Experts will calculate prosperity index for a Russian city

Within the framework of the City Prosperity Initiative and the calculation of the City Prosperity Index (CPI) for Tomsk, Tomsk State University jointly with the program UN-Habitat implement a pilot project. Based on statistical data, the university research team will analyze the city productivity, infrastructure, quality of life, equality and social inclusion, environmental sustainability, its management, and legislation.

In this project, TSU is represented by Laboratory for Comparative Research in Quality of Life and Research Center for Urban Studies and Regional Development.

-  Tomsk is the first Russian city, which took part in this initiative. By the end of 2018, we are going to calculate CPI and we plan to present the first results at the 3rd Forum of University Cities where we hope to meet representatives of the UN-Habitat program – says Daria Chernikova, deputy head of the Research Center for Urban Studies and Regional Development.

CPI includes six indicators, characterizing quality of life and sustainability of a city’s development, such as: productivity, infrastructure, quality of life, equality and social inclusion, environmental sustainability, city management, and legislation. In total, the index takes into account more than 100 variables.

The researchers will work with statistical data, which to be collected with an assistance of the Tomsk city administration, and will conduct a sociological survey among the city citizens. Almost all calculation will be conducted at the university, excepting spatial indicators, characterizing the length and coherence of road network, open public spaces, and the sufficiency of green areas. For global data comparability, these indicators will be calculated by the UN-Habitat using original software.

The work will result in analytical recommendations that can be used for making management decisions and formulating an evidence-based development policy for Tomsk.

-  To ensure the city prosperity we need to use reliable and consistent data to evaluate the effectiveness of certain measures in respect to quality of life, infrastructure management, provision of public goods and during the development of strategies for their sustainable use – underlines Daria Chernikova.

The Cities Prosperity Initiative was launched by the UN-Habitat in 2014. It is based on the use of statistical data on well-being and territory sustainability. Currently, the Cities Prosperity Initiative includes more than 500 cities, it is consistent with the UN-Habitat New Urban Development Program and a urban part of sustainable development goals.

The first results of the project, jointly implemented by the university and the UN-Habitat, were announced on July 18 at the Moscow Urban Forum - 2018: The Future Megapolis - New Space for Life, at the session - Prosperity is not an Accident. Indexes as a Tool for City Management. TSU was represented by Daria Chernikova, she presented her report on the importance of using reliable and precise empirical quantitative and qualitative data for measuring and planning effectiveness and sustainability of urban development. Along with this, the report casts the light on the specifics of Tomsk as the first Russian city, which will receive calculated CPI and expectations from this initiative.