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ITU's implementation of the U4SSC KPIs on Smart Sustainable Cities


​​​​Why do cities need KPIs?

Cities are the drivers of national economic development. A significant portion of the world's population lives in urban areas, with the number expected to rise up to 70% in the foreseeable future.  However, in the nascent period of a city's growth, urbanization can have adverse effects on the environment and on its citizens. Given the rapid levels of urbanization occurring today, these impacts are being felt all the more in many parts of the world.

As we move forth on striving to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), cities are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital technologies to address these urban challenges.

Using ICTs and digital technologies offers urban stakeholders:​
  Sustainability and smartness are long-term propositions, however, that necessitate thoughtful planning and progress measurement and monitoring. An evidence-based approach relying on relevant, high-quality data and utilization of best practices is needed to achieve this.​​ 

​​Find out more on the U4SSC KPIs Project

What makes the U4SSC KPIs for Smart Sustainable Cities (SSC) unique?​​

The UN’s United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative, coordinated by the ITU along with several UN bodies, provides the guidance necessary to help cities along their smartness and sustainability pathways.   

U4SSC helps enable cities to measure their performance through the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Smart Sustainable Cities (SSC). These indicators are developed based on an international standard - Recommendation ITU-T Y.4903/L.1603 “Key performance indicators for smart sustainable cities to assess the achievement of sustainable development goals".

These indicators have been developed to provide cities with a standardized method to collect the necessary data to measure performance and progress in regard to:  

The U4SSC KPIs provide cities with the means for self-assessment and monitoring of their sustainable development progress to achieve the SDGs. 

The KPIs for SSC consist of 91 indicators. Each U4SSC KPI has been chosen through a process of review and input by international experts and UN agencies to capture a city’s performance in three dimensions: Economy, Environment and Society and Culture. Each of these dimensions provides a separate view of progress and, when reported together, they provide a holistic view of a Smart Sustainable City. 

Within each dimension, there are sub dimensions that focus on more specific areas of performance and progress. 

The KPIs are then further sub-divided into core and advanced indicators. Core indicators are those that most cities are able to report. Advanced indicators provide a more in-depth view of a city and measure progress on more advanced initiatives.

Through this comprehensive framework that enables both top-down and bottom-up analysis, the U4SSC KPIs tell the complete story of a city’s smartness and sustainability!

The list of all U4SSC KPIs can be found in the​ "Collection Methodology for Key Performance Indicators for Smart Sustainable Cities".

Join U4SSC today and implement these KPIs in your city!
As a city leader, you will benefit from using the U4SSC KPIs toward strategic planning, measurement of your city’s progress in its individual smart city goals, gathering decision support, policy-setting, and increasing your city’s marketability for investment.  

Your industries and businesses will be better positioned to grow in an innovative, supportive and connected environment, with new companies will be attracted to all its possibilities. 

Your citizens will benefit from better quality of life, convenient access to services and a cleaner, healthier environment.

​Over 100 cities worldwide are already implementing the U4SSC KPIs, including Dubai, Singapore, Manizales, Moscow, Valencia and Bizerte, with many more aspiring smart cities interested in the initiative.  

Contact the ITU Secretariat toda​y to see what U4SSC can do for your city!