Innovation is an inherent and necessary condition for the positive evolution of the urban development process and its competitiveness. Moreover, to be viable for the long term and to contribute positively to the environment, cities and regions must satisfy the condition of sustainability in its broader sense of balanced physical, social and economic development.

One of the conclusions of the Proyecto Cities research carried out by Fundación Metrópoli, on 20 selected cities from around the world, is that several city-regions are successfully facing the challenges and risks of globalization. We call these innovative city-regions "Smartplaces". These cities are able to achieve and maintain a balance among the concerns of economic competition, social development and cohesion, cultural and environmental sustainability. We are learning from the experience of these cities, specifically how they are organized to achieve the best urban results.