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Exploring environmental urban policies: a methodological proposal to build a composite indicator measuring urban environmental virtuosity


  • Ercolano, Salvatore
  • Romano, Oriana


Synthesizing the complex phenomenon of “environment” into a single indicator could leads to a loss of information, which inhibit his use as a reference for the resolution of several issues such as, for example, the allocation of resources. On the other hand it allows to represent the overall environmental performance of cities and to highlight relationships between different sectors. We consider “process oriented” variables instead of aggregated and “outcome oriented” ones, generally used to measure environmental sustainability strictu sensu. In this sense we refers specifically to the concept of “environmental virtuosity”, that allows to rank statistical units (i.e. Italian main municipalities), considering their policy efforts for improving urban environmental quality. Generally an indicator of environmental quality should combine partial information to summarize the main subject. This paper proposes to measure urban environmental virtuosity by multivariate analysis, following OECD (2008) procedure. This methodology will try to overcome the main methodological issues in building up indicators, consisting in the choice of weights and in the common practice of simply adding sub-indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Ercolano, Salvatore & Romano, Oriana, 2011. "Exploring environmental urban policies: a methodological proposal to build a composite indicator measuring urban environmental virtuosity," MPRA Paper 29230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29230

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    More about this item


    Composite indicators; multivariate analysis; environmental policies;

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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