About the project

Local authorities play a fundamental role in digital government service delivery, they are the front office of government as a whole and the first way citizens experience digital services. But the role of local authorities in implementing user-centricity principles, design thinking, and co-creation is not sufficiently recognised, and they lack the fundamental tools to implement user-centricity at scale. 

The principles for user-centricity, agreed upon in The 2017 Tallinn Declaration on Digital Government, remain quite generic and there is no guidance on what they mean in practice. Additionally, local authorities, contrarily to countries, lack the necessary data to compare their performance against that of others.

UserCentriCities is a Horizon 2020 project that started in December 2020. Led by the Lisbon Council in partnership with Eurocities and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, it brings together 26 European municipalities and regions; the founding partners – Espoo, Milan, Murcia, Rotterdam, Tallinn and Emilia Romagna – and participating cities and regions: Arezzo, Barcelona, Catalonia Region, Brussels Capital Region, Ghent, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Kronoberg Region, Kyiv, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Madrid, Mataró, Olesa de Montserrat, Paris, Porto, Riga, Terrassa and Utrecht.


UserCentriCities will build a platform for local authorities to help them assess and compare their performance with their peers, and to launch a European community of decision-makers that share experience, knowledge and lessons learnt about how to implement user-centricity. At the same time, the project will serve to confirm and recognise the importance of local government in delivering digital government.

Concretely the project will:

  1. reinforce local-EU collaboration through the operationalisation of the Tallinn Declaration to fit the needs and challenges of the local government and citizens and the preparation of high-level policy briefs and events bringing together EU and local decision-makers,
  2. provide an online benchmarking dashboard to compare the performance of cities on user-centricity,
  3. support local authorities in delivering user-centricity through the provision of a support toolkit and mutual learning service for bench learning from others, and
  4. reach out to a large number of local entities in order to achieve a durable impact over time beyond the duration of the project.

To know more about UserCentriCities check out the interactive leaflet here.

Consortium Partners

The Lisbon Council

The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal asbl is a Brussels-based think tank and policy network. Established in 2003 in Belgium as a non-profit, non-partisan association, the group is dedicated to making a positive contribution through cutting-edge research and by engaging political leaders and the public at large in a constructive exchange about the economic and social challenges of the 21st century.


Eurocities is a network of 190 cities in 39 countries, representing 130 million people. Through joint work, knowledge-sharing and coordinated Europe-wide activity, Eurocities ensures that cities and their people are heard in Europe. Within UserCentriCities, Eurocities is responsible for communication, dissemination and community building.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland)

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) is a state owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company established by law. Thanks to its expertise in service design and co-creation methodologies and utilizing its vast experience in organizing workshops and hackathons for practitioners, citizens and users VTT is in charge of the support and learning activities of UserCentriCities.

Emilia Romagna region (Italy)

Emilia-Romagna’s digital agenda strives to create an environment where people live, study, work and enjoy themselves using new technologies and the internet. One of the agenda's four pillars has the goal to bring the right to digital citizenship into effect, both in terms of availability and accessibility, and quality of digital services for citizens and companies.


Espoo municipality (Finland)

With close to 300 000 inhabitants, 118 000 jobs, 312 km² land area and vast forest coverage, Espoo is the second biggest and fastest growing city in Finland located next to the capital city Helsinki. Being a frontrunner in intelligent and sustainable, smart city development, the municipality provides input in all work packages of UserCentriCities.

Milan municipality (Italy)

As the second largest city of Italy the city of Milan is a centre of innovation that fosters projects, initiatives and policies in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens through new integrated solutions. Milan municipality enriches UserCentriCities’ work with its mindset to supervise the implementation of each digital project, with respect to users’ digital rights.

Murcia municipality (Spain)

Murcia is the capital of the Murcia region, a self-governing region located in the southeast of Spain, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. As a member of Eurocities, Murcia co-chairs the digital citizenship task force within the knowledge society forum (KSF) and will share its ample experience in digital interaction with citizens to provide and improve municipal services with all participants of UserCentriCities. 

Rotterdam municipality (Netherlands)

The municipality of Rotterdam is a local government with nearly 13.000 employees. The city is responsible for carrying out public tasks to create a positive social and economic climate for people to live, work, recreate and invest. As a city that is rethinking the role it needs to play in order to create the best living environment for its citizens, the municipality contributes to all work packages of UserCentriCities.

Tallinn municipality (Estonia)

Tallinn is the center of Estonian political and business life and has been a forerunner in many aspects of digital public service delivery. In the framework of UserCentriCities, the municipality of Tallinn will share some of the valuable lessons learnt from Estonia’s digital past. 

Associate Partners

Arezzo municipality (Italy)

Located in central Italy, the city of Arezzo is home to 100,000 people. The citizens of Arezzo, especially those in vulnerable socio-economic groups, enjoy many personal care services thanks to related targeted policy. The local administration has developed a project called “Digital Grandparents” to facilitate access to online services and other digital tools for the over-65s. Furthermore, Arezzo is one of the cities that have been identified as a major centre with a high degree of digital readiness. To improve its capability to assist citizens in the use and development of digital services has joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022.

Barcelona municipality (Spain)

The government of Barcelona has launched an ambitious digital transformation strategy that will place the city council at the forefront of social innovation and user-centricity. The City of Barcelona joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021.

Catalonia Region (Spain)

Catalonia takes advantage of the use of technology and digital information to innovate public services, boost economic growth and promote a smarter, sustainable and inclusive society. The Generalitat, which is the name of the Government of Catalonia, is responsible of providing a wide range of public services to ensure the welfare of 7,5M people and the dynamism of its economy and society. The Catalan digital administration unit works to digitise public services around four areas: people, processes, data and technology, delivering real value to citizens and government units. Catalonia joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022. 

easy.brussels-Brussels-Capital Region (Belgium)

The Brussels-Capital Region through its agency responsible for administrative simplification, easy.brussels, wants to overcome the challenges of urban development through technology, simplifying regional institutions in order to reduce the administrative burden for public service users. To target this, the agency relies on strategic and operational objectives, as well as concrete actions towards citizens. The Brussels-Capital region joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022.

Ghent municipality (Belgium)

Ghent is a vibrant port city in northwest Belgium, at the confluence of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. Ghent not only strives to be a smart city that embraces technology but also a city that puts the citizen at the heart of service-design and offers simple and proactive digital services. The City of Ghent joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022.

Glasgow municipality (United Kingdom)

The Digital Glasgow Strategy lays out Glasgow's ambitions to take advantage of the digital age's opportunities and to develop online services that are genuinely customer-centric. The City of Glasgow joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021.

Gothenburg municipality (Sweden)

Gothenburg is a top-ranking smart city that uses technology to facilitate and support governmental planning and decision-making through improvements to the democratic processes and transformative enhancements to the delivery of public services. The City of Gothenburg joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021.

Helsinki municipality (Finland)

Helsinki’s functionality is based on the Nordic model of high-quality city services and transparent governance, pursuing the vision of living a good life. As part of this goal, the city has designed an ambitious digitalisation programme, focusing on a more customer-oriented approach and utilising data to make better decisions. The City of Helsinki joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021. 

Kronoberg Region (Sweden)

Kronoberg Region mission is to promote health, sustainability and growth in the south of Sweden. The vision pursued is a good life in a viable Kronoberg. It should be attractive to stay, work and live in the region. Region Kronoberg has the overall responsibility for areas that contribute to regional development throughout the county. Healthcare dominates the business. Kronoberg Region joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022. 

Kyiv municipality (Ukraine)

The city of Kyiv is a pioneer in digital transformation. Most recently and against the backdrop of the Russian invasion, the city’s administration under the leadership of its Chief Digital Transformation Officer Petro Olenych, has used agile and resilient digital tools to meet the needs of their citizens and provide them with life-saving digital solutions. Kyiv Digital, the city’s smartphone application has been transformed from a mobility app to a life-saving tool for citizens and the city’s Wi-Fi network has expanded its reach. Kyiv municipality joined the UserCentriCities project as an associated partner in 2022.

Lisbon municipality (Portugal)

Lisbon has evolved into not only one of Europe's most popular city-trip destinations, but also one of the continent's smartest cities. Portugal's capital has a smart city plan that prioritizes its people and their needs and joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021.

Ljubljana municipality (Slovenia)

In 2016 the capital of Slovenia was awarded the European Green Capital prize and is considered the hidden gem of Europe by travellers, providing a rich cultural and culinary offer. Being one of the least populated capital cities, public administration opts for a friendly interaction with its citizens. The City of Ljubljana joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021. 

Madrid municipality (Spain)

Madrid is a cosmopolitan, innovative and inclusive city. It provides one of Europe’s best healthcare systems, taking good care of its citizens. Spain’s capital boasts a remarkable digital transformation agenda, focusing on welfare and citizens, while seeking to close the digital gaps that have widened in recent years by guaranteeing digital connectivity and the transformation and digitalisation of public administration services through an integral model to achieve an inclusive, green and digital growth. The City of Madrid joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2021.

Mataró municipality (Spain)

Mataró, capital of the Maresme region on the central Catalan coast, is a living city in constant transformation and with an important cultural heritage that gives it its own personality. Since 2018, the city council has been promoting an ambitious project transforming the local administration to adapt it to the citizens' needs and expectations. This transformation will not only be based on technology, but also on a profound change in its organisational culture. The creation of a new model of relationship with citizens based on the design of services and public policies focused on the citizen, digital by default but with the necessary support so that no one is left behind in this transformation process stands out. Mataró joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022.

Olesa de Montserrat municipality

Near the mountain of Montserrat, Olesa de Montserrat is a historical village located in Catalonia’s Region. Working on its digital transformation, the City Council has developed numerous projects willing to promote public access to the administration’s data as well as improve information on the services offered to citizens. One of the biggest obstacles was the digital shortcomings of its systems and the way we communicate with other administrations and people of interest. Having its focus on helping the population with its limited resources, Olesa de Montserrat joined UserCentriCities in 2023.

Paris municipality (France)

Paris, the capital city of France is known not only as the city of lights, but also as the city of digital transformation. Under the leadership of its Chief Information Officer, Paris is accelerating the digital transformation of its public sector as part of its policy to improve effectiveness and the quality of the services provided to the citizens. The IT department of the city has been developing in-house and expanding its city services and fully open source software « Lutece » for 21 years. The city of Paris joined UserCentriCities as an associated partner in 2022.

Porto municipality (Portugal)

The City of Porto intends to stand out in the national and international panorama as a city of innovation and creativity. With Porto Digital as key-actor in the design and implementation of smart and sustainable city strategies and policies, the city seeks to facilitate the design of experiences and interactions with potential to connect and generate significant value for the citizens and for those who manage the city, by increasing efficiency and agility.

Riga municipality (Latvia)

Riga has started a long-term transition process to become a mobile, well-connected and a climate neutral city. Strategically well-balanced digital transformation of the city is playing a major role in the process to become an intelligent BALTIC digital metropolis. Working on innovations of city-owned companies, fostering city support for the creation of 5G infrastructure and development of safe and environmentally friendly mobility. To ensure a systematic digital transformation, the Riga Digital Agency was established in April 2022, offering support and promoting the execution of the strategic goals of the municipality by providing innovative, high-quality and secure ICT products/services. Riga joined UserCentriCities as an associate partner in 2022.

Terrassa Municipality

Terrassa City Council is a local entity firmly and resolutely committed to the use of information and communication technologies as a lever of value for the transformation and optimization of the internal organization itself and, by extension, for the improvement of public services for citizens. This has allowed to be a leader and benchmark in electronic administration, both in terms of internal management circuits and citizen interaction with the city council. In 2019, many companies and organisations had to accelerate the digitalisation process to facilitate teleworking due to the pandemic. This was the case of the Terrassa City Council, where the situation of confinement of municipal workers led to the need for a digital transformation system that would prevent the paralysis of municipal administrative activity and guarantee the achievement of the objectives set out in the government program.

Utrecht municipality (The Netherlands)

The City of Utrecht provides a vibrant, creative, inspirational environment for leading innovations. The city is developing from a medium-sized provincial city into a regional capital of European importance. Utrecht is the fastest growing city and the healthiest city of The Netherlands. On top of that, Utrecht is one of the happiest cities in the world according to the United Nations. We believe that Healthy Urban Living makes people happier. The City of Utrecht became an associated partner to Centricities in 2023 because the network offers a valuable space for inspiration and knowledge transfer. The City is committed to increase their accessibility through improved digital services, while offering custom services where needed. This innovation process includes a City Living Room-setting through which Utrecht citizens are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas for improvement.

Center for C-Centricity IE University (Spain)

The IE Center for C-Centricity is part of the IE University in Spain. They focus their research on citizens, who must sit at the heart of organisations in order to ensure successful growth and overall human satisfaction at a societal level.