UNDP Handbook on Smart Urban Innovations

Monday, 22 November, 2021

Handbook on Smart Urban Innovations

by UNDP | 20 October 2021

‘Smart Cities’ are much more than digital solutions and cutting-edge technologies. A smart city is citizen-centered - responding to the needs, realities, and aspirations of its citizens; using technology and innovation to improve their lives and livelihoods. The UNDP Smart Urban Handbook explores how any city can be a smart city.

Cities on this smart city journey can learn from and leverage a global toolkit of smart urban innovations and applied insights to tackle key city challenges or address citizen priorities. The Handbook is a tool to support policymakers, civil society organizations, and urban innovators in shaping livable, inclusive, and sustainable cities.

In this Handbook, we explore how different kinds of smart urban innovations are shaping urban spaces in cities across the globe and from different income settings. Each of these innovations is driven by a combination of multi-stakeholder partnerships, local resources, and strategic data usage. UNDP has grouped these unique combinations into four different frameworks, which aim to support city leaders, public officials, and citizens to find ways to catalyze innovation and identify solutions to problems faced by their cities. Users can delve into the different elements that enable innovations to emerge in cities. The Handbook also features an exciting set of case studies, setting out how to create the conditions needed for urban innovations to scale and generate long-lasting impacts. It also includes a wide range of examples of how urban authorities have leveraged their current assets to deliver innovative solutions.

Urban authorities can leverage the benefits of global interconnectedness by exchanging impactful initiatives to combat present and future challenges. South-South and triangular cooperation can enhance current efforts and replicate successful solutions in local contexts. This Handbook aims to facilitate this exchange of ideas and knowledge. UNDP has supported local authorities in the implementation of the development agenda since the organization's founding - including working closely with the leaders of Singapore following the country's independence. Through initiatives such as the City2City peer learning network, the NextGenCities program, our new collaboration framework with UN-Habitat, and the UNDP Global Centre in Singapore, UNDP is connecting cities and providing targeted support in developing impactful solutions for urban challenges.

Read and access the full handbook here: