Catalonia will host the International Specialist Centre on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Smart and Sustainable Cities, as part of the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence.
Last February, UNECE and IESE Business School – one of the leading business schools in Europe – signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Specialist Centre which will be formally launched in November this year at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. The main objective of the project will be to collect international PPP best practices and models, and contribute to the development of UNECE standards for PPPs on smart and sustainable cities in hopes of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations’ Rio+20 Conference.
The Centre will also provide training programmes to public officials from cities with different socio-economic backgrounds as means to repeat Barcelona’s success in PPP projects. Barcelona’s experience in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games has placed the city as a global reference in a global reference in terms of long-term strategic and sustainable public-private partnerships and how they can improve modern urban planning and transform entire neighbourhoods, abandoned buildings and underutilised industrial areas into fashionable and modern districts. More recently, since 2011 public-private partnership (PPP) projects with companies like Cisco and Microsoft have been enhancing development to connect citizens with government services through mobile technology and have also integrated vast communications networks such as public Wi-Fi, urban mobility, traffic control and bike sharing through smart phone technology to improve efficiency and sustainability.