The United Smart Cities program is a global initiative, established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in cooperation with the Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER) and other international organizations, cities, industry and finance sector.
The main program objectives encompass promoting sustainable development and projects in cities at a global level, supporting cities in transition and developing countries to develop smarter and more sustainable urban solutions, establishing a multi-stakeholder platform and content hub for smart city initiatives, identifying and developing new smart financing mechanism, especially for PPPs, and ensuring knowledge transfer to identify best practices and lessons learned among cities.
United Smart Cities is a unique platform that brings together international organizations, companies, governments and high level decision makers to work together on one Goal: Generate and realize more smart and sustainable city projects.
The aim of the United Smart Cities program is to evaluate cities, develop city profiles, support strategies in terms of urban planning and priorities, project development in cooperation with urban experts and the private sector, identify finance options, and evaluate city projects and progress. Moreover, the USC program promotes sustainable urban development, especially in countries with transition economies and in developing countries, through analysis of practices and policies, pilot activities, exchange of experiences and best practices, networking and capacity building.
The United Smart Cities approach provides structured information about different areas of activity in urban development by specifically including factors which are of relevance for climate and energy as levers for improving urban development. In this context smartness means that the cities involved are aware of the different dimensions of urban development and that they actively participate in decision-making processes about desired changes and put their focus on particularly sustainable, intelligent (i.e. smart) and attractive strategies and technologies.
In order to ensure sustainable development of urban areas and smart cities, it is of utmost importance and an asset of this program to establish linkages and partnerships between the public and the private sector. The program is working to develop cross-sector partnerships as well as to ensure development of a sustainable, long-term vibrant and profitable network, as well as an exchange platform for smart cities globally.
Cities are the hubs of innovation that drive economic development, however, in the nascent period of a city’s growth, urbanization can have adverse effects on the environment and on its citizens.
As we move forth on striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), cities have been encouraged to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address urban challenges and provide a better quality of life to its inhabitants.
At this stage, it is important to be able to measure the performance of various smart sustainable city ventures. One such approach for measurement is provided by key performance indicators (KPIs) that facilitate the monitoring of the progress achieved in smart sustainable city transitions.
Private sector partnerships, to develop smarter and more sustainable cities, are the key element of the United Smart Cities program.
United Smart Cities has initiated and developed an extensive pool of companies (covering 12 sectors) to support participating cities in pre-discussions of applicable and smart technology and to support in the development of projects.
In addition, the United Smart Cities has set up a “Global Industry Board for Smart and Sustainable Cities” that gives high level advice to UN agencies, governments and cities on ongoing city-targeted programs.
United Smart Cities contains a solid base of finance entities, banks, funds and investors that are related to sustainable projects.
OiER and its team of finance experts also supports the U4SSC in delivering financial guidelines for smart sustainable cities. These guidelines will be made available to cities through U4SSC during spring 2018.
Moreover, the United Smart Cities financing group and program is covering various key parts of innovative city and infrastructure financing, working to developing a structured pipeline for city projects, and developing innovative models for finance and investments.
With a dismal snowpack this year and parts of the Rio Grande running dry, a new deal among an environmental group, municipalities and businesses in New Mexico will help restore some flows for the river to benefit the ecosystem and endangered species.
To realize and implement smart urban projects we need to take action and work together. Become a United Smart Cities Partner and create better city standards all over the world – transform cities into Smart Cities. Join the USC program today! Please fill out the registration form or contact us for more information: