Smart cities and innovative communities

Target 11.7 By 2030,  provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

Sustainable Development Goal 11, focusing on sustainable cities and communities, finds a robust ally in digital transformation, shaping the landscape of urban development and resilience. Digital innovations play a transformative role in achieving this goal by revolutionising city planning, infrastructure, and community engagement in both urban and rural spaces. SPIDER has worked with Kigali city authorities but also smart village project in Rwanda to testify to this.

Digital technologies facilitate smarter urban planning, enabling cities to optimize resources, manage infrastructure, and mitigate environmental impacts. From data-driven decision-making to the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for real-time monitoring, these innovations streamline resource allocation and enhance sustainability.

If correctly implemented, digitalisation can foster inclusive and participatory communities. Online platforms and mobile applications facilitate citizen engagement, enabling residents to voice concerns, contribute ideas, and participate in local governance processes. This inclusivity cultivates a sense of ownership and promotes collaborative efforts towards sustainable urban development.

Moreover, smart mobility solutions, powered by digital transformations, optimize transportation systems, reducing congestion and emissions while improving accessibility. Additionally, the integration of digital tools in disaster preparedness and response enhances urban resilience, ensuring cities are better equipped to handle crises.

In essence, the synergy between SDG 11 and digital transformation is fundamental. Through technological advancements, cities can achieve greater sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience, fostering vibrant, inclusive communities and paving the way for a more sustainable urban future.

SPIDER and Smart Societies

The rapid urbanisation taking place globally calls for specific measures to be taken in the growth of urban and rural communities.


iREBERO Smart Community in Gicumbi, Northern Rwanda

Smart City Transport and Wellfare initiative in Kigali

Funded by the Swedish Insititute, SPIDER coordinated in patnership with IVL and key authorities in Rwanda the Smart City Wellfare and Transport International Training Programme in Kigali. Participants also visited Sweden where the peer-to-peer learning enabled engineers and innovators to exchange ideas for the future of Smart Kigali.

Explore SPIDER’s work for the Sustainable Development Goals

Gender Equality and Equity

SPIDER works with gender equity throughout all its projects in minor or major ways. An intesectional lense is applied.

ICT Policy is essential for digital solitions

It is not enough to have access to digital services and infrastructure, consumer rights are at the heart of digital service provision that is inclusive.

Digital for monitoring environmental change

It is argued that climate change affects the poor more than the rich, so how can we monitor and react to change this?


What is a smart city? How can ICTs be used to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable for the persons that live in them?


In what ways can ICTs make cities more inclusive?

ICTs can make cities more inclusive by disseminating information in multiple formats (text, audio, video) to ensure that it is accessible to individuals with different abilities. They can maketransportation systems more inclusive, for example with real-time information on public transportation schedules, accessible apps for ride-sharing services, and smart mobility solutions for people with disabilities and those with limited mobility.

How can Smart Cities leverage ICTs to enhance their sustainability?

Smart Cities can use ICTs to optimize resource management, energy efficiency, and transportation systems. Sensors, data analytics, and connectivity can help in real-time monitoring and management of urban infrastructure for sustainability.

What role do ICTs play in disaster resilience and response within urban areas?

ICTs play a crucial role in early warning systems, emergency communication, and disaster response coordination. They enable quick dissemination of information and help in coordinating efforts to minimize the impact of disasters on urban areas.

How do ICTs contribute to cultural heritage preservation in cities?

Digital technologies, including virtual reality and digital archives, can be employed to preserve and promote cultural heritage in urban areas. This may involve creating digital replicas of historical sites, museums, and cultural artifacts.