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Sustainable Smart 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 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

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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan
cover SSCP Nur-Sultan

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

It is available in English and Russian.

Podgorica, Montenegro

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Tblisi, Georgia

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Voznesensk, Ukraine

  The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile of Voznesenk, Ukraine was published in 2019.
  Click here to view the report (in English only).




Goris, Armenia

  The Smart Sustainable Cities Profile of Goris, Armenia was published in 2017.
  Click here to view the report.




17 cities in Norway

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Sustainable Smart 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.

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          RUS