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 projects with common elements of interest. In 2014, the Platform partners met in Santander (Spain) to exchange experiences, discuss needs and define the strategic priorities and activities of Uraía. In 2015, the Platform met in Oslo (Norway) to discuss partners’ experiences on SMART projects led in collaboration with private companies. Based on the experiences of the participants, the Platform elaborated a document on ‘Public-Private Partnerships for SMART City Management. Recommendations for local governments to prepare and implement SMART PPPs”.
This year, the Uraía Platform organized its annual workshop on April 19th and 20th in Nicosia, Cyprus, on “The Impact of Smart Technologies in the Municipal Budget: Tax Recovery and Energy Savings for Better Public Services”. It aimed to identify the trending topics and challenges regarding the current use of SMART technologies and its impacts on the municipal budget. It focused particularly in exploring how technological innovation can help cities to increase municipal revenue by improving tax collection and generate savings through energy efficient policies. And even more important, how these increased municipal resources are transformed into better, more efficient and inclusive public services.
The objective of the workshop was to exchange experiences on initiatives that used SMART technologies to improve tax recovery and increase energy efficiency and how these experiences produce an impact on municipal budget and are transformed into better services to all citizens. The workshop will offer an opportunity for cities to discover available SMART solutions that can have a significant impact on the municipal budget and get inspired by their peers’ experiences.
The activity gathered a group of 30 participants, including representatives from: cities and local governments both in developing and industrialized countries; associations of local governments, global and national; private companies involved in the provision of public services, innovation in public administration, telecommunications, mobile apps, etc. organizations from civil society.
During the workshop, the participants discovered a series of inspiring practices where local governments successfully applied SMART technologies to positively impact their municipal budget. Case studies presented included experiences from: Douala (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda), Rwanda, Colombia, Guarulhos (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay), Cartago (Costa Rica), Argentina, Kathmandu (Nepal), Levahim (Israel), Santander (Spain). The participants were also invited to take part at group discussions. Finally, the hosting city, Nicosia, organized a visit to a local experience to understand the impact of technological innovation in public management.
The workshop will result in a document that will seek to capitalize on the exchanges, case studies, challenges, opportunities and views shared by decision makers who face similar situations regarding the pressing need to address the citizen’s demands in more innovative ways. The document will build on the discussions held at the Nicosia workshop and showcase concrete experiences from cities and their partners all around the world.