Assessment and metrics

Monitoring and assessment is usually the last component and conclusion of innovation and digital growth strategies implementation.

It is a key activity for innovation ecosystems and intelligent cities, which offers higher intelligence and can improve substantially the performance of cities. Measurement and assessment of intelligent city performance is about using key performance indicators (KPIs), the creation of scoreboards, gathering of data, using analytics and identifying factors shaping the performance of cities.

Assessment and metrics

Different measurement methodologies can be used, which vary with respect to the perspective and variables that are measured and assessed, such as

  • Policy focused measurement, in which the indicators used do not measure the social and physical qualities of a city, but rather policies and planning efforts, evaluating the commitment and effectiveness of local and regional government in supporting the new innovation economy created upon broadband networks and e-services.
  • City-focused measurement, based on the characteristics and performance of cities, which uses comparable data relating to population, employment, age, activity, land use and many other characteristics. Usual areas are those of smart economy, smart people, smart mobility, smart environment, smart living, and smart governance, and indicators that capture performance in these domains
  • Infrastructure -focused measurement, which is suitable for the assessment of urban infrastructure and utilities and heavily relies on the availability of sensor-based data.

In our view, a good methodology of measurement and assessment should include clear a statement about the measurable objectives, indicators should be defined with respect to drivers of intelligent city development and a merging of policy-focused and city-focused methodologies.

We propose using structural KPIs from the building blocks of intelligent cities: knowledge skills, innovation ecosystems and digital spaces for the baseline conditions; measure the effort by investments in broadband, ICT, and online services; documenting the outcome in the four typical subsystems of cities, the urban economy, quality of life, infrastructure, and government.


Provision should be made for collecting data and managing records so that the data required are accessible and reliable, using open data and big data, and for normalisation of indicators to enable data comparison and correlation.