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City indicators : now to Nanjing


  • Hoornweg, Daniel
  • Ruiz Nunez, Fernanda
  • Freire, Mila
  • Palugyai, Natalie
  • Villaveces, Maria
  • Herrera, Eduardo Wills


This paper provides the key elements to develop an integrated approach for measuring and monitoring city performance globally. The paper reviews the role of cities and why indicators are important. Then it discusses past approaches to city indicators and the systems developed to date, including the World Bank's initiatives. After identifying the strengths and weaknesses of past experiences, it discusses the characteristics of optimal indicators. The paper concludes with a proposed plan to develop standardized indicators that emphasize the importance of indicators that are measurable, replicable, potentially predictive, and most important, consistent and comparable over time and across cities. As an innovative characteristic, the paper includes subjective measures in city indicators, such as well-being, happy citizens, and trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoornweg, Daniel & Ruiz Nunez, Fernanda & Freire, Mila & Palugyai, Natalie & Villaveces, Maria & Herrera, Eduardo Wills, 2007. "City indicators : now to Nanjing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4114, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4114

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    Cited by:

    1. Irvine Lapsley & Peter Miller & Fabrizio Panozzo, 2010. "Accounting for the city," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 305-324, March.

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    Cultural Policy; City Development Strategies; Cultural Heritage&Preservation; ICT Policy and Strategies; Housing&Human Habitats;

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