IESE and UNECE to Launch Strategic Smart City Center

Will set work standards for public-private partnerships



The new center aims to promote Barcelona as an example of the effective deployment of public-private partnerships in the development of smart cities / Photo: iStock

IESE has signed an agreement with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to launch a new Specialist Centre for Public-Private Partnerships in Smart and Sustainable Cities (PPP for Cities).

The center will have two principal objectives: to become an international benchmark and to promote Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain as examples of the effective deployment of public-private partnerships in the development of smart cities.

The center’s main activities will include:

  • Identifying and disseminating best practices internationally

  • Creating work standards for the management of PPP projects

  • Advising governments in the development of city planning projects through public-private partnerships

  • Designing smart-city training strategies for state and regional governments, with special emphasis on helping countries new to the sector, and on exchanging information between more - and less - experienced countries

  • Providing specialized training in PPPs

The new center will be attached to the International Centre of Excellence on PPPs (ICoE) of the UNECE, a network that helps governments develop efficient, sustainable PPP projects.

IESE Professor of Strategic Management, Joan Enric Ricart will be the academic director of the new center. The center will operate as part of IESE’s Public-Private Sector Research Center (PPSRC), led by Xavier Vives, Professor of Economics and Financial Management.

Internationally, IESE has developed a line of research and action around public-private partnerships. This includes its participation in GrowSmarter (read news) project funded through Europe’s Horizon 2020 program. The school also delivers the IESE Cities in Motion Strategies initiative led by IESE professors Joan Enric Ricart and Pascual Berrone.