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: Konya Metropolitan Municipality
- Adana Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey)
- Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI) (Saudi Arabia)
- Greater Amman Municipality (Jordan)
- Ramallah Municipality (Palestine)
UCLG-MEWA Committee on Smart Cities Responsible: Randa AL SABBAGH
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