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Smart Sustainable Cities

Definition of smart sustainable cities

UNECE and ITU developed jointly a defiiniton of smart sustainable cities, through a multi-stakeholder approach which involved over 300 international experts.

A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects.

UNECE approach to Smart Sustainable Cities

The UNECE people-smart sustainable city concept advocates a broader understanding of smartness in city development as a set of capabilities-enhancing conditions directed at sustainability and focused on generating a harmonious society and improving quality of life. This means reducing gaps in capacity and efficiency, meeting social needs and making cities more conducive to innovation.

Further, read our publication "People-Smart Sustainable Cities".

Cover pubn People-Smart Sustainable Cities

UNECE standard on Smart Sustainable Cities

The Key Performace Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities (KPIs for SSC), a United Nations standard on smart sustainable cities, were developed by UNECE and ITU in 2015. The indicators were endorsed by the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management at its seventy-sixth session in 2016. They were further amended taking into account the SDG indicators and endorsed by the Committee in 2017 (ECE/HBP/188).

United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC)

UNECE’s work on Smart Sustainable Cities forms a part of the initiative United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC). U4SSC is a global platform for smart cities stakeholders, which advocates for public policies to encourage the use of ICT to facilitate the transition to smart sustainable cities. The initiative is coordinated by ITU, UNECE and UN-Habitat, and supported by fourteen other UN agencies and programmes.

Cities under KPI evaluation by UNECE

Almaty, Kazakhstan

This page will be updated soon.

Podgoriça, Montenegro

This page will be updated soon.

Tbilisi, Georgia (2023)
cover_SSCP Tbilisi front

The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile: Tbilis, Georgia was published in April 2023.

Download: English


Grodno, Belarus (2023)
cover SSCP Grodno E

The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile: Grodno, Belarus was published in January 2023.

Download:  English     Russian


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (2022)
cover Bishkek City Profile

The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was published in March 2022.

Download: English    Russian


Ålesund, Asker, Bærum, Rana and Trondheim, Norway (2022)
cover front SSCP Norway

The Smart Sustainable City Profiles of Ålesund, Asker, Bærum, Rana and Trondheim were published as one in 2022.

Download: English


Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan (2021)
cover SSCP Nur-Sultan

The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan was published in January 2021.

Download:   English    Russian


Voznesensk, Ukraine (2019)

The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile of Voznesenk, Ukraine was published in December 2019. The publication is available in English only.

Download:   English

Goris, Armenia (2017)

The Smart Sustainable City Profile of Goris, Armenia was published in November 2017. It was the first City Profile published and it is available for download in English only.

Download: English


Smart Sustainable Cities with Innovative Financing approach

After an evaluation is completed, UNECE supports the implementation of recommendations of the evaluation. The UNECE approach takes a city through a full cycle from city evaluation as Sustainable and Smart to recommendations on how to move it forward in this area to supporting the innovative financing and investments to concrete city projects.

Guidelines on tools and mechanisms to finance Smart Sustainable Cities projects

Compendium of practices on innovative financing for smart sustainable cities projects (in "Reports & guidance materials" - Innovative financing)

Meetings and events

Other resources

  • The role of UNECE and the KPI4SSC in improving smart and sustainable urban development      ENG
  • Short overview of the UNECE "Sustainable Smart Cities with Innovative Financing" approach       ENG