The Six Dimensions of Urban Prosperity

The Six Dimensions of Urban Prosperity

Prosperity implies success, wealth, thriving conditions, well-being as well as confidence in the future and opportunities for all. Further, prosperous cities offer a profusion of public goods, allowing for equitable access to ‘commons’ and the development of sustainable policies. Based on this, UN-Habitat conceptualized urban prosperity as follows:

(a) Productivity: The productivity dimension measures the average achievements of the cities in terms of creating wealth and how it’s shared, or cities contribution to economic growth and development, generation of income, provision of decent jobs and equal opportunities for all.


(b) Infrastructure Development: The Infrastructure dimension measures the average achievement of the city in providing adequate infrastructure for accessing clean water, sanitation, good roads, and information and communication technology - in order to improve living standards and enhance productivity, mobility and connectivity.


(c) Quality of Life: The quality of life dimension measures the cities’ average achievement in ensuring general wellbeing and satisfaction of the citizens.


(d) Equity and Social Inclusion: The Equity and Social inclusion dimension measures the cities’ average achievements in ensuring equitable (re)distribution of the benefits of prosperity, reduces poverty and the incidence of slums, protects the rights of minority and vulnerable groups, enhances gender equality, and ensures equal participation in the social, economic, political and cultural spheres.


(e) Environmental Sustainability: The Environmental Sustainability dimension measures the average achievement of the cities in ensuring the protection of the urban environment and its natural assets. This should be done simultaneously while ensuring growth, pursuing energy efficiency, reducing pressure on surrounding land and natural resources and reducing environmental losses through creative and environment-enhancing solutions.


(f) Urban Governance and Legislation: The Urban Governance and Legislation dimension has the purpose of demonstrating the role of good urban governance in catalysing local action towards prosperity, including the capacity to regulate the urbanization process.