ha contado con la colaboración de UN-Habitat, la Comisión de Descentralización y Autonomía Local de CGLU presidida por la Diputación de Barcelona, el Programa de Ciudades de la LSE y EUDEL.

Más de 80 representantes de ciudades, asociaciones de ciudades, organizaciones internacionales y el mundo académico de todo el mundo asistieron a la reunión.

Los días 6 y 7 de noviembre se celebró en ilbao la reunión internacional "SMART LOCAL GOVERNANCE: El reto de la buena gobernanza en la administración local de la Comisión de Ciudades Digitales y del Conocimiento de CGLU.

La Ciudad de Bilbao preside la Comisión de Ciudades Digitales y del Conocimiento, la cual tiene como principal objetivo impulsar el intercambio de conocimiento y colaboración entre ciudades. La Comisión publicó en 2013 el "Smart Cities Study: Estudio internacional sobre la situación de las TIC, la innovación y el Conocimiento en las ciudades" en el cuál se identificaron 6 ejes de actuación para el desarrollo sostenible de las ciudades: economía, gobernanza, ciudadanía, movilidad, medio ambiente y calidad de vida.

Ésta reunión de trabajo ha estado centrada en el eje "Smart Local Governance". Los gobiernos locales de todo el mundo están trabajando para mejorar su eficiencia y eficacia y, por lo tanto, recuperar la confianza de la ciudadanía en su gestión. La cada vez más creciente exigencia de la ciudadanía, obliga a los gobiernos locales a afrontar el reto ineludible de aumentar su capacidad de ofrecer soluciones eficaces a los problemas colectivos y de generar y ofrecer aceptación, complicidad y cercanía a su ciudadanía adoptando soluciones innovadoras en sus procesos e instrumentos de gestión y en la formulación de sus políticas.

Una nueva cultura organizativa con un importante componente relacional, cuyo objetivo último es lograr una gobernanza más innovadora, en la que el rigor económico, la calidad y mejora continua, la transparencia, la pluralidad, la participación y la cohesión social sirvan como elementos para alcanzar unos territorios más creativos, emprendedores, competitivos, inteligentes y sostenibles. La Smart Local Governance comprende los aspectos de la participación política y activa, servicios para la ciudadanía, así como el funcionamiento inteligente de la administración.

Todo ello con el apoyo de las Nuevas Tecnologías, las cuales permiten el establecimiento de una nueva forma de relación entre la Administración Local y la ciudadanía; en particular, el establecimiento de servicios públicos en línea y el aprovechamiento de las Nuevas Tecnologías para mejorar la participación la ciudadanía en las decisiones públicas.

La reunión ha representado una oportunidad única para el intercambio de conocimiento y el debate sobre algunos de los principales desafíos y retos a los que se enfrentan los gobiernos locales para la buena gobernanza como son: la gestión pública local estratégica; la Transparencia y Participación ciudadana; la Inteligencia de ciudad: Big data + open data; y la modernización de la Administración y Servicios Públicos On-line.

Durante la jornada se ha podido conocer la visión de personas expertas en los temas, provenientes de organizaciones internacionales y del mundo académico como la Nord-Trøndelag University College (HiNT) de Noruega, la George Washington University, el Instituto Europeo de Administración Pública (EIPA), Transparency International, la OECD y Microsoft, entre otros.

La reunión ha permitido también conocer las experiencias llevadas a cabo por ciudades como Bilbao, Mannheim, Tampere, Barcelona, Trondheim, Maputo, la Diputación de Barcelona y Asociaciones y Redes de Ciudades y Municipios como EUDEL, FLACMA y Citynet.

Además, se han podido conocer los proyectos que se están llevando a cabo como el "Estudio sobre el Futuro de la Gobernanza Urbana", impulsado Programa de Ciudades de la LSE, UN-Habitat y la Comisión de Descentralización y Autonomía Local de CGLU y el Proyecto "Plataforma Uraía" de UN-Habitat,.

Presentaciones: Hemos publicado todas las presentaciones en la página web de la Comisión en la sección Intercambio de conocimiento / Experiencias. Pueden acceder a ellas en el siguiente enlace

Informe: castellano / inglés

Fotos:  enlace

Programa definitivo: castellano / inglés

UCLG Celebrates Urban October

On the occasion of World Habitat Day 2014, UCLG calls upon its members to participate in the #urbanSDG Selfie Campaign, which will culminate on 31 October with the first #WorldCitiesDay.

For the first time ever, this October, two important milestones in the urban calendar will coincide in the same month. As usual, on the first Monday of each October, which this year falls on 6 October, the world will be celebrating World Habitat Day. This year´s new addition is the celebration of World Cities Day #CitiesDay on the last day of the month, 31 October. The celebrations, events and activities taking place around these two days can be grouped together under the umbrella of Urban October.

Urban October will bring together many of the initiatives on advocacy, outreach and communication on sustainable urban development. Urban October is a month for raising interest in urban challenges, for stimulating debates and moving forward commitments.

With important global agendas in the process of being defined, UCLG calls upon its members and partners to mobilize and raise awareness about the transformative potential of urbanization and the significant role that well-managed cities with strong institutions accountable to citizens can play in a sustainable future for all.

With the first steps of the Habitat III Conference preparations already taken and the negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals well underway, Local and Regional Governments underline that rural‑urban linkages, the engagement of cities and partnerships with citizens will be key for the success of a universal agenda. ​

We encourage local and regional leaders, mayors, presidents and elected representatives to participate by taking a selfie with the hashtags #urbanSDG and #CitiesDay.

It´s easy! Join the campaign!

Show your commitment to contribute to the sustainable development agenda and Habitat III.

#HabitatDay | #CitiesDay | #UrbanSDG


Local and regional governments participation #Habitat III Prepcom I

The first Preparatory Committee meeting (Prepcom I) of Habitat III, the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, will be taking place in New York on 17-18 September, including pre-meetings on 15-16 September.

Prepcom I will be the first step towards the definition of a shared vision of the New Urban Agenda an agenda which many expect to define the implementation mechanisms of the 2015 Summit Resolutions and Sustainable Development Goals.

Members and partners of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 Development Agenda and towards Habitat III, including members of the UCLG Presidency and Vice-Presidency and political representatives of the networks, will set the expectations of their constituencies on the role to be played in the definition of the agenda and on future governance.

A renewed urban and territorial agenda

Building on membership priorities, expectations and concerns, local and regional leaders and political representatives will pay particular attention to issues surrounding the implementation of Habitat III, the links between the Sustainable Development Goals and Habitat III, the localization of targets and indicators, and the challenges of local and regional authorities for the next two decades.

Activities and events prior to and during Prepcom I

In order to feed the debates of national governments and provide the views of local authorities in the key issues identified, the Global Taskforce will be coordinating events and side events from 15 to 18 September, including:

  • 15 September, morning: The technical meeting of the Global Taskforce will finalise the messages of Local and Regional Governments, their networks and partners, and will allow participants to exchange information on the Prepcom I agenda. 
  • 15 September, afternoon: The Policy Dialogue of Local and Regional Governments, supported by the Spanish Mission, will discuss the development of the Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments, building on membership priorities, expectations and concerns. The Dialogue will involve representatives from UN missions, governments and agencies such as UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance, UNDP and other urban partners. 
  • 16 September, morning: The Global Taskforce will coordinate the High-Level Event of Local and Regional Governments, which will present views on the implementation of Habitat II, discuss the links between the Sustainable Development Goals and Habitat III and set out their priorities for the Habitat III agenda. High-Level UN officials and political representatives will be present. 
  • 18 September, the side event of local and regional authorities will take place from 1:30pm to 2:30pm and will deal with the "Local and regional governments´ contributions to Habitat III: priorities, expectations, and challenges for sustainable cities and territories". 

 Spread the message!

In order to raise awareness on the involvement of local and regional authorities in this process, UCLG and the Global Taskforce will be promoting the use of outreach material through social media.

Enclosed: a toolkit and graphics to be used to promote the messages on Facebook and Twitter. Please feel free to share it on social networks.

Further information: Local and Regional Authorities´ Days

Check the related page in UCLG website.


The Committee collaborates with ONUHABITAT in the organization of the “Marketplace and project design exercise for SMART Technologies for municipal sustainability”

From the Committee we are collaborating with ONUHABITAT in the organization of the "Marketplace and project design exercise for SMART Technologies for municipal sustainability" that will be held from 30 June to 1 July 2014 in the City of Santander.

The Local Governments and Decentralization Unit of UNHabitat and the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) are jointly designing a pilot project to facilitate the access to apps and SMART technologies able to support cities in generating endogenous resources, thanks to a better access and provision of public services within a framework of transparency in their management and delivery.

The goal of this pilot Project is to support both cities in developing and industrialized countries in their challenge to introduce SMART technologies for public management. The project will create a world network to exchange experiences and will develop concrete apps able to help municipalities to better manage their municipal finances.

This launch event to be held in Santander, is one the first one of a series of meetings that will be held in other cities from all around the world, and will have as main objectives:

  1. Need assessment for the participant cities in relation with the implementation of SMART technologies in the municipal finances field
  2. Identification of the areas of interest for the development of pilot apps.
  3. Launch of the global network on SMART municipal finance.
  4. Identification of the more frequent challenges for the implementation of SMART technologies to public management, with special attention to procurement process and the normative aspects of municipal fiscal management.
  5. Networking space for the participant cities and the private sector (with special focus on technological service providers and telephonic companies).
  6. Study visit to the experience of the host city of Santander in implementing SMART technologies, analysis of the experience of Smart Santander and identification of lessons learnt.

If you are interested in taking part in the Workshop, please contact Diana A. Lopez Caramazana, Decentralization and Local Governments Unit- ONUHabitat

Workshop programme

The CNM develops two initiatives on technology and management modernization of local governments

The National Confederation of Municipalities of Brazil (CNM) has established a partnership with the SMART -Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation- Initiative of the University of Michigan, a cross-university, cross-disciplinary, multi-sector initiative focused on accelerating implementation of integrated, sustainable transportation systems and the related emerging new Mobility industry. Together they have published a book on "Technology in Favor of Urban Mobility" last July. You can access the publication here.

Also, in the framework of this collaboration, the CNM has also supported SMART´s Mobiprize, which honors entrepreneurial ventures in sustainable transportation worldwide. For more information, you can visit the website We also encourage you if you have a project or initiative that you consider to be of interest to present it for the next edition of the Mobiprize.

In partnership with the Organization of American States - OAS and Federation of Latin-American of Cities, Municipalities and Associations - FLACMA, the CNM is organizing the Latin-American Meeting on Technology and Local Management to be held in May 2014, in Brazil. This event will discuss the following issues: governance and technological solutions, digital inclusion, open government, mobility and urban mobility, and economic development. An exhibition will bring together initiatives and innovations from the public and private sectors in Latin American and worldwide. We encourage you to save the date and keep you informed about the definitive dates.

The Committee to participate in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development

Following the commitment acquired by the presidency of the committee of boosting synergies with other UCLG committees and working groups, the City of Bilbao will take part in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development organized by UCLG´s Working Group on Local Economic Development and UNDP.

From the committee the development of "smart" local economies it´s been promoted, through the impulse of innovation, the support to entrepreneurship, the creation, retention and attraction of talent and the development of sectors of economic activity linked to new technologies, research and development in the territories.

With this vision the City of Bilbao will present its experience, in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development that will take place from October 29th to November 1st in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil.

The City of Bilbao will take part in the session "Key factors of Urban Governance for LED" to be held on October 31st.

For further information visit:


The City of Bilbao becomes a member of UCLG World Council

During the IV UCLG World Congress held in Rabat the government bodies of the organization were renewed.

In October 3rd, 2013, in the African City of Rabat, the UCLG General Assembly ratified the designation of the City of Bilbao as member of UCLG World Council for the period 2013-2016, occupying one of the 8 seats designated in the World Council to UCLG direct members of the European Section.

Until date, the City of Bilbao occupied the position of substitute in the World Council.

Ms. Ibone Bengoetxea, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao and President of the Basque Association of Municipalities (EUDEL) took part in the General Assembly meeting for the designation, as representative of the City.

The City of Bilbao has been collaborating with UCLG since its foundation, as President of the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities and also as an active member in the activities, boosted from UCLG. The designation of Bilbao as member of the World Council ratifies the commitment of the City with UCLG.

Additionally, during the meeting of the UCLG World Council in Rabat, a process for the election of the new Presidency of UCLG for the period 2013-2016 took place.

Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul (Turkey) was reelected President of the organization.

The following co-presidents were elected:

  • Augusto Barrera, Mayor of Quito (Ecuador),
  • Anne Hidalgo, First deputy Mayor at the Town Hall of Paris (France)
  • Chen Jianhua, Mayor of Guangzhou (China),
  • Alain Juppé, President of the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (AFCCRE), Mayor of Bordeaux (France) and Vice-president of the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities.
  • Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan (Russia) was re-elected co-president
  • Jacqueline Moustache Belle, President of the Association of Districts of Victoria (Seychelles), Mayor of Victoria
  • Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat (Morocco) was elected as treasurer for UCLG.
  • Berry Vrbanovic, Emeritus President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Councilor of Kitchener was nominated deputy treasurer.

Nine Vice-Presidents representing all the regions of the world were also elected. The Assembly General of UCLG welcomed the creation of a new section for the Regions that will be led by ORU-FOGAR.

More information:

Walking the talk: Creating people-centred cities: a turning point in Rabat?

At the first side event at the UCLG Congress organized by the UCLG Urban Strategic Planning, the Committee on mobility and digital and knowledge-based cities, and the City of  Rabat´s Planning Department, history was made when Walk 21, an international NGO conducted its first walking audit in Africa. The mandate of Walk 21 of creating a culture and community where people choose to walk, is aligned with city strategies to promote walking and its interface with public transportation and is also consistent with the UCLG vision of  more integrated, sustainable and just cities.

In the morning seminar held on October 1st before the walking audit, participants learnt that two-thirds of the entire city population in Rabat uses walking as a mode of transport and great efforts have been made by the city leadership to promote walking. Interestingly it was also discovered that 63 percent of all internal trips in Bilbao today consist of walking. Bilbao´s successes was achieved by a strong policy framework to promote a more  human scale of development. Inspired by these insights from political leadership, we then conducted the walking audit in downtown Rabat. This experiential learning exercise was an eye-opener for all those that attended, and it helped us understand the city from the perspective of the pedestrian.

It was encouraging to see political leaders from the cities of Bilbao, Inhambane, Porte Alegre, Durban and Rabat, literally take the first step together earlier this week towards recommitting themselves to create cities that put PEOPLE at the center of development. Led by the Mayor of Durban, they each signed the International Charter for Walking.

The second step was taken later in the week, again led by the political Co-Chairperson of the Urban Strategic Planning Committee who was given an opportunity to make an input into the UCLG Executive Bureau. At this meeting he urged all members of the Executive Bureau to promote this agenda and encouraged all city partners to pledge support for the Charter.

NOTE: The full Charter can be found and signed at The International Charter for Walking identifies the needs of people on foot and provides a common framework to help authorities refocus their existing policies, activities and relationships.