Data-Driven Cities

City leaders need good data to make good decisions. Powerful new tools give them more ways to collect and analyze data about city performance than ever before. At the same time, as countries implement landmark agreements like the Sustainable Development Goals, cities face new mandates to measure their progress and report results. Mayors, civil society, researchers and citizens are looking with fresh urgency for data on what’s working on the ground in cities.

  • How is the data revolution impacting cities? Scroll down to see all of Citiscope’s coverage.
  • In 2017, governments for the first time agreed to bolster data capacity at all levels. Check back here for updates as these plans are rolled out.
  • For background, see two commentaries on the global process to agree on “indicators” to gauge progress on sustainable urban development — here and here.
Minna, the capital of Niger state, was an early adopter of an international standard on service delivery.
Brendon Bosworth March 21, 2017
A first-ever summit on cities and data this week adopted a declaration promoting “city data as the universal language”.
Brendon Bosworth March 10, 2017
The Investable Cities Index should be ready by the middle of the year.
Brendon Bosworth March 8, 2017
Data gaps. Capacity questions. A guide to the major issues cities are facing.
Brendon Bosworth March 7, 2017
An interview with Patricia McCarney of the World Council on City Data.
Carey L. Biron March 6, 2017
So far, SDGs monitoring relies solely on national-level statistics. But the push for more granular information will receive significant attention throughout this month.
Brendon Bosworth March 1, 2017
BudgIT’s online tool tracks the implementation of government infrastructure and service provision projects at the sub-national level.
Brendon Bosworth February 22, 2017
After the first such office opened in September, the country plans to have eight operating by the end of this year — with more in the works.
Brendon Bosworth February 1, 2017
Report lays out guidelines just as data has moved to top of international agenda.
David Hatch January 24, 2017
This German initiative is looking to cities.
Claudia Schwegmann January 23, 2017
To facilitate robust urban development, the data revolution will need to be accompanied by a capacity revolution, experts say.
Brendon Bosworth January 20, 2017
But city officials say the information Uber is offering is not robust enough to be useful.
David Hatch January 19, 2017
Marching orders came as the General Assembly formally adopted the Habitat III strategy.
Gregory Scruggs January 9, 2017

A data revolution is needed to ensure that more stats about city life are accessible to app developers, the South China Morning Post says.

December 14, 2016

The Brazilian city joins Medellín and Bogotá, Colombia, Santiago, Chile and Guadalajara, Mexico as winners of the regional competition. 

December 5, 2016
Even rich countries will struggle to monitor progress and inform policymaking. But momentum is picking up to fill this gap.
Brendon Bosworth November 30, 2016

A new book by Jill Jonnes explores how cities can protect, conserve and restore tree canopies, National Geographic reports. 

November 23, 2016
A tool used by more than 100 cities gives them a way to measure their ability to withstand disasters without having to actually endure one.
Anna Valmero November 10, 2016
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