Smart Cities Programme


More than 90 per cent of COVID-19 cases have been occurring in urban areas that have become the epicenter of the pandemic. Cities can manage this crisis and emerge as the hubs of energy, resilience and innovation that make them such vibrant and appealing places for many to live.

Now is our chance to recover better, by building more resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities. Innovations and technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) or artificial intelligence (AI) provide the possibility of upgrading urban services and achieving greater administrative efficiency.

The concept of “smart cities”, which can help stimulate inclusive growth, promote social inclusion, decrease traffic congestion, combat crimes, improve resilience during natural disasters and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has a potential as a solution to urban problems both in developing and developed countries.

However, developing countries face a number of challenges that hamper efforts to implement smart cities, in particular lack of human and financial resources and inadequate investments in science, technology and innovation.

The social impact of the innovative technology could be larger in developing countries if they can invest in smart cities that will allow them to improve the delivery of public goods and services in urban areas.

UNCRD Smart Cities Project

  • Considering high risk of natural disaster and climate change impacts on cities and communities in developing countries.
  • Acknowledging profound impact of level rise and health emergencies such as COVID-19 pandemics on the sustainable development of developing countries.
  • The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) launched a Smart City Project in 2021 which aims to provide technical assistance and support to urban policy makers, planners, and city officials for building their cities and communities safer, smart, efficient, resilient, inclusive, livable and sustainable through smart city solutions.

Training Workshops

Smart City - UNCRD Smart City Project: Capacity Building

Focal Point

UNCRD Nagoya office

Additional Resources

Training Materials

Training Materials for Implementing Smart Cities in Asia and the Pacific for Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Societies