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Toronto is one of the best cities in the world

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. 

It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. 

It is the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.  

At the Global Cities Summit last month, the City of Toronto joined a select group of cities as a Foundation Partner in launching the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and to pilot the first ISO approved international standard for city performance indicators. 

Among the cities represented on the WCCD along with Toronto are: Amman, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Guadalajara, Haiphong, Helsinki, Johannesburg, London, Makkah, Makati, Minna, Rotterdam and Shanghai.

The WCCD is to become 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. 

The WCCD will coordinate efforts on city data to ensure a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban performance metrics.

“Cities need to be informed so that they can make intelligent decisions and smart investments for the healthy future of their citizens,” said Senator Art Eggleton, Chair of Global Cities Indicators Facility (GCIF) hosting the Summit. “For the first time, we are bringing together a database for cities so that we can develop a standard methodology for city performance metrics, which will be a very valuable tool in planning our cities’ futures.”

“Launching the World Council on City Data along with other cities provides us with an opportunity to benchmark the performance of City of Toronto services to the services of other global cities, learn from other cities, and together address challenges that our cities may face,” said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

Using ISO standard indicators will provide cities with a common language and standardized technical definitions in measuring city performance, as well as provide a global framework for third party verification of city data. International standardization of city data is important so that the data is reliable and useful for making meaningful comparisons among cities. Comparable data supports more informed and fact-based decision making on urban issues that are important to residents. Better comparisons among cities will allow cities to share best practices in becoming sustainable and prosperous. 

Creation of the WCCD is an important next step for the GCIF in building an open data platform on global metrics, allowing cities to showcase their progress on the world stage. 

The GCIF, which is based at the University of Toronto, enables cities to measure, report, and improve their own performance in the areas of city services and quality of life.

The Global Cities Summit hosted by the GCIF on May 15 and 16 in Toronto convened leaders from the GCIF’s network of more than 255 member cities from 81 countries, business leaders, senior government officials, leaders from United Nations and other international agencies, scholars, and planning and design professionals. 

The purpose of the Summit was to learn, share, and exchange experiences across a wide spectrum of big ideas and innovative solutions for cities. This year’s Summit theme was Getting on Track: Sustainable and Inclusive Prosperity for Cities.

Posted: Jun 2, 2014

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