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This innovative project centres around measuring the overall health of cities, presenting the information in a way that emphasises the interconnectivity of city systems and the importance of a holistic assessment of a city. Synergine has led the intellectual development of this project from the start, assimilating information from multiple fields of urban development, and using advanced mathematical techniques to produce an aggregation algorithm which reflects the non-linearity of city systems.

Based on a hierarchical framework of city needs an interconnected set of indicators for city health were identified. Different combinations of indicators are then aggregated to form an individual score for each aspect of a city, as well as the city’s overall score.

In completing this project, Synergine has reviewed and built on information from the United Nations, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the OECD, as well as a number of private initiatives. During this process, we used our experience in urban development and complex systems thinking to combine multiple information sources.

The preliminary results of the Diagnostic Tool have been used during consultations with a number of cities internationally. The positive feedback from these interactions has confirmed the effectiveness of the tool in identifying the aspects of a city which are in need of investment or policy change. Work is currently underway to extend the scope of the tool and create a user interface for it.