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UNECE and LIUC University in Italy join forces on sustainable finance for infrastructure and smart cities with new Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence

Smart city

UNECE and LIUC – Cattaneo University have agreed to establish a Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence to advance sustainable finance for infrastructure and smart cities. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNECE joins forces with an expert institution in sustainable finance to support national and local governments in the UNECE region in building back better during the economic recovery and to accelerate action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 11 on sustainable cities and human settlements. 

LIUC - Cattaneo University joins a network of centers in Europe and North America, supporting the implementation of the Charter through exchange of experience, knowledge sharing, training and research, studies, awareness raising and concrete projects on the ground to improve the quality of life in cities. Depending on their specialization and available expertise at host institutions, the Centres work at national and/or international level and on topics covered by the Charter.  

“With this Centre of Excellence, we aim to make it easier for cities across the region to assess sustainable financing options. This will help them materialize their infrastructure and smart cities projects, supporting the objectives of SDG 11”, said UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.  

The Rector of LIUC – Cattaneo University, Federico Visconti, is “extremely satisfied with this partnership, that allows the University to develop know-how with a UN organization with a key mandate on cities”.  

The new Centre’s activities for 2021 include the creation of an online portal on Sustainable Finance for Infrastructure and Smart Cities and an international one-day online conference on sustainable finance and how it could support and stimulate the development of post-COVID smart cities.  

The secretariat to the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, which is a unique multilateral policy platform in the region, coordinates the network of Centres. Under the approach “Sustainable Smart Cities with Innovative Financing”, it works to improve capacities of local and national government officials in countries in the UNECE region to develop and implement sustainable urban policies. The approach takes a city through the full cycle from city evaluation of Sustainable and Smart policies, to recommendations on how to move it forward in this area, to supporting the innovative financing and investments and concrete city projects. Activities of the new Centre will complement these activities. 

Note to editors 

About UNECE  

UNECE is one of five Regional Commissions of the United Nations. Its principal aim is to promote pan-European economic integration and sustainable development. To do so, it brings together 56 countries located in the Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus and North America. In particular, the Housing and Land Management Unit serves the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management which works to promote: energy efficient and adequate housing, including for those with special needs and vulnerable population groups; compact, inclusive, resilient, smart and sustainable cities; and transparent and efficient land use, and property registration. More information is available at 

About LIUC – Cattaneo University  

LIUC – Cattaneo University was established in 1991. The headquarters of the university is located in Castellanza (Lombardy), between Milan and Varese. It offers two Schools (Economics and Management; Industrial Engineering) with more than 2.500 students and more than 300 professors. 

The Centre of Excellence has been established as a special project of LIUC – Cattaneo University Rectorate, leveraging on the expertise of the Center on Finance for Growth and Innovation of LIUC Business School, led by Anna Gervasoni. This Centre has a long tradition in analyzing Project Financing and PPP plans, feasibility and economic impact projects. The team has competences on valuation of feasibility analysis of Public-Private Financing in different sectors, the economic impact analysis of infrastructures and broadly in innovative finance. 

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