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  • Dec 2012

    CityBench Webtool

    Benchmarking European cities

    The CityBench Webtool has been developed as part of CityBench, a project commissioned by the EU-programme, ESPON (European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion). This project will take place from December 2012 until February 2014. Geodan is performing the project in partnership with the Spanish Universitat Jaume I.

    Using the CityBench Webtool, European cities and urban areas (or actually LUZ: Larger Urban Zones) can be compared to one another in an easy, intuitive way and geographic patterns become visible. This is done based on a set of social-demographic indicators that the user can set , for example, in terms of income and education. Therefore the tool is very useful for policy makers, investors (including the European Investment Bank) and companies looking for new locational options.

    How does it work?

    When the website is accessed, a wizard is displayed which helps the user go through a number of options: first the selection of a city or cities, then the selection of indicator(s) and/or a certain region or typology and finally the choice between comparing cities or displaying similar cities and therefore also any geographic patterns (similarity). Using the map of Europe on which there are approx. 170 urban areas, the user can also select the required area.

    Unique attributes

    • No specific knowledge or training is required to use the tool quickly.
    • To compare the degree of similarity between cities based on the indicators, the CityBench Webtool uses the ‘Euclidean distance’ in a multidimensional space, where the distance between the indicator values for the reference city and the other cities is measured.
    • Apart from the map view. CityBench also has a ‘radial view’. This also shows the degree of similarity with the reference LUZ, but then in the form of a circle.
    • Using the CityBench webtool, the user can also develop simple new indicators, for example, to determine how ‘smart’ a city is.
    • The tool can also be used on other scales, for example, to show similarities or differences between provinces, regions, districts or neighbourhoods.
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