SMART technologies such as applications via mobile phones, sensors or smart cards offer huge opportunities to improve local administration and build connected, inclusive and more efficient territories. However, choosing the right products and mechanisms can be a challenge for local governments. Sharing experiences, failures and successes with peers is therefore a key element of the learning process.

The Uraía Platform was created in 2014 by the FMDV and the Local Government and Decentralization Unit of UN-Habitat, as a space for exchange between local governments and their partners about the possibilities offered with the introduction of SMART technologies in local public management. Uraía facilitates peer-to-peer learning, fosters transfer and adaptation of SMART solutions, and encourages experimentation.

What does Uraía mean? – “Uraía” means “citizenship” in the Swahili language. This name was chosen because SMART technologies can be used as tools to build citizenship in cities, big and small, allowing citizens to access public services and facilitate their participation in public decisions.


1. Identification of trends and analysis of experiences

To make decisions regarding innovation in municipal management through the use of SMART technologies, local governments need access to updated information on the various available options. Up to today, our team has analyzed and assessed the experiences of 30 cities around the world in the implementation of SMART projects for better city management. Our Inspiring practices catalogue is available online in English, French and Spanish and keeps growing each month. Our goal is to support the transfer of knowledge and best practices from cities that have already implemented SMART projects, learning from successes as well as from common mistakes.

2. Citizenship Series: networking and spreading knwoledge 

Once a year, the members of Uraía meet up to discuss a topic that is priority in their agenda and jointly elaborate guidelines, collect practices and assess on-going projects. Each year a different theme is selected based on the needs of the participant cities.

  • Launch of the Uraía Platform, Marketplace and project design exercise, Santander, June 2014.
  • Public-Private Partnerships negotiation for SMART city management, Oslo, June 2015.

  • SMART technologies and the municipal budget, Nicosia, April 2016. 
  • Transparent and accountable cities: innovative solutions for municipal management and finance, Madrid, February 2017.

3.  Elaboration of recommendation and guidelines

Based on the compiled experiences and analyzing trends and elements commonly happening in experimenting with SMART experiences, Uraía has generated two documents:

The impact of SMART technologies in the municipal budget: increase revenue and reduce expenses for better public services

Public-Private-Partnership for SMART city management


Uraía supports innovation in local public management by encouraging the introduction of SMART technologies in three main areas:

  • Municipal finances: Uraía explores how local governments can use SMART technologies to increase local revenues and reduce expenses, including SMART solutions that help expanding local taxation, tackle informality, and improve legislation and procedures.
  • Public services and infrastructure:Uraía explores how can local governments make public services more efficient thanks to SMART technologies, including SMART solutions that help reducing costs and save energy in public lighting, water supply, waste management or mobility.
  • Transparency and accountability:Uraía explores how can local governments ensure access to data, increase channels for citizen participation and dialogue, and facilitate monitoring over public expenditures, thanks to SMART solutions such as crowdsourcing, Open Data or digital participatory budgeting.


Uraía is an alliance of a variety of actors working together to identify concrete solutions to reinforce municipal finances, improve transparency and cost-effectiveness in urban services provision. Uraía is a network of more than 100 partners from all the 5 continents:

  • local governments and their associations;
  • service and technology providers from the private sector;
  • universities, experts and research institutes;
  • international organizations and civil society;
  • ministries and national departments in charge of innovation in public management.