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Volume 31, Issue 2

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Friday, 06 July 2018 15:41

Stronger cities for the future: a new set of International Standards just out

The populations of most world cities are growing fast, and with it come challenges and opportunities for keeping citizens safe and well. New International Standards for measuring and improving the performance of cities have just been published to help cities keep on top of the game.

Already, more than half of the world’s population lives in a city and that number is to grow to nearly 70 % by 20501). Keeping up with rising urbanization and the stress it places on resources and infrastructure poses a serious challenge for cities everywhere, creating the need for effective planning, management and evidence-based policy making.

In order to make such decisions, cities need a reliable reference for measuring their performance, which is where the world’s first International Standard for city indicators comes into play.

ISO 37120 (Indicators for city services and quality of life in communities) was the first set of internationally standardized city indicators that provide a uniform approach to what is measured and how, when it was first published in 2014. For the first time, cities were able to communicate amongst themselves using globally standardized, comparable data, allowing them to get insights into other cities and learn from each other like never before.

Now, the standard has just been updated, offering even more indicators to help cities effectively improve the quality of life of their citizens and plan for a more sustainable future.