Since 1990, the development of the internet and communication technologies has more or less led to a growth of initiatives aimed at the creation of spaces for communication and information exchanges among local or regional communities.

Initial experiences often arose spontaneously and circumstantially in the form of forums for citizens or members of certain groups, aiming to deal with common issues. Thus, each forum arose with different objectives. This phenomenon was first born in the United States, later spreading to Europe and Asia.

Local authorities are aware that in recent decades there has been an accelerated development of information and communication technologies (ICT), innovation and knowledge, which has become increasingly present in daily life, and a basic component of social and economic progress of territories.

The world is becoming increasingly digital and no one can remain on the sidelines of these transformations.

A process of change of such enormous proportions and a climate of uncertainty about a resulting social model demand an adequate response from local authorities, as they are the public authorities closest to citizens.


As part of the global reflection process on the Information Society promoted by the UN, the Second World Summit of Local Authorities on the Information Society was held in Bilbao in 2005. The concrete results of this summit were a Declaration and Plan of Action, the Digital Local Agenda, in which local authorities committed themselves to sharing digital development in solidarity with other cities and regions in order to progress in achieving inclusive municipalities and cities, and the use of ICTs as tools for development.

In order to carry out these objectives – to reduce the digital divide and implement local digital agendas as a means to improve the quality of life of citizens of decentralized governments – the UCLG Committee on the Information Society was created that same year, chaired by the City of Bilbao.

Since then, through the Committee, the aim has been to promote the development of a common vision and dynamic among local governments in favor of an inclusive Information Society that favors the reduction of the digital divide.

In November 2009, it was considered necessary that, in addition to continuing with the work carried out by the Committee to share digital development in solidarity with other cities and regions far from this objective, the Committee be given a broader scope, based on the search for competitive excellence of local governments through the management of knowledge and innovation in cities.

To this end, the members of the Committee and the UCLG World Council approved replacing the name “Committee on the Information Society” with “Committee on Digital Cities and Knowledge”, which is more in line with the new objectives set and the work to be carried out by the Committee.

The UCLG Committee on Digital Cities and Knowledge (CDC) seeks to create an efficient, cooperative network of local authorities to take advantage of the opportunities offered by new information and communication technologies (ICT), innovation and knowledge, and to share, assimilate, and adapt them to local needs in order to create new opportunities for cities.


In 2016, a process of reflection was initiated in UCLG about its operating structure, which resulted in the creation of a new structure of consultation mechanisms composed of: Policy Councils, Committees, Working Groups, Communities of Practice and Forums.

Taking into account this new structure, it is proposed to convert the Committee on Digital Cities and Knowledge to the “Digital Cities Community of Practice”, which will continue to be led by the City of Bilbao and will have a more practical approach.

UCLG's Digital Cities Community of Practice currently has more than 88 members.

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