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Dubai among top 10 cities for services and quality of life

Global Cities Summit to draft Dubai Declaration on using city data for sustainable development

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai has been ranked among top 10 cities in complying with the first international standard for cities in terms of city services and quality of life.

This was announced on Tuesday during the inaugural session of the Global Cities Summit 2017 organised by the World Council on City Data (WCCD) in partnership with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Dubai was awarded a Platinum Designation, the topmost in the rankings, for its compliance with the ISO 37120 international standard, globally operationalised by the WCCD.

ISO 37120 is the first ISO International Standard on city data indicators and is published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) of Geneva.

It covers 100 indicators spread over 17 themes related to sustainable development of communities. They include economy, education, energy, environment, finance, fire and emergency response, governance, health, recreation, safety, shelter, solid waste, telecommunications, transportation, urban planning, waste water, water and sanitation.

For example, for the theme of economy, the indicators include unemployment rate, commercial and industrial property values, population living in poverty, full-time employment, youth unemployment rate, number of businesses, and number of new patents.

Dubai ranked topmost among the member cities of WCCD with high percentage of persons in full-time employment and recorded a high ranking in terms of female school-aged population enrolled in school.

On the other hand, the emirate secured the lowest ranking for the percentage of population living in poverty and in youth unemployment rate.

Dubai secured the topmost ranking in the target of reducing, by 2030, the adverse per capital environmental impacts of cities by paying special attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management.

Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Dubai Executive Council, told Gulf News that Dubai became one of the 20 founding member cities in the WCCD after realising how important and vital ‘data’ is for cities to develop in a sustainable manner.

“We are proud about achieving the platinum certification. The council currently has 50 member cities and it is going to be 100 cities in a year. We wish to maintain high ranking in the future as well in line with our strategy.”

The WCCD’s open city data portal — www.dataforcities.org — has published the analytics of the data for these indicators for benchmarking and city-to-city learning.

Noting that the ISO 37120 indicators can be used to track and monitor a city’s progress in delivering city services and ensuring quality of life and sustainable development, Dr Patricia L. McCarney, president and CEO of WCCD, said: “We must urgently address the deficit of global city data since high quality data is still lacking in many cities.”

Senator Art Eggleton, chair, WCCD Global City Leaders Advisory Board-Senate of Canada, said the mayors and councillors of over 50 cities, who are attending the three-day summit, will draft a Dubai Declaration.

“It will be a commitment to use city data as the universal language for driving forward three critically important agendas for 2030 — inclusive cities, smart nations and a sustainable planet.”

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