Thursday, 11 October 2018

#DATAFORCITIES - Celebrating Taipei

#DATAFORCITIES  is a bi-weekly publication of the WCCD that highlights a data point from each of the WCCD Cities – and, more importantly, shows how each city is harnessing standardized data to build the sustainable, prosperous, smart, resilient and inclusive cities of tomorrow.

Every week a WCCD City will be profiled with a short, 3-page snapshot and promoted throughout the week with innovative visualizations across Twitter (#dataforcities),

Follow the WCCD across all of our social media channels to learn more about each city! A fully downloadable and shareable PDF of the profile can be found here

Previous reports can be found in the News and Updates section of the WCCD website

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Welland, Ontario joins the WCCD as a Platinum Certified City

On September 26, 2018, Welland, Ontario officially joined the WCCD network as one of the first ten cities in Canada to become WCCD ISO 37120 certified. Achieving platinum-level certification, Welland now joins the ranks of other data-driven, Ontario cities such as Toronto, Oakville, Cambridge and Vaughan, as well as cities around the world such as London, Dubai, and Buenos Aires. 

“Welcoming Welland into the WCCD global network of cities truly highlights the deep commitment of Mayor Campion and his entire team to creating a culture of data within their city,” stated the WCCD President & CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney. “As an early adopter of ISO 37120 and achieving WCCD certification, Welland is another shining example that a data-driven culture can exist in cities and communities of all sizes. I extend my congratulations to Mayor Campion and the City of Welland.”

“Council are very appreciative of city staff’s commitment to transparency and accountability through an open government mindset and for distinguishing Welland as one of the leading Canadian and international cities for open data initiatives,” said Welland Mayor Frank Campion. “Data is a valuable resource, not just for Council decision-making, but also for providing insight into economic and social issues, and making contributions to the livability, workability, and sustainability of our community.”

 “This certification is a result of the hard work of city staff along with the support we’ve received from the Mayor and Council in pursuing smart city initiatives,” said Gary Long, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer. “It also reflects our organization’s culture of innovation that encourages staff to share knowledge, experiment, and collaborate on opportunities to use data and information to enhance city programs and services.”

Welland reported 95 out of the 100 indicators within ISO 37120, and the WCCD President and CEO will be presenting Welland’s Platinum certification in a ceremony with Mayor Frank Campion and city staff on November 13th. They are the fifth city in Ontario, and ninth city in Canada, to become WCCD ISO 37120 certified.

For more information, please contact:
James Patava

Monday, 1 October 2018

Mayor of Kielce, Poland Speaks on WCCD ISO 37120 and Smart Cities

The City of Kielce has recently become one of the first cities in Poland to obtain World Council on City Data (WCCD) ISO 37120 Platinum CertificationWhat does this mean for the city? How will the city take advantage of WCCD ISO 37120? Why did the city decide to develop the Smart City 2030+ Framework Strategy?

The following is a conversation between Szymon Ciupa, WCCD Support Partner in Poland and Mr. Wojciech Lubawski, Mayor of Kielce City, and Ms. Jadwiga Skrobacka, Manager of the Office for Intelligent Management of Sustainable Development at Kielce City Hall.

Szymon Ciupa, Support Partner,  WCCD,

Good morning. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on obtaining WCCD ISO 37120 Platinum Certification. How do you understand the idea of a smart city? How is it implemented in Kielce? Does a smart city have to be a great metropolis? Can a medium-sized city also be a smart city?

Wojciech Lubawski, Mayor of Kielce City: I have no opinion on whether a smart city is supposed to be a big, medium or small city. I know that Kielce can be a smart city because I am the Mayor of this city and I observe the processes that take place in it. We fulfill the requirements of the WCCD - the institution that certifies cities with the WCCD ISO 37120 standard while promoting smart city ideas.  Changing a city into a smart city is a long-term process because no single administrative decision can make the smart city a reality at once. Obviously, the certificate also cannot be achieved overnight.

The City of Kielce, Poland, was awarded WCCD ISO 37120 Platinum certification in January 2018. 

This also applies to many activities. We constantly revolve around various types of ratings and evaluations. These rankings often use different methodologies and arrive at different conclusions. When two studies arrive at extremely different evaluations, it means that mistakes have likely been made. But there are also institutions like the WCCD, which are simply reliable. I think the WCCD ISO 37120 Platinum Certification we have obtained is a new challenge for us, but it brings together a variety of activities analyzed by different entities and is so reliable that we do not question it at all. We believe that all the data and indicators that were prepared there are valid. Are the findings good or bad? They are varied. We know that if we do well in one area, we may do worse in another. But that doesn’t mean that we have to settle with this, because the goal of each mayor, the goal of local government, is to raise all these standards to a higher level.

One approach to managing the city is talking to people, drawing your own conclusions from this and doing things very independently. But you can also use certain instruments that have already been practised all over the world. And the objectivity resulting from the second approach has the most credibility. Making the wrong decision can affect the quality of people’s lives. And that’s why all this data, knowledge and statistics are extremely necessary. Today, we can ask ourselves, should we take a different direction on an issue? Where should we be paying more attention? We might discover that we should allocate more money on something that is needed and expected by residents, or discover through those external entities what our strengths and weaknesses are that should be dealt with more thoroughly. That is the aim of certification.

Taking into account the scale of working in local government, our capacities in some areas are necessarily limited. Not everything can be under our control, and now it is important to assess whether our challenges result from our ignorance or our conscious actions. I think that this type of certificate and the indicators included in it help us manage the city because the world is rushing forward and today, a smart city means much more than simply setting the traffic lights on green and red. It involves a lot of decisions that determine how we will live not just one month ahead, but even 10 years ahead. So there is a need to build this perspective, to be responsible for it and to subject oneself to certain assessments by objective entities, just like in the case of ISO standards, which have established credibility. It is difficult to disagree with these evaluations.  

S.C. Yes, the WCCD ISO 37120 standard is a reliable standard. So far, the cities that have decided to implement it are those that have ambitions to consciously approach development. We already know why the city has decided to implement this standard, but what other benefits do you see in the entire certification process? The certificate itself and the provision of data are obviously one thing, but the certification process itself was also not easy. It required not only the involvement of employees but also, I would say, a reflection on the whole city. Do you think that the city has already gained any benefits?

W.L.: The fundamental advantage is that we submit ourselves to certain procedures that may not be convenient for us, but improve our decision-making overall. People often follow the path of least resistance, but they should be aware that they may have poor outcomes if they make decisions that do not reflect research. This is one thing. And the second thing is that as one of the first WCCD ISO 37120 certified city in Poland, it is worth being a leader, it is worth being the first one because it brings promotional benefits. Maybe this is a kind of reflection for the future - that it is worth boasting of these titles a little bit more, and of our achievements because residents need to know they live in a city that cares for them and strives to provide a high quality of life.

S.C. I also think that thanks to knowledge about the city, one can identify problem areas and start solving these problems.

Ms. Jadwiga Skrobacka, Manager of the Office for Intelligent Management of Sustainable Development: I think it is worth adding that a culture of data is developing at the moment. It was mentioned by Dr. Patricia McCarney, the President and CEO of the WCCD, in a congratulatory letter after we obtained WCCD ISO 37120 certification: “The City of Kielce contributes to the dissemination of this data culture.” I think that the point is to make everyone, both residents and decision-makers, aware that decisions are made on the basis of real data and real information. The reality is dynamic and the data changes with it. If we ensure that data is made widely available to decision-makers and residents and is always up-to-date, then it’s easier to understand why the city makes a particular decision. Everyone looks at decisions from their point of view and sees only a fragment of reality. But describing the context in more detail and showing it on the map, just as we try to do it, seems to create much more opportunity to include residents in the process. It seems to me that this is what has changed so much in recent years, that including residents in the process is more common and that in the smart city idea, data sharing is crucial.

W.L.: Certainly yes. We must also be aware that thanks to access to the Internet, everything is more transparent. At the same time, I would divide this knowledge into two areas. The first one is very technical. We engage with the recipients of this knowledge as professionals, who often represent industry specializations. And then there is the second area - common knowledge. It must be different, it must be understood because if we speak a very technical language, it will be boring and inaccessible to people. We must, therefore, be able to translate this into a universal language. Today, access to data is completely different and better than 5, 10 or 15 years ago. For example, we now have GIS mapping, but before it was built, people had to rely on their intuition or go request information from an official. Today, officials are no longer needed to acquire most of this information, because people have access to data. If someone is interested, they can access the map. If they have a question, they can get a response via the Internet. So it is a completely different world, and the world will continue to develop in this direction. Any inhibition in this area will reflect badly on the city, so we have to develop it in this direction. And it is very good that there are institutions that can supervise it and certify it. We do not need to reinvent things that have already been invented in the world.

S.C. It’s very important what you said, that the message or information made available must be adapted to the group of recipients. A city can adapt different methods of information distribution for elderly people, young people, specialists, or entrepreneurs. I’m glad you paid attention to this. I would like to go back to one aspect. With objective information, residents can also assess the quality of life and service provision in a medium-sized city such as Kielce in comparison to other cities. Recently, a lot has been said about how the idea of a smart city presents a big opportunity for medium-sized cities, which can change a bit faster than huge metropolises that are even more complicated in management.  

I would also like to ask a question about being the leader. Kielce is one of the first cities in Poland to systematically organize its activities related to smart cities and has launched the Smart City 2030+ Framework Strategy. What kinds of benefits does the city gain through this strategy?

W.L.: As I said before, this is a long-term process and it cannot be done overnight. Before a decision is made, we have a whole consultation process with experts and others - architects, engineers or other specialists who may have a different opinion than mine. Today, however, we face challenges that require common knowledge and input from residents. Implementation of the smart city idea should also involve consultation with other cities. We should think about solving common problems together.  There are also new issues that arise from year to year. For example, almost no one spoke about smog three years ago. Was it there? Of course, it was. However, it was not as widely discussed or as thoroughly examined as it is today.

S.C.: There was no widely-shared knowledge.

W.L.: There was no knowledge. So, next year there will be something else, and in two years this will be something completely different. And we can ask those who already have experienced these challenges since they arise at different rates in different parts of Europe. One very wise proverb says “It is better to learn from the mistakes of others.” Therefore, activities such as implementing the smart city idea mean that we are able to learn from other cities’ experience and avoid mistakes. Someone has made a mistake once and we can draw some conclusions from it. On the other hand, it’s impossible to follow all the media, watch and listen to everything when you are a city mayor. There are appropriate institutions that report these challenges and lessons, like the WCCD, which have experience in this process and know it very well. It’s a process that we have been reliant on for years. There won’t be a point when we say that we are ending this experience because we already know everything. No, it will be ongoing. There will be new problems to be solved.

J.S.: Mr. Mayor emphasized the often underestimated educational aspect of smart cities. In the smart city, everyone learns, both the employees who have their responsibilities and the residents who are informed about the city’s activities. It becomes possible to agree on common directions. Everyone should agree on certain key values, according to which we imagine the future of our city, and these values guide the various activities that we will undertake. I think it is often the case that there are different actors who always look from their point of view and see only a fragment of reality. However, if there is, as the Mayor said, a conflict, the points of view of various stakeholders must be presented, and this combined with reliable data allows us to reach a common agreement for all residents. It becomes easier to prioritize investment decisions because not everything can be done at once. I also think that the educational role of city-to-city learning is very important. Everyone here learns a lot.

S.C.: Exactly. Thank you very much for the interview and please accept once again my sincere congratulations.

W.L.: Thank you.

Translated from the original Polish with edits for content and clarity

Thursday, 27 September 2018

#DATAFORCITIES - Celebrating The Hague, The Netherlands

#DATAFORCITIES  is a bi-weekly publication of the WCCD that highlights a data point from each of the WCCD Cities – and, more importantly, shows how each city is harnessing standardized data to build the sustainable, prosperous, smart, resilient and inclusive cities of tomorrow.

Every week a WCCD City will be profiled with a short, 3-page snapshot and promoted throughout the week with innovative visualizations across Twitter (#dataforcities),

Follow the WCCD across all of our social media channels to learn more about each city! A fully downloadable and shareable PDF of the profile can be found here

Previous reports can be found in the News and Updates section of the WCCD website

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The WCCD welcomes Québec City as a WCCD ISO 37120 Platinum Certified City

August 21, 2018
Québec City
For Immediate Release

At the Institute of Public Administration of Canada Annual Conference on August 21, 2018, the World Council on City Data (WCCD) officially welcomed Québec City to the growing, global network of data-driven cities. The WCCD President and CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney, officially presented the certificate to Mayor Régis Labeaume.
The WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney presents
the Mayor of Québec City Régis Labeaume with WCCD ISO 37120 Certification. 
Speaking at the event, Dr. McCarney welcomed Québec City as the latest city to join a network of data-driven cities across the globe:

“As the WCCD continues to expand its global network of cities committed to high calibre, standardised and independently verified city data - we are particularly proud to welcome Québec to the network and to present Mayor Labeaume with WCCD ISO 37120 platinum certification – the highest level of certification. In visiting Québec, it is quite clear that this City excels – both locally and globally – in its commitment to data-driven leadership and decision making. Mayor Labeaume and his team are truly dedicated to creating a more sustainable, resilient, prosperous, inclusive and smart future for the citizens of Québec. It is through this leadership that Québec will serve as an example to other cities across the province, the country and the globe.”

The WCCD is the global leader in standardised city data that helps to create smart, sustainable, resilient and prosperous cities. Québec City’s membership in the WCCD gives the City the opportunity to compare best practices with other cities and actively participate in a worldwide organisation that uses standardised metrics to find innovative solutions to shared challenges. Québec City’s ISO 37120 data is now viewable on the WCCD Open City Data Portal (accessible through which allows for local, national and international comparisons.

"The City of Québec is extremely proud to receive Platinum certification from the WCCD, which confirms our leadership in the sustainable development of our community. This certification is more than just a prestigious distinction - it also requires us to update and analyze essential data on individuals and families in an indicator system that takes into account the footprint we will leave on the resources that are key to the well-being of future generations," said Québec City Mayor Labeaume.  

The WCCD ISO 37120 certification comprises 100 indicators around 17 themes on city sustainability and quality of life. Cities are certified based on the recommendation of an independent third-party verifier who reviews the city data; ensuring conformity with the definition and methodologies of ISO 37120. Québec City is the eighth city to receive ISO 37120 certification in Canada, joining a global network of over 60 cities worldwide.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

WCCD and Nova Scotia Mayors endorse creation of the first ISO-certified smart and sustainable rural region

May 1st, 2018
For Immediate Release

The Mayors of seven towns in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada enthusiastically endorsed the message from Patricia McCarney, President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD), that their ISO certification would make the Annapolis Valley region a global model for rural sustainability and investability. The Mayors Executive Roundtable focused on demonstrating the Region’s attractiveness for investment, through the use of standardized, community-level data.

From L to R: Mayor Don Clarke (Berwick); Mayor Peter Muttart (Municipality of the Country of Kings); John Lorh MLA, Kings North; Mayor Sylvester Atkinson (Middleton); Mayor Sandra Snow (Kentville); Dr. Patricia McCarney, WCCD President & CEO, Mayor Anna Allen (Windsor); Mayor Jeff Cantwell (Wolfville), Mayor Bill MacDonald (Annapolis Royal); Keith Irving, MLA, Kings South; and Terry Dalton, President, i-Valley
“Creating a culture of data in communities and regions is the starting point for creating smarter and more sustainable communities,” stated Dr. McCarney. “For communities of all sizes to compete on the global stage, standardised, comparable and independently verified data will help to drive innovation and attract investment from both governments and the private sector. Once established, this model can be replicated in other countries around the world, and help to drive innovative growth."

Dr. McCarney (left) receives a hockey puck from Mayor Anna Allen
 of Windsor, Nova Scotia, the "birthplace of hockey."
In addition to the Mayors present, guests also included John Lohr, MLA for Kings North, and Keith Irving, MLA for Kings South. The Roundtable was hosted by Peter Muttart, Mayor of the Municipality of Kings and was chaired by Terry Dalton, President of i-Valley, with summarising remarks provided by Deborah Dennis, CEO of the Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN). Also in attendance was Acadia University’s Danny Silver, Director of the Institute for Data Analytics, who characterised the regional ISO 37120 certification program as "...not a project, but a fundamental shift in how communities track progress."

For more information, please contact:

James Patava  


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

WCCD partners with i-Valley to create world's first Smart+Sustainable Rural Region


For Immediate Release
April 25, 2018 

Mayors Gather in Roundtable with VIP Guest as Global 

First Beckons for Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

The mayors in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada are gathering on April 30th to discuss the Valley’s certification as the world’s first ‘Sustainable and Smart’ rural region.  Dr. Patricia McCarney, President of the World Council on City Data (WCCD), is travelling from Toronto for the Executive Roundtable.  The WCCD certifies communities under ISO 37120, the first international standard for sustainable and smart communities.

The Executive Roundtable will focus on demonstrating the Region’s attractiveness for investment, through the use of standardized, community-level data in making communities prosperous, sustainable, resilient, smart and inclusive. “This initiative will help to create smarter, more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive communities,” said i-Valley President Terry Dalton.  “We will be compared to the most progressive global communities, through high-calibre, standardized and independently verified data.  This will be immensely attractive for global investors.”

“This mutual inquiry by our Valley Partners is an opportunity to inform our process and guide our future partnerships and collaborations,” said Peter Muttart, Mayor of the hosting Municipality of Kings.  “It crosses our artificial municipal boundaries and takes in the common needs and concerns of all of the citizens of the Valley.  We may well determine that positioning ourselves as being favourably, globally comparable through standardized ISO measurement, opens doors for other levels of government to partner with us, as well as enhancing and telegraphing our competitive position in the broadband-internet field – not just for our current citizens and businesses - but to future investors from all regions of the world.

“Globally comparable data is the starting points for smart and sustainable communities,” stated Dr. McCarney. “The WCCD believes that building a culture of data and having globally comparable, standardized city data enables communities to learn from each other and drive forward more prosperous communities. Standardized, globally comparable and independently verified community data is key to building the case for investment attractiveness. Gone are the days when companies were solely interested in tax and other incentives that communities were willing to offer. They increasingly want to know about air quality, the safety of citizens, and educational attainment in the community. ISO 37120 provides all of these measures in both a local and global comparative context.”

The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN) has supported the project from the start.  Deborah Dennis, the newly-appointed CEO of the Valley REN explained, “We need to bring both rural and urban dwellers up to the best of global communications capabilities.  That is why we support the Smart Region initiative.”  Ms. Dennis, who is delivering the closing remarks at the Roundtable, added that “Data that is being gathered across major themes like economy, finance and education, will help with municipal management.  It will allow for informed decision-making based on analysis of evidence-based information and will benchmark areas for improvement that will support collective growth.”

Danny Silver, Director of Acadia University’s Institute for Data Analytics, added that he was pleased to bring his organization’s strengths to bear as a partner in the project:  “Digital technologies and data analysis make meaning out of the unprecedented amount of information available to managers today.”

About i-Valley, WCCD, ISO 37120
i-Valley is a not-for-profit movement to create Smart Regions and Communities in the Annapolis Valley and elsewhere in Nova Scotia. Smart Communities mobilize citizens to achieve faster economic growth, better health care and greater sustainability, through the use of advanced enabling technologies.
The Toronto-based World Council on City Data (WCCD) is leading the international and local implementation of ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life, the first international standard; created by cities, for cities. ISO 37120 defines a comprehensive set of 100 standardized indicators that enables any city, of any size, to assess their performance and measure progress over time and also draw comparative lessons from other communities and cities locally and globally.
WCCD ISO 37120 Certification has a number of significant benefits for municipalities including the opportunity to demonstrate, through high calibre, independently-verified and comparable data the attractiveness of a city as a location for investment. A rapidly growing number of cities in Canada and globally are seeking and achieving WCCD ISO 37120 certification. For more information, please visit

For further information please contact Barry Gander, Co-Founder, i-Valley: or
James Patava, Vice President – Public Affairs, WCCD: