Introduction to Smart Cities

The social and economic globalization brings to front the cities which are full of knowledge and culture and where talent can be cultivated and developed. In 2008, half of the world's population was living in urban areas, and predictions raise the percentage to 70% for 2050. Therefore, the urbanization of the world underscore the importance of the cities because a city contains the essence of the economy and finance. 

That is why the urban development will involve the need of creating new social and economic structures based on creativity, innovation and new technologies. 
To reach this goal, public administrations, businesses and citizens should have a better technological capacity, be more entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and better informed. In addition, the social values such as integration, transparency, participation, social cohesion and sustainability should also be integrated in this new model of city which will result in competitive cities: the Smart Cities. 
The emphasis on some factors is necessary to have more competitive cities, which are: Knowledge, Technology, Leadership and Cooperation and Partnerships.

What is a Smart City?
A city can be defined as “smart” when there is a positive performance in six areas such as: Economy, Citizens, Management, Mobility, Environment and Quality of Life. According to the Smart Cities study of the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities of UCLG, these six areas are defined as indicators.
The Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) 

Its main objective is to reach an alliance among all the Committee members to achieve a competitive economy driven by the local authorities in which knowledge, innovation and new technologies (ICT) are created, transmitted, acquired and used to promote the economic and social development of the own community.

The Committee is currently composed of a President and 4 Vice-Presidents and the City of Bilbao chairs the Committee represented by its Mayor Mr. Iñaki Azkuna.

The Committee of UCLG is currently constituted of more than 88 members and among them, 6 members are from the region of the Middle East and West Asia region such as: Arab Town Organization (ATO), the city of Beirut, the city of Tripoli, the city of Khan Younis, the municipality of Ramallah and the Metropolitan Municipality of Diyarbakir.

Why UCLG-MEWA established the Committee on Smart Cities?
UCLG-MEWA Committee on Smart Cities was established by the decision taken at UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau and Council Joint Meeting held in Adana, Turkey on 19 December 2014.
The Committee on Smart Cities is a platform for local authorities to give them the opportunity to share and exchange their experiences.   

The aim of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Smart Cities is to improve the knowledge of local authorities and citizens in the field of new technologies and to strengthen the network between local authorities of the Middle East and West Asia region with the final goal to provide to citizens better and high quality services. 

President and Secretariat: Greater Amman Municipality (Jordan)


  • Adana Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey)
  • Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) (Saudi Arabia)
  • İSBAK (Turkey)
  • Ramallah Municipality (Palestine)

UCLG-MEWA Committee on Smart Cities Responsible: Randa AL SABBAGH   Tel: +90 212 511 10 10 (134) Fax: +90 212 519 00 60

Report of Committee Meeting
Membership Form Smart Cities EN
Committee on Smart Cities Member List


 Save the date: UCLG-MEWA Urban Mobility Şanlıurfa Summit, 20-22 November 2018, Şanlıurfa, Turkey

As an activity of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Urban Mobility, “UCLG-MEWA Urban Mobility Şanlıurfa Summit” will be organized on 20-22 November 2018, under the auspices of Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey.

 Kartepe Summit 2018: “Migration, Refugees and Humanity”

After its first edition on "July 15th and Coups D'etat," the second edition of Kartepe Summit will be held with the theme "Migration, Refugees and Humanity", in Kartepe, Kocaeli, Turkey on 26-28 October 2018.


The 3rd Meeting of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Environment will take place on 7-8 August 2018, under the auspices of Selçuklu (Konya) Municipality.


UCLG-MEWA is organizing Local Government Talks on the axis of Sustainable Development Goals since 2017. The Talks are continuing this month by hosting Mr. İsmail Gülal, Member of the Advisory Board of Istanbul Tulip Foundation!


Following the UCLG Executive Bureau held in Strasbourg, France, on 23-25 May 2018, we are pleased to enclose the Report on Key Decisions.

 UCLG Committee on Culture OBS: a global website on culture, cities and SDGs

Our network has accumulated fifteen years of specific practices and experiences. We have carried out a work of capitalization of these experiences and we are happy to announce that the Committee on Culture of UCLG recently launched a new website on “culture, cities and SDGs”, with good practices on culture and sustainable local development. The observatory, also called “OBS”, is a unique practical website in the world, it includes more than 120 good practices available in the 3 languages of UCLG (English, French and Spanish) that describe cultural projects, programmes and policies coming from cities and local governments from across the world.

 World Refugee Day Joint Event

On World Refugee Day, celebrated every year on June 20th since 2001, we commemorate and honor the people around the world, who had to flee their homes and to escape cruelty, due to violence and oppression they faced. Picking a different theme for each year, United Nations has set the theme of this year as "WithRefugees."



UCLG World Forum on Intermediary Cities will take place on 5-7 July 2018, in Chefchaouen, Morocco, where participants will discuss many thematic areas such as global environmental agendas, citizens’ participation, local development strategies, providing a fair regional order, and prosperity culture in i-cities.


“Jerusalem is More Than A City”