City of Kitchener joins world-class cities with WCCD platinum-level ISO data certification
September 15, 2020
Posted by: Jacqueline O'Hara
Earlier today, the City of Kitchener joined the World Council on City Data (WCCD) Global Network of over 100 cities across 35 countries to officially receive the ISO 37120 Platinum-level certification. This international recognition is awarded to cities that reach the highest standard in collecting, sharing, and using data to effectively make decisions. Reporting over 90 of the 104 indicators within the WCCD administered ISO 37120 – the first international standard for city data – the City of Kitchener is now among a select group of global cities reporting at this highest, platinum level. Kitchener’s participation in this transformative, Canada-wide initiative, was supported by the Federal Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities, through the WCCD’s “Data for Canadian Cities Project.”
Kitchener city council was joined by Mr. Andy Fillmore, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney to recognize Kitchener’s certification by the WCCD as part of an initiative to collect, share, and use data to inform City decision making. Access to the WCCD Global Network allows the City to share local experiences but also understand how cities around the world are tackling similar issues.
Kitchener joins one hundred cities around the world in measuring indicators like air quality, electricity use, how close people are to public services, and population density. This data will be used to assess how cities are tackling challenges like climate change and identify the solutions that are working well.
"All communities, large and small, need good data to plan and build modern public infrastructure,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. “Meeting global data standards is critical. Through the Data for Canadian Cities Project, in partnership with the World Council on City Data, we've been helping municipal leaders in communities across Canada do just that. I am delighted that Kitchener has obtained the ISO standard for municipal data, this will help the City plan projects with quality data and will help guide evidence-based decision-making. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds stronger communities."
"I am so pleased to congratulate the City of Kitchener on your WCCD ISO 37120 Platinum Certification and to welcome the City into the WCCD Global Network, alongside 100 cities across over 35 countries," stated Dr. McCarney. "The City of Kitchener is well known for its nimble and inventive approach to addressing local challenges and opportunities. Under the leadership of Mayor Vrbanovic, Kitchener is also a global example of how localizing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals can contribute to a more sustainable planet for all of us. Now armed with ISO 37120 data, I do not doubt that the City, under the Mayor's far-sighted leadership, will continue to create a more sustainable, prosperous, resilient, inclusive, and smart city for all Kitchener's residents, while contributing to a critical global dialogue."
Participating in this global dialogue means Kitchener will benefit from the expertise of leading global experts working with the project. Other cities can also access the data provided by Kitchener and other cities to identify the practices and policies that have the biggest impact. It will take several months to generate these recommendations, but Kitchener has already been identified as a city for others to emulate.
“Cities around the world are facing similar challenges,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “We’re always eager to learn from the success stories of other cities, and participation with the World Council on City Data means that the top minds in disciplines like economics, land use planning, and sustainability will work with the data we provide and offer their insight. The work we’ve done to operationalize our climate goals throughout City services is something other cities will learn from, and I’m excited to learn as much in return.”
The City of Kitchener received its certification alongside the City of Waterloo, in its participation in the Data for Canadian Cities Project., joining the City of Cambridge which obtained WCCD ISO certification in 2016, in its participation in the Data for Canadian Cities Project. Staff had already begun compiling data about many of the WCCD’s indicators during their work to develop transparent metrics for success towards the goals of the City’s strategic plan. The City’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan mapped community priorities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, many of which align with the WCCD’s indicators.
For more information about the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and the certification, visit dataforcities.org
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About the WCCD
Since 2014, the WCCD – a Toronto based not-for-profit organization – has been working with cities globally to embrace standardized city data to inform better decision-making and to drive public and private investment in cities of all sizes. As part of a funded agreement with the Government of Canada, the WCCD is working with fifteen municipalities across Canada to help them become certified under ISO 37120, the first international standard for city data. This three-year project assists the participating cities in obtaining WCCD’s ISO 37120 Certification. As the Project continues into Year 2 and 3, a significant focus is being placed on assisting the participating municipalities in using the data to improve city services and quality of life for citizens.
About the ISO 37120 standard
The WCCD administered ISO 37120 is a globally standardized data set that measures quality of life and delivery of municipal services, and its creation was primarily spearheaded by Canadian urban leaders. The data within ISO 37120 enables Canadian municipalities to compare their progress with their counterparts across the country and around the world, according to nineteen city service and quality of life thematic areas. These themes include the environment, economy, education, governance, finance, transportation, recreation, and health, amongst others. Data compiled through this project supports municipalities to better plan and implement infrastructure investments and measure the impacts of those investments on economic prosperity and the quality of life of their residents.
For more information, visit www.dataforcities.org