March 28, 2019 at 11am EST
City Benchmarking Study – Where does your city rank, relevant to its peers?
It is hard to have the courage — to change, to innovate, to improve — when you don’t have all the facts. Around the world, cities are undergoing massive and fundamental change. Demand for city services is changing. Expectations are increasing. And costs are coming under pressure. Cities have no choice but to become more efficient and more effective in delivering services. The problem is that nobody really knows what ‘good’ looks like when it comes to service efficiency and effectiveness, nor do city managers have the data needed to make effective trade-offs. There are no consistent global benchmarking systems that compare efficiency and effectiveness across countries and city service areas. There is no ‘Big Book of Great Ideas’ for cities. This is not surprising. As this report illustrates, city benchmarking is a tremendously difficult and time-consuming exercise. In part, this is because no two cities measure the exact same things in the exact same way (in fact, in many cases, cities aren’t measuring key indices at all). But it’s also because each city faces a very different environmental, social, political and economic reality. And that has a direct impact on their specific costs and capabilities. Benchmarking isn’t easy. Yet we persevered. This report offers a summary of our findings. In total, 35 different cities participated, representing almost all geographic regions and sizes. Not all cities were able to collect data for all service areas. But those that could allowed KPMG professionals to start creating a much clearer and more consistent view of what ‘good’ might look like in city service delivery. More importantly, our exercise went beyond the data to find out some of the key innovations, service improvements and trends facing these cities. And, in this report, we highlight some of the most impressive and impactful examples in the hope of inspiring other cities to evolve their current approach to city services. This is not a ranking or competition. Rather, it is an effort to catalyze renewed debate about how city services are developed, delivered and measured. We hope it leads to better and more consistent measurement of city services. And we hope it raises new ideas and discussion at the city manager level.
Alan Mitchell Executive Director Cities Global Centre of Excellence, KPMG