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Name: UCLG - Committee of Digital and Knowledge-Based Cities, Spain
Location: Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
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Date Published: July 23, 2017, 4:59 p.m.

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the largest world network of local governments that supports international cooperation between cities and their associations, and facilitates programmes, networks and partnerships to build the capacities of local governments.

The UCLG Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities chaired by the City of Bilbao was created in 2005 with the aim to create an efficient network of cooperation integrated by Local Authorities to take advantage of the opportunities that the new information and communication technologies (ICT), innovation and knowledge bring, and to share, assimilate and adapt them to local needs, and create new opportunities for all the cities and municipalities

Currently, the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities has more than 88 members (cities and associations of municipalities) from all over the world.


Vision and experience on cities and technology

The world is becoming increasingly digital and no-one can afford to be left out of the changes taking place. This rapid change has given as a result a new model of city, the so called "Smart City".

A city, that seeks to become more liveable, functional, competitive and modern through the use of new technologies, the promotion of innovation and the management knowledge.

Being aware of this tendency, in 2012 the Committee developed and published the "Smart Cities Study: International study on the situation of ICT, innovation and Knowledge in cities" in which 28 cities from all over the world took part.

The study defines a "holistic" vision of Smart City, which brings together 6 key Areas of performance that affect the sustainable development of cities: economy, people, governance, mobility, environment y quality of life.

Following this vision and with the aim of boosting the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between cities, and most of all, to focus the work developed by the UCLG Committee on Digital and Knowledge-based Cities, different thematic and operative working meetings are organized in order to allow having a “real” exchange and debate through the use of new networking methodologies that can facilitate the interaction between the participants, but also the identification of collaboration projects. Each meeting will be focused in one of the key areas of performance identified during the elaboration of the “Smart Cities Study”.

Until today, 2 thematic meetings have being organized:

The first thematic meeting took place in May 2013 in Bordeaux (France) and was focused on the “Smart Local Economy” axis. This meeting allowed the cities to share vision and also debate new tendencies on issues related with the creation, attraction and retention of talent, the importance of boosting new merging sectors of activity especially the ones related to the new technologies, innovation and green technologies, the importance of creating and enable infrastructures and spaces for the business development and creativity in order to give support to the entrepreneurship, among others issues. The meeting was attended by 7 European cities.

The second thematic meeting took place in November 2014 in Bilbao (Basque Country) and was focused on the axis “Smart Local Governance: The challenge of good governance in local administrations” and represented a unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and debate on some of the main challenges that local governments face to achieve good governance, such as: strategic local public management; transparency and citizen participation; City intelligence: Big data + open data; and the modernization of public Administration and online Public Services. 79 representatives from cities, association of municipalities, international organizations and academic world took part in the meeting. This second meeting was organized in collaboration with UN-HABITAT and served as framework to present the URAÍA Platform.