Thursday, 22 September 2016

World Council on City Data and Philips Lighting embark on Foundation Partnership to promote improved energy efficiency in cities

Philips Lighting and the World Council on City Data (WCCD) have established a Foundation Partnership, providing a platform to demonstrate the enormous potential for cities to raise economic performance and capture significant environmental and social benefits through improved energy efficiency.

The partnership agreement was signed on stage at the opening of Climate Week NYC 2016 by Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting and Patricia McCarney, WCCD President and CEO.

This Foundation Partnership will promote the role that ISO-standardized city data can play in driving the rapid market adoption of high-efficiency energy solutions, which will be critical if cities around the world are to achieve their ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. For example, a global transformation to LED-based lighting would reduce global electricity consumption for lighting by more than 45% and avoid 660 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

An initial priority of the partnership will be to work together to identify priority indicators for city-level energy efficiency and public lighting performance and testing these indicators in collaboration with leading cities in the WCCD network.

WCCD and Philips Lighting will also collaborate on a number of international events in 2016-17, including the WCCD Global Cities Summit in Dubai, encouraging a global dialogue on how ISO standardized city data demonstrate the diverse range of benefits for cities in pursuing smart and sustainable energy and lighting solutions.

Harry Verhaar, Head Public and Government Affairs at Philips Lighting said: “As cities hold the key to achieving the Paris climate goals, the need for data to support progress in cities has never been greater. We are pleased to join hands with the World Council on City Data to help cities as they strive towards a resilient, low-carbon future. Energy efficient LED lighting plays an important role in reducing energy bills and carbon emissions while improving cities safety and livability."

Dr. Patricia McCarney, President and CEO of the WCCD also expressed her views on the exciting potential for the new Foundation Partnership between the two organizations. “For a number of years now, Phillips Lighting has been a key supporter in the work that culminated in the WCCD’s ISO 37120 standard. Their keen insight in the realm of energy efficiency will play a pivotal role in moving forward the WCCD’s goal of creating the smart, sustainable, resilient, prosperous and inclusive cities of tomorrow.”

For more information, please contact:

James Patava (WCCD)
+14169662368 –

Notes to Editors:

The World Council on City Data (WCCD) ( coordinates all efforts on open city data to ensure a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban metrics. As a global leader on standardized indicators, the WCCD is also leading the efforts on global implementation of ISO 37120 – the first international standard on sustainable cities. The WCCD has created the first certification system and Global Cities Registry™ for ISO 37120.  WCCD Certification and Registration for ISO 37120 enables cities to participate in the WCCD Open Data Portal for comparative data analytics and informed decision making. The WCCD is 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. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

WCCD Cities Rank in Top 10 of EIU's Global Liveability Ranking 2016

Melbourne scores 97.5 out of 100 and ranks first.

Toronto scores 97.2 out of 100 and ranks fourth.

With such a small difference between Melbourne and Toronto, the WCCD uses ISO 37120 data to understand the results

Last week, three World Council on City Data (WCCD) Foundation Cities were included in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Ranking 2016, which according to the EIU “provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide.” Toronto, Melbourne and Helsinki, all ISO certified by the WCCD, ranked in the Top 10 of the well-publicised international city ranking. According to the annual index, Melbourne ranked as the number one city on the list with a score of 97.5 out of a possible 100, with Toronto coming in fourth place at 97.2. 

Toronto and Melbourne have always been regarded by leaders from both cities as close peer cities for comparative learning. With such a narrow difference between top-placed Melbourne and fourth placed Toronto, the WCCD has taken a closer look at what might account for the .3 difference and how liveability scores play out across WCCD ISO certified city data.

What does the WCCD ISO 37120 data tell us?

As a complement to the EIU’s Liveability Ranking, the WCCD has taken a closer look at what exactly separates Toronto and Melbourne, leveraging high-calibre, globally standardised data that conforms to ISO 37120 that both cities have reported to the WCCD on an annual basis.

Toronto and Melbourne are very closely matched across a number of ISO 37120 indicators related to city services and quality of life. Generally speaking, Toronto performs better on safety, and Melbourne performs better on jobs. However, quality of life indicators for both cities are remarkably similar.

Melbourne performs better than Toronto on Jobs:
Jobs - Melbourne has 5% unemployment compared to Toronto with 9.5% and for youth unemployment Melbourne has 7.8% vs Toronto with 21.6 %

Toronto performs better than Melbourne on Safety and Shelter:

Safety - on safety indicators such as number of homicides (Toronto has 2.1 homicides per 100 000 vs. Melbourne at 8.18 per 100 000) and violent crime (Toronto has 986.9 per 100 000 vs Melbourne’s 2849.26), this despite the fact that Melbourne has a higher number of police officers than Toronto (253.8 vs 195.7 per 100 000)

Homeless - Toronto has fewer homeless people than Melbourne (395 vs 197 per 100 000 population)

Otherwise Toronto and Melbourne are closely matched

Both cities focus extensively on access to green space and planting trees - both cities provide similar green space for residents, critical for health and wellbeing (451.93 hectares for Melbourne and 445.67 for Toronto). Toronto has a higher number of trees planted with 3373 per 100 000 population compared to Melbourne’s 2640.68 per 100 000 population

Quality of education – a key measure of economic performance – is quite similar in both cities, through the lens of primary education student/teacher ratio, secondary school completion, number of higher education degrees.

On air quality (as measured by PM 2.5 - particulate matter in the air) both cities record similar air quality numbers: 7.4Цg/m3 for Melbourne and 8.96 Цg/m3 for Toronto.

Both cities have similar life expectancy: 83.5 in Melbourne and 83 in Toronto

In terms of gender representation in governance, Toronto slightly outperforms with 41.7% female elected officials, with Melbourne at 36.4%

What is the EIU Global Liveability Ranking? What is the WCCD ISO 37120 Data for Cities Initiative?

The EIU’s liveability survey includes 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories which include: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. For qualitative factors (which are the majority), each city is assigned a rating by a group of EIU analysts and in-city contributors, with each factor rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable. Unlike the EIU survey which relies on subjective assessment by experts, WCCD’s ISO 37120 indicators are solely data-driven and independently verified, as well as globally standardized – allowing for apples to apples comparisons. Both Melbourne and Toronto have been ISO certified by the WCCD, based on reporting data in conformity with ISO 37120 – the first international standard on city data. 

Other contrasting features: while the EIU draws on qualitative measures, the WCCD uses only numeric measures; while the EIU data and methodologies are not open to the public, the WCCD data is reported on an open data portal; within the EIU’s methodology, it is unclear as to which geographic boundaries are used to demarcate each city - WCCD cities are defined according to official administrative jurisdictional boundaries—for example, for the City of Melbourne this means the area of 37.7km2 within the municipal boundaries rather than the larger urban area that may be commonly referred to as “Greater Melbourne”.

For more comparative data on over 25 cities from around the world, visit the WCCD homepage at

For more updates from the WCCD, please sign up to our mailing list here, and don’t forget to follow the WCCD on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

HRH The Prince of Wales and WCCD President & CEO Patricia McCarney on Measure What Matters

On Tuesday, July 12th, WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney was invited by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to speak at the Measure What Matters meeting in London, UK. 

The Prince, well-known for his concern for the environment and sustainability, invited Dr. McCarney to discuss the world’s progress in achieving the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

"Only one of the 17 SDGs – goal 11 – is directly related to cities,” Dr. McCarney stated, “but most of the SDG’s involve cities, because the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas. City metrics are really at the core of success for countries reporting on the SDGs. All of the other goals – whether on air quality, quality of transport, quality of livability in public spaces, energy goals – are very much driven by cities, so we have mapped all 17 goals – not just goal 11.”

Since the publication of the SDGs in 2015, the World Council on City Data has been promoting ISO 37120 as a tool for SDG measurement, as reported by the Huffington Post and Cities Today.

In addition to the Prince’s invitation to speak at the forum, Dr. McCarney was invited to sit on the international advisory board for Measure What Matters as one of a select group of leaders from international agencies, global corporations and think tanks.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Friday, 10 June 2016

Canada should base infrastructure spree on standardized statistics, experts say

Toronto experts have advice for the Trudeau government on how to aim an unprecedented $125 billion over 10 years on infrastructure.

Locally developed, internationally accredited statistics can tell Ottawa, the provinces and cities how to squeeze the most benefit from spending on transit and more, say World Council on City Data (WCCD) representatives.

And the federal government risks missing massive opportunities and investing in the wrong resources if it ignores the driverless car revolution just around the corner, says technology expert David Ticoll who, like the WCCD’s Patricia McCarney, spoke Thursday to a smart cities conference.

U of T-based McCarney led a wildly successful effort, now involving 260 cities, to standardize urban data and introduce an international measuring system so cities can be accurately rated and compared on everything from transit to housing to emergency response times and air quality. Read the full feature in the Toronto Star here.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Toronto based WCCD teams up with i-Canada to roll-out first international standard for cities across Canada

The Toronto-based World Council on City Data (WCCD) has teamed up with i-CANADA  to accelerate the roll-out of ISO 37120 - the first international standard on indicators for sustainable cities  - across Canada, helping to create the smart, sustainable, resilient and prosperous cities of tomorrow. 

“The World Council on City Data is solidly committed to ensuring that cities in Canada – and globally - are equipped with the tools to succeed in a world where cities are becoming global economic hubs for innovation. ISO 37120 can help cities plan for sustainability and resiliency while helping them to make smart decisions for accelerated economic development,” stated WCCD President and CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney.  “We look forward to working with i-Canada and with the “Rising Communities Caucus” and to the launch event to celebrate this new partnership at the World Future Cities Summit in Toronto from June 9-10.” 

Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA, stated that Canadian cities are early adopters’ of Smart City techniques:  “Canada is the world leader in awards for Smart Cities.  Being able to use these ISO standards will be an accelerator of the first order.”

WCCD member cities are identifying and implementing data-driven solutions for the myriad challenges faced by mayors and city leaders around the world.  With over 250 cities involved in the design of ISO 37120, the WCCD is inviting all Canadian cities to join this global initiative and be certified.
For more information about the World Council on City Data, or how your city can become WCCD ISO 37120 certified and entered into the Global Cities Registry™, please contact

Additonally, for more information, please contact:
James Patava
World Council on City Data

About the World Council on City Data (WCCD)
The WCCD hosts a network of innovative cities worldwide committed to improving city services and quality of life with globally standardized city data As featured in the Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and Cities Today the World Council on City Data is globally operationalizing ISO 37120 – the first internationals standard for sustainable cities, and hosts the Global Cities Registry™ for ISO 37120.  For the first time, this new standard allows for the generation of globally comparative, independently verified open city data from over 30 leading, global cities with the goal of creating a global network dedicated to building more sustainable, prosperous, resilient and smart cities.  The WCCD hosts a network of innovative cities committed to improving services and quality of life with open city data. The WCCD Open City Data Portal showcases verified data for WCCD ISO 37120 certified cities of all sizes, from around the world.

For more on the WCCD see:

About i-Canada
I-CANADA is the pan-Canadian movement dedicated to creating a nation of Intelligent Communities large and small, rural and urban, where all enjoy the economic development, job growth and social prosperity now available in the world’s leading communities. The i-CANADA Governors Council is comprised of provincial Premiers, Mayors and CEOs of major corporations.

The WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT connects Smart City leaders to problem-solving techniques that will from around the world.
Participants will get involved with world-leading topics and experts like:
  • The globe’s largest investment program, India’s Smart 100 Communities Program, and opportunities for involvement;
  • International Standards to measure Smart Communities, led by Canada’s own Patricia McCarney, President and CEO World Council on City Data;
  • The next level of Smart City development, from IBM's Steve Adler, an icon of data development who has created $Billion businesses that drive open cities; 
  • The new “killer apps” for Smart City acceleration;
  • The actual ROI from Smart City investment;
  • The new “Rising Communities” program  -  the first practical movement to create Smart Communities, co-chaired by the Mayors of Fredericton and Stratford; and
  • Financing options, with Mark Romoff, President and CEO, Canadian Council on Public Private Partnerships

The event includes the official launch evening of Luminato, Toronto's globally-recognized Festival of Arts and Creativity.  Guests will be in the first audience to see the heritage Hearn Generating Station venue as it has been reimagined for the Festival.  See:

Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA, has said that "Canada is the best country in the world for the creation of Smart Communities - Canada has won more "Intelligent Community" awards than any other nation.  The WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT will become a "must-attend" conference on everyone's agenda."   For more on the WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT see:

About the Rising Communities Caucus
Canada’s first comprehensive program of actionable steps to transform communities into “Smart Communities”, has been launched by i-CANADA and its partners.  The Co-Chairs of the Caucus are Brad Woodside, Mayor of Fredericton NB, and Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford ON.  Both mayors have led their communities to become globally-acknowledged Smart Communities.  Members of the Rising Community Caucus obtain:
  • Mayors’ Meetings, live and online, for peer coaching on how to lead Smart Community development;
  • International Standards briefings that introduce a global outlook to your community, with partner MMMMMMMMMMMM;
  • Local Internet Assessments of speeds and branding potential, with partner the Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA);
  • Economic Return-On-Investment Assessments for your community, from David Sandel Associates, showing the real value for business, employment and social development, of becoming a Smart Community;
  • Study of Current “Smart Community” Status to help assess what needs to be done to advance as a Smart Community;
  • Community Vision-Setting Workshop where the 5-year Vision is set out, with priorities for development for all Sectors;
  • Network Assessments with financial options, on what is needed to create the Vision;

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

WCCD and the importance of city data highlighted by new UN Report launched today in New York

President & CEO of the World Council on City Data & Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Professor Patricia McCarney was in New York on May 18th, at the launch of UN-Habitat’s “World Cities Report 2016.” A flagship publication of UN-Habitat, the report establishes cities as a transformative force and sets the tone for the new urban agenda to be adopted at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Professor McCarney and her colleague Professor Stren authored the opening chapters of this game-changing report, “From Habitat II to Habitat III: Twenty Years of Urban Development” and “Urbanization as a Transformative Force.”  

The work of Professor McCarney and that of the WCCD was widely applauded at the event, with Eduardo Moreno - UN-Habitat Director for Research Capacity Development - pointing to the work of the WCCD as helping to close the global gap on the city data deficit. The need for data to guide and monitor progress and investment in cities has never been greater. Over the last two decades, cities have emerged as the world’s economic platforms for production, innovation and trade and it is in cities where private sector jobs are being created.  McCarney argues in this new UN report that city data is essential for evidence-based decision making and policy development that will support increasing productivity, create employment opportunities, improve quality of life and inform large-scale investment in infrastructure so pivotal for cities in Canada and worldwide. 

The transformative power of urbanization will continue to be driven by the rapid deployment of Information and Communications Technology making cities smarter and more resilient. "Cities have become a positive and potent force for addressing sustainable economic growth, development and prosperity and for driving innovation," concluded Professor McCarney. 

The full report can be read here.