The World Council on City Data and Hatch, a Canadian-based global engineering firm, announced a strategic partnership this week to develop a data portal to operationalize the ISO 37120 across cities globally through a set of indicators for city services and quality of life.

The benchmarking exercise in one way that cities around the world can track and compare their progress in meeting social, environmental, and economic goals using standardized measurements of things such as population density, unemployment, energy use, as well as a set of indicators related to water and wastewater.

Hatch and the WCCD will jointly promote the critical role that ISO 37120-certified city data can play in developing new solutions for planning and infrastructure challenges faced by urban communities in the twenty-first century. The two organizations also will build new online tools to map and analyze urban trends and associated city responses.

“High quality standardized data is key to understanding the complex and interconnected challenges facing cities. Once understood, it is possible to identify practical and cost-effective solutions,” said professor Patricia McCarney, president and CEO of the WCCD and director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto. “Hatch, as one of the world’s most respected engineering and consulting firms, is a great partner to drive this data-driven solutions agenda for cities around the world.”

“Together, Hatch and WCCD will provide a combination of practical, useful data and expertise on how cities can use this to meet their goals,” said Martin Doble, Hatch’s global managing director of infrastructure. “In an era of increasing urbanization, this partnership will focus on providing better solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing cities, in ways that allow cities and communities to plan for real improvements and economic prosperity.”

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As a WCCD lead partner, Hatch will join the WCCD Global City Leaders Advisory Board, chaired by Senator Art Eggleton, the former mayor of Toronto. The WCCD is an initiative originally established in Ontario.

Hatch and the WCCD have already started working together on data analytics, opportunities to optimize infrastructure investment, and growing the network of WCCD ISO-certified cities. Cities in Asia, Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia are initially targeted as locations where comparable data in such areas as transportation, energy, environment, water, waste and emergency response will contribute to improved city planning and decision-making.

Indicators for water include:

  • Percentage of city population serves by wastewater collection
  • Percentage of the city’s wastewater that has received no treatment
  • Percentage of the city’s wastewater receiving primary treatment
  • Percentage of city population with potable water supply
  • Average annual hours of water service interruptions per household
  • Percentage of water loss (unaccounted for water)

In October 2015, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WCCD signed a  partnership agreement to demonstrate the importance of standardized urban metrics to drive sustainability and resource efficiency in cities. The World Council on City Data Foundation Cities include: Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Guadalajara, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Helsinki, London, Rotterdam, Barcelona, Minna, Johannesburg, Amman, Makkah, Dubai, Haiphong, Makati, Shanghai, and Melbourne.

The portal can be accessed at: http://www.dataforcities.org/

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