Standard for measuring cities’ performance

August 1st, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Articles: Vector

ISO has published new international standards for measuring and improving the performance of cities. When it was first published in 2014, ISO 37120 Indicators for city services and quality of life in communities was the first set of internationally standardised city indicators providing a uniform approach to what is measured and how.

This enabled cities to communicate among themselves using globally standardised, comparable data which allowed them insights into other cities and to learn from one-other. The standard has since been updated to offer even more indicators to help cities to improve the quality of life of their citizens and to plan for a more sustainable future.

The update follows city demand and a gap analysis performed to demonstrate the need for new indicators. For example, there are now more comprehensive indicators on housing, such as vacancy rates and living space sizes, all essential if future cities are to manage growing populations effectively.

City managers and planners, politicians, researchers and business leaders are among those who could benefit from the standard, which covers various aspects, from education and energy to transport, health and water.

ISO 37120 will soon be joined by two complementary standards (ISO 37122 and ISO 37123) on indicators for smart and resilient cities, due to be released later this year. A third new standard (ISO 37106) has also been published to provide city leaders with guidance on how to develop effective models for their cities to help them to achieve their sustainability goals. The standards are part of the ISO 37100 series, which includes ISO 37101, the overarching management systems standard for sustainable development in communities.

Contact Clare Naden, ISO, naden@iso.org