Creator of the First Standards on Urbanization Metrics Joins i-CANADA Governors Council

The i-CANADA Governors Council welcomes new member Dr. Patricia McCarney, President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and Director of the Global Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Toronto.

“We are incredibly lucky at i-CANADA to have Patricia McCarney join our Governors Council,” stated Bill Hutchison, Chair of the Governors Council.  “Patricia has pioneered the adoption of international metrics that can help cities calculate and compare their innovations in urbanization.  It gives cities a baseline to articulate a clear vision of where their future wealth and jobs will come from.  Innovation capability is especially vital for Smart Communities; in the past 60 years, innovation has been responsible for at least three-quarters of all economic growth and 90 per cent of worker income growth.  Patricia’s work gives cities the metrics for th­­­­eir blueprints for prosperity.”

“For the first time, our work gives cities the ability to track, benchmark and project with high quality, globally comparable and independently verified data.” said Dr. McCarney “This apples to apples comparison allows for cities to  share innovations and find proven answers to common challenges.”

Patricia’s dedication to cities started at Trinity College at the University of Toronto.  She went to Boston to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), following which she was offered a position at the World Bank. In 2008, having returned to Toronto to teach, she was approached by the World Bank to find a way forward for cities to compare data around key city services.   “At the time, most cities weren’t even measuring population size accurately,” she recalls.  “We started building standardized definitions and methodologies but that was only the beginning.”

In addition to her role as a Professor, and Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Patricia serves as President and CEO of the World Council on City Data which is globally operationalising ISO 37120 – the first international standard for sustainable cities. The WCCD works with an international network of cities and partners to create a global culture of city data, while helping cities to become more sustainable, resilient, prosperous, smart and inclusive. ISO 37120 is the first ISO standard on cities and comprises 100 indicators (54 core, 46 supporting) around 17 themes on city sustainability and quality of life. The WCCD is also creating a global network of partnerships that includes cities, corporate partners, national and provincial governments, city-based membership bodies, and United Nations agencies

“We are now building the front end of our Open City Data Portal – which visualises the ISO 37120 data in a way that is completely accessible to everyone from city managers to high school students; planners to real estate developers. Looking at this data in a comparative framework is a seismic shift in the way that cities can plan for their future, while encouraging citizen engagement.

“Patricia’s work is an open to call cities, and we are delighted that we can offer her a powerful channel to Canadian communities,” added Mr. Hutchison.  “It is fitting that the international work done by this remarkable Canadian should find its most receptive audience here at home.”

Dr. McCarney is a featured speaker at i-CANADA’s upcoming FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT, in Toronto on June 9-10, 2016.

About Patricia McCarney Patricia McCarney is President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and is a professor of Political Science and the Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Canada. Professor Patricia McCarney received her Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1987. She has served as Associate Vice President, International Research and Development at the University of Toronto. Before Joining the University of Toronto, between 1983 and 1994, Professor McCarney worked as a professional staff member in a number of international agencies, including the World Bank in Washington, and the United Nations – HABITAT in Nairobi. Patricia McCarney is currently a member of the ISO Technical Committee 268, Sustainable Development in Communities, where she is Chair of the Working Group on City Indicators. She was integral to the development of the newly published ISO 37120, the first International Standard for Cities. This ISO Working Group is building a family of international standards on global city indicators for sustainable cities, resilient cities and smart cities. Leading the World Council on City Data, Patricia McCarney is building a globally standardized database for cities worldwide in conformity with ISO 37120, the first ISO Standard for Cities. As host of this new knowledge platform, the WCCD is positioned to be the leading global city database with standardized, verified, comparable and open city data.

More about the World Council on City Data (WCCD):

More about the Global Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Toronto:


About i-CANADA

i-CANADA is the pan-Canadian movement dedicated to creating a nation of Intelligent Communities large and small, rural and urban, where all enjoy the economic development, job growth and social prosperity now available in the world’s leading communities. The i-Canada Governors Council is comprised of provincial Premiers, Mayors and CEOs of major corporations.  i-CANADA provides active transformational programs featuring the best practices of the world’s “smartest” communities. More information can be found at: