During the past decades, a rapid development of information and communication technologis (ICT), innovation and knowledge has been taking place, turning them into key elements in the daily life and also in a basic element of the social and economic progress of the territories.
The World is turning every day more digital and no one can stay aside of this transformation. Such a big change process and the climate of uncentity about the resulting social model, demand from the Local Authorities -being the closest public authorities to the citizenry- an adequate response.
Since its creation in 2005, the Committee, Chaired by the City of Bilbao, has been working to reduce the digital divide and to boost the implementation of the digital local agenda as a mean for improving the quality of life of the citizens from the decentralized governments.
Through the Committee, it has been promoted the development of a common vision and dynamics among local governments in favour of an inclusive Information Society that favours the reduction of the digital divide.
On the November 10th, 2009 took place in Guangzhou (China), on the occasion of the Executive Bureau and World Council meetings of UCLG, the annual meeting of the Committee. This meeting represented an inflection point, since it was considered as necessary that besides continuing with the work that has been developed until now by the Committee of sharing the digital development with other cities and regions that far away from reaching this objective, we would give to the Committee a wider scope, based on the seek of the competitive excellence of the local governments through knowledge management and innovation in the cities and municipalities.
Therefore, it was approved by the members of the Committee that attended the meeting and by UCLG´s World Council to change the name form Committeeon the Information Society to “Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities“. A new name responds to the new objectives established and that goes in line with the work to be developed by the Committee from now on.
From the Committee, we consider that is necessary that the Cities and Municipalities of all over the world, create a virtual space of interaction between the citizens, the private sector and the public administrations, that promotes an inclusive Information Society and that uses Internet and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a support mean for the creation of an advanced model of community, that fosters a sustainable economic and social development of the City based on ICT. In this context, the Digital Local Agenda still represents a strategic tool for achieving that a City becomes digital in a planned and structured way.