The People Centered Smart Cities Flagship Programme
In the past decade, internet connectivity has become a requisite for full participation in society, including access to education, affordable housing, and critical government services, yet 3.7 billion people were offline in 2019. Digital transformation is therefore critical to meet the demands of sustainable urban development.
Launched in 2020, this flagship programme provides strategic and technical support on digital transformation to national, regional and local governments.
In recent years, digital innovations like civic technology, geographic information systems, the sharing economy, open data, and digital platforms have changed how people understand, manage and participate in cities. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced even greater urgency for local and national governments alike to bridge the digital divide especially for marginalised groups and informal settlement communities, build more efficient and secure data management systems, and protect citizens’ privacy when using digital services. These activities are the foundation for inclusive and resilient smart cities.
The flagship programme “People-centered smart cities” ensures that deployment of technology and innovation is used to ensure sustainability, inclusivity, prosperity and human rights in cities. It supports national and local governments with their digital transition, applying a multi-level governance strategy to help build skills and capabilities to develop, procure and effectively use digital technologies in an ethical and inclusive way to make sure that no one is left behind. Our programme includes the first United Nations Innovation technology Accelerator for Cities in Hamburg (UNITAC-Hamburg), a digital rights governance framework for local and regional governments, the challenge-driven methodology and a broad range of initiatives in digital transformation and governance centred on people.
The United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities in Hamburg (UNITAC Hamburg), Germany, was established to address the potential of digital technologies, data and innovation to contribute to sustainable urban development. The Accelerator uses innovation, prototyping and applied research methodologies to develop innovative solutions that accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals related to cities and urbanization.
This new series of playbooks is a key normative component of UN-Habitat’s People Centered Smart Cities flagship programme that aims to empower local governments to take a multi-stakeholder approach to digital transformation that realises sustainability, inclusivity, prosperity and human rights for the benefit of all.
The People-Centered Smart Cities flagship programme supports national and local governments with their digital transition, applying a multi-level governance strategy to help build skills and capacity to develop, procure and effectively use digital technologies in an ethical, inclusive and sustainable way to make sure that no one is left behind.
The People-Centered Smart Cities Programme applies challenge-driven innovation approaches to identify issues and challenges faced locally by cities and matching them with innovative and smart solutions from the private sector. We partner with different stakeholders to develop collaborative projects to accelerate innovations with the potential to solve societal challenges and contribute to the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda.
Compendium of people-centered practices
A collection of innovative solutions (tools, mobile applications, digital platforms, reports, trainings, guidelines, etc.) that contribute to improving quality of life in cities and regions. These solutions are developed around the world at the national and local levels by government agencies, international institutions, NGOs, research institutions, private companies, etc.
Inter-Regional Advisor (a.i.)
Programme Management Officer
Innovation Unit Coordinator
|Abdinassir Shale Sagar
Associate Program Officer
Digital Rights and Inclusion Officer
Programme Management Officer
|Livia Schaeffer Nonose
Technology and Innovation Expert
Communications and Advocacy Expert
Digital Rights Expert
|Mert Can Yilmaz
Knowledge Management and Innovation Expert