The project, which has been promoted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), aims to support the governments in the development of 'smart cities' through PPP mode.
The initiative has the support and cooperation of the City of Brcelona, the Generalitat and the IESE Business School. The center will be located at the headquarters of IESE Business school, which also will hold the secretariat.
The city will provide a grant of €60,000 per year over the next three years to develop the project.
A smart city use information technologies to:
Key 'smart' sectors include transport, energy, health care, water and waste. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple 'transactional' relationship with its citizens.
According to Arup, the global market for smart urban services is expected to be US$400 billion per year by 2020.
Notably 'smart' cities include Chicago, Boston, Barcelona and Stockholm.