Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does a city get selected for conducting the CPI? City governments may approach UN-Habitat out of their own interest to conduct the CPI in order to create baseline data and information to define targeted and measurable action plans. Alternatively, national governments may also wish to engage with the CPI at a national scale in order to create a country monitoring framework for effective planning and policy formulation. At the national level, a representative sample of cities would then be chosen with the support of UN-Habitat, taking into account the size of cities, functionality, location and other relevant attributes. The budget allocated for the process by the funding agencies also decides the depth at which the information would be collected (basic or extended CPI) and the number of cities that may be involved in the calculation.
  2. What is the role and level of involvement of different stakeholders in conducting the CPI?

    Individuals and organisations can partake in CPI processes based on their interest in creating baseline data and information and evidence-based policies for the city’s sustainable development. Such contribution can be in the form of providing funding for the calculation of CPI and contributing with operational work in the data collection and data analysis processes. Independent entities can also implement the CPI to develop more effective policy measures along with UN-Habitat. Guidelines and concrete solutions will be advanced to address the key points identified through the analysis of the CPI dimensions.

    The CPI leads to the establishment of a platform for cities comparability and the creation of local/national monitoring mechanisms. For CPI implementation, government support and funding as well as private donor funding is significant. For a systematic and comprehensive approach to the city and for the collection of evidence-based data for policy-making and accountability, various stakeholders such as governing bodies, public and private organizations and other local bodies will be involved in the data collection process. As part of the CPI, UN-Habitat would help in developing local capacities in collaboration with a team of local experts and consultants. This capacity development would further help in empowering the local entities that work in partnership with UN-Habitat who then will be able to implement the monitoring processes of CPI independently. UN-Habitat would also be involved in the training and coordination of the different processes and provide expertise and technical knowledge for the definition of policy measures and action plans as well as in presenting examples of best practice for good governance.

  3. How is the CPI defined and its dimensions and indicators calculated for each city?

    CPI is a composite index used to measure the overall achievements in a city in six dimensions that are related to how cities create and distribute socio-economic benefits or prosperity. The six dimensions are: Urban Governance and Legislation; Urban Planning and Design; Urban Economy and Municipal Finance; Infrastructure Development; Urban ecology and environment; Social Cohesion and Equity. It is a weighted mean of standardized indices from each of the six dimensions. The time taken to conduct CPI would range from between 10 months to 3 years depending on whether it is being conducted at the city level or the national level.

    The CPI as an aggregate achievement in the six dimensions underscores the fact that urban prosperity, wellbeing and human development are much more than economic achievements or growth and that they are multidimensional concepts that can only be measured more accurately using a composite index. The Index provides a single measure that allows for greater ease of comparison and serves as a monitoring and diagnostic tool for identifying which urban areas are performing well or poorly in terms of creating and distributing the benefits of prosperity. It also helps in identifying which component or dimension is performing well or poorly in terms of contribution to the progress of prosperity of the city and identifying which specific area(s) requires interventions measures. The CPI will present calculations adjusted to the priorities of the country and to the availability of information. The Index will not only build on the use of existing information whether urban indicators, household surveys, policy analysis, and other databases, but will also contribute to the local and national database supporting the city/country in collecting new sets of information.

  4. How is the CPI usually funded?

    The funding for the initiative is usually provided by the agency or government that has enlisted the help of UN-Habitat to implement the CPI of their chosen city/country. UN-Habitat provides training to interested entities to collect the data and use this for calculating the index in an established standardized manner. UN-Habitat also works in close collaboration with the implementing actors to build the capacity of local agencies in analysing the results of the CPI index estimation and in defining city-visions and long-term plans that are both ambitious and measurable. The cost per city for implementing CPI is approximately USD 150,000$.

    In order to support municipalities all over the world in implementing the action plan results of City Prosperity Initiative analysis, the City Prosperity Initiative - Metropolitan Cities (CPI-MC) Global Programme is another joint effort among UN-Habitat, International City Leaders (ICL) and the City Bank of Iran that aims to contribute to the achievement of urban prosperity for the cities that will join the initiative. The Global programme establishes dynamic partnerships among cities, financial institutions and international organizations and enables the implementation of projects for sustainable urban development. It is an open contribution wherein financial resources can be expanded by any willing financial institution and bank joining the programme.

  5. How can the CPI be used as a decision-making tool? What are the final outputs of the CPI?

    The CPI will create national and regional synergies and complementarities that will contribute to boost a more harmonious, balanced and equitable urban development due to the inclusion of participatory methods in its research processes. Cities and countries can identify and enhance their comparative advantages by being a part of a comparable global platform. By customizing the CPI framework to national priorities and defining a representative sample of cities, the initiative will help to create a national baseline and data collection plan. It would support the data collection process and the establishment of an urban observatory which would foster national dialogue to analyze results and identify key issues. This would result in the development of national monitoring strategies for urban policies.

    The various outcomes would be a National State of Cities Report at the national Level; Policy recommendations at the metropolitan level; and a Urban Action Plan at the city level. The CPI promotes an ex-ante policy results simulation which would help in identifying relevant local and national best practices for the policy implementation. This would promote links with cities and partners across regions and local networks. The CPI will also help cities and countries to monitor and evaluate the results of policies over time. Once the cities/countries start implementing the policies and guidelines that were suggested as outcomes of the initial CPI, then these cities/countries can also conduct a consequent CPI to monitor the changes that would have occurred after implementation. In this manner, supporting policy decisions with future impact assessments enables the adoption of multi-sectoral and integrated actions that can increase the likelihood of better prosperity outcomes for an entire city.

  6. How does the CPI relate to the SDGs and/or the New Urban Agenda?

    The CPI aims to support local and national governments in establishing their own customized global monitoring framework and systematic reporting mechanisms in line with the SDG Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda targets and indicators. The CPI framework integrates all indicators of Goal 11 and a selected number of other SDG indicators that have an urban component. It will offer the possibility to adopt a citywide approach to development beyond the sectoral nature of the SDG indicators and, at the same time, it will also offer the possibility of individual disaggregation of indicators. A provision of a single composite value will provide a systemic approach to the city and help in identifying priorities for sustainable urban development.  

    Through the CPI, UN-Habitat is offering support to local and national governments in establishing customized monitoring mechanisms, which will allow better-informed decision-making on policies and regulations, city-plan and extensions, and finance management for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Countries that decide to use the CPI will be able to identify, quantify, evaluate, monitor and report on progress made by cities and countries in a more structured manner. The strong integration and connection between the different dimensions of the CPI provides evidence-based policy evaluation and UN-Habitat will provide technical assistance as needed in the process of establishing national and local benchmarks.

    More information about the SDGs:
    More information about the New Urban Agenda: