The World Council on City Data (WCCD) was officially launched during the Global Cities Summit, hosted by the University of Toronto’s Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF) on May 15. The intention of this new global entity is to build an international platform for open, globally comparable and ISO standardized data for participating cities from around the world.
The creation of the WCCD is an evolution of the last seven years of successful work for the GCIF in developing globally standardized data for cities. The Council will coordinate all efforts on city data to ensure a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban metrics. It will act as a global hub for creative learning partnerships across cities, international organizations, corporate partners, and academia to further innovation, envision alternative futures, and build better and more livable cities.
“The Creation of the World Council on City Data is a pivotal next step in building a reliable foundation of globally standardized data that will assist cities in building core knowledge for city decision-making, and enable comparative insight and global benchmarking” said Professor Patricia McCarney, director of the GCIF at the University of Toronto. “In a world where city data is exploding and big data is escalating, we are now moving forward in building the WCCD as an open data platform on global city metrics.”
Foundation Cities of the WCCD will help develop the vision and drive the new Council agenda forward together with other partners: private, public and academic. Foundation Cities will help define the mandate for the WCCD and develop the first five years of programming on city data, analytics, visualization, publications, city awards and recognitions. The headquarters of the WCCD will be located in Toronto and the Council will host a platform for cities and will build a knowledge network for cities globally.
“Here in London, we really welcome joining the WCCD,” said Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence, Greater London Authority. “There has never been a time where it’s more important to understand how we as a global city compare with other cities so we can learn from them and actually use data to address challenges that are facing all of our cities.” London Mayor Boris Johnson said London’s biggest challenge is the boom in the number of people living in London, with the city’s population projected to hit 10 million by 2030. Access to data from other cities will be critical to dealing with this growth. “That’s a lot of people who will need jobs and homes and a quick and convenient way of getting from one to the other,” he said.
Other cities voiced their excitement at joining the WCCD. The City of Barcelona is “very interested in this initiative, having been nominated European Capital of Innovation by the European Commission” says Manel Sanromà, CIO, Barcelona, “Barcelona believes deeply in the value of collaboration and standardization.”
Along with the launch of the Council, the Summit also announced a new international standard on city indicators using the GCIF framework that has been developed through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Geneva. ISO 37120 Sustainable Development in Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life is the first ISO standard on city metrics. Foundation Cities will be the first to pilot this new ISO standard, which marks a critical turning point in the world of city data. ISO 37120 provides cities and stakeholders with an opportunity for a standardized approach to city metrics, and a global framework for third party verification of city data.