Smart Cities

Comprehensive legal support in urban development projects and initiatives

SMART CITY: the global challenge facing our cities

The shift towards a “smart city” model is one of the main challenges facing our cities, as areas with the highest concentration of population and business activity in the twenty-first century. Cities must be able to make use of the opportunities generated by advances in information technology in order to be better equipped to face the challenges of the future and provide innovative and efficient solutions to the growing needs of their citizens and businesses in such basic areas as infrastructure, transport, consumer goods, water and power supplies, communication, health and education.

Cities throughout the world are rolling out development initiatives and programs in an effort to use the value that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can bring to resolving many of those urban challenges.

As a law firm that plays an active role in the sustainable development of society, with a clear commitment to service and the ability to provide comprehensive legal advice on complex projects, Garrigues has assisted clients with smart city-related ventures for some time now. Our solid and proven expertise enables us to provide first-class comprehensive tax and legal services to all parties involved in urban development projects and programs and in smart city initiatives.The shift towards a “smart city” model is one of the main challenges facing our cities, as areas with the highest concentration of population and business activity in the twenty-first century. Cities must be able to make use of the opportunities generated by advances in information technology in order to be better equipped to face the challenges of the future and provide innovative and efficient solutions to the growing needs of their citizens and businesses in such basic areas as infrastructure, transport, consumer goods, water and power supplies, communication, health and education. Cities throughout the world are rolling out development initiatives and programs in an effort to use the value that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can bring to resolving many of those urban challenges. As a law firm that plays an active role in the sustainable development of society, with a clear commitment to service and the ability to provide comprehensive legal advice on complex projects, Garrigues has assisted clients with smart city-related ventures for some time now. Our solid and proven expertise enables us to provide first-class comprehensive tax and legal services to all parties involved in urban development projects and programs and in smart city initiatives.

Garrigues’ added value

The provision of professional advice on smart city projects and initiatives calls for a comprehensive strategic vision in order to:

  • gain an understanding of the technological, operating and business elements.
  • perceive and approach this vision from the standpoint of public policy goals, while also catering to the concerns of the private operators participating in these projects.
  • know which public and private law instruments can be used to create the framework for partnerships between the various players; putting plans in place, defining the necessary resources and the mechanisms to obtain them; and establishing incentives and disincentives for achieving goals and measuring their degree of attainment.

Garrigues has an expert team capable of offering first-class comprehensive legal support for the design and implementation of smart city programs, based on:

  • Our experience in advising various public authorities, institutions and private operators on public/private infrastructure, services and urban development projects in the broadest sense.
  • Our expertise in all legal aspects involved in projects of this type: administrative law; corporate/commercial law (management structures, contracts and project finance); telecommunications regulations and information technology law; tax and accounting law; intellectual property.
  • Our experience and credentials in advising on climate change and carbon finance projects, including legal and technical assistance provided by the Garrigues CO2 team and the Affinitas CO2 international Latin American network.
  • We can also draw on the technical and economic expertise of Garrigues Medio Ambiente, a consulting firm made up of professionals with a technical background (engineers, geologists, chemists, economists, etc.) who provide greater added-value services alongside the legal advisory services provided by Garrigues.

 

Our smart city services

Our experience and skills enable us to provide wide-ranging assistance to public authorities, institutions, companies and investors who promote or participate in projects or initiatives aimed at the development of smart cities:

  • Legal advice on the design, preparation and implementation of plans, development programs, pilot tests and projects.
  • Legal advice in relation to the adoption of public/private partnership models to structure the project, including:
  • Negotiating and formalizing strategic alliances and public/private partnership agreements between the public authority launching the initiative and other players (other public authorities, institutions and private entities) involved.
  • Creating the entity or entities through which management of the project will be channeled (association, foundation, company, or similar). 
  • Legal support with defining and establishing the mechanisms to obtain the required finance, including obtaining credit facilities from third parties.
  • Advising on defining the procurement systems and procedures for services, projects and utilities.
  • Negotiations for the authority promoting or entity managing the project to join international organizations or institutions that foster the development of smart cities.

Legal advice on aspects deriving from the execution of a development program in a smart city environment, including:

  • Zoning and planning law
  • Environmental law and climate change.
  • Roll-out of telecommunications networks and infrastructure, use of the radio spectrum and telecommunications regulations.
  • Energy and other regulated industries.
  • Protection of the intellectual property resulting from the project, and in contracts regulating technology transfer and the use of technology by the various interested parties.
  • Management and corporate governance of associations, foundations and companies.
  • Procurement of technological resources and legal implications in the field of the information and communication technology law and data protection (technology platforms for roll-out of the project, data capture and processing in M2M communications, geolocation, use of cloud computing environments, among other aspects).