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The International Center of Economic Policy for Sustainable Development (CINPE) is a research and teaching institution of the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). CINPE's vision, guided by excellence, is to establish itself as a core generator of critical, purposeful, scientific thought that can be utilized to address the social, economic, environmental, and institutional challenges of developing countries, especially in Latin America. Our research topics are grouped into core thematic nuclei around which we conduct a series of activities and actions; this work is managed with accumulated experience and by professionals with renowned careers.


Today's ever-growing cities confront problems of all types such as vehicular congestion, air pollution, enormous demands of finite resources like water, natural resources, lack of housing or employment, poverty, insecurity, regulation of waste, and many more. These problems have been moderately addressed with new, more efficient technologies; however, today the situation worsens in almost every country. As defined by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT), a Smart City is a “geographic region or zone in which has been established a community model that bases its forms of communication on using and making the most of communication and information technologies, for the benefit of its social, economic, political, and administrative development”.


This research project studies the depth of the concept of Smart and Sustainable Cities (CIS) and constructs an adapted definition in the Costa Rican context, backed in the theoretical base of Ecological Economics and Systems of Innovation. Our work, which will be conducted within the core research topic "Policies for the Management of Natural and Environmental Resources", specifically considers Objectives 11 and 17 of the UN's 2030 Agenda. The project's concept is formalized via the construction of a CIS index, which will furthermore be applied to seven cities from the seven provinces of Costa Rica.


Olman Segura Bonilla and potential assistants responsible.

FROM 07/01/2019 TO 12/31/2019

- Bibliographic revision of the Smart City and Sustainable City concepts. Clear theory and concepts.
- Study Geographic Information System (SIG) advances in Costa Rica and applications in territorial law.
- Analysis of the national and international contexts of Smart Cities.


FROM 01/01/2020 TO 07/31/2020

- Invite key actors such as MIDEPLAN, MICIT, ONGs, ICAP and others to the project. 
- Carry out a focus group with experts to discuss the integration of sustainability and all things digital. 
- Clearly define the CIS concept.
- Discuss the criteria of the relevant cities to apply the pilot CSI.

FROM 07/01/2020 TO 12/31/2020

- Conduct a workshop of key actors to agree on the components of CIS.
- Identify the basic pillars of the concepts of “intelligence”, “sustainability”, and others.
- Define variables and sub-indices for each pillar and construct the CIS Index.
- Select one city per province for CIS.


FROM 01/01/2021 TO 12/31/2021

- Collect and systemize the information for the CIS Index. 
- Revise and insert data in the electronic platform together with the municipalities.
- Construct a qualification ranking for these cities.
- Identify topics for teaching in graduate programs and training in the municipalities

FROM 01/01/2022 TO 06/30/2022

- Establish conclusions with the obtained results. 
- Propose recommendations to improve conditions in those cities that have fallen behind in the constructed ranking. 
- Conduct a National Seminar to present the CIS Index. 
- Prepare the research’s final report and scientific article.

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