About CBD

       Data Points


 Data Users


 Order Data


Data Points Indicators Segments Factors Image Map

Indicators are a balanced assessment of actual city performance.

Indicator Structure.

Each indicator has these elements included.

  1. Benchmark Score
  2. Index Score
  3. Multiple (4-10) Data Points
  4. Sources for Data Points
  5. Date of Data

Benchmark Scores and Index Scores provide the means to synthesise and explain complex data in numbers. Benchmark scores are 0 to 5 and colour coded by 2thinknow for convenience.

There’s a full list of current standard Indicators below:

List of Standard Indicators by Segment

Each of these 31 segments have a series of standard indicators. What each indicators measures is described below. Each of these indicators contain a mix of data points combining multiple sources.

Architecture, History & Planning | Arts & Culture | Basics Services, Water & Food Supply | Business | Commerce & Finance | Cultural Exchange: Travel & Tourism | Diplomacy & Trade | Economics (General) |Education, Science & Universities | Environment & Nature | Fashion | Food & Hospitality | Geography | Government & Politics | Health & Medicine | Industry & Manufacturing | Information, Media & Publishing | Labor, Employment & Workforce | Law & Governance | Logistics, Freight & Ports | Military & Defence | Mobility, Autos, Cycling & Transport | Music & Performance | People & Population | Public Safety | Resources, Mining, Oil & Gas | Retail & Shopping | Spirituality, Religion & Charities | Sports & Fitness |Start-ups & Entrepreneurs |Technology & Communications

Architecture History & Planning

Back to [TOP]

Architectural Layering

Architectural complexity and layering of a city (architects refer to this as ‘grain’), balancing preservation and new building.

Decorative Features

Presence of a decorative features in buildings, and related sectors (stone masonry, carpentry, sculpture, street art).

Green Architecture

Cutting edge green buildings, experimental or new sustainable building designs.


Quality of decentralised neighbourhoods that are walkable and interconnected.


The age of the city since its first major urban/population incarnation, with older cities having higher tourism value.

Arts & Culture

Back to [TOP]

Cinema & Film

Diversity of cinema offerings including film festivals.

Cultural Festivals

Cities with cultural festivals that attract a multitude of global (Edinburgh Comedy Festival), regional, national and local visits.

Dance & Ballet

Dance companies and ballet companies resident or transient in the city.

Fine Artists

Measuring the number of fine artists, and/or their support structures.


Measuring support for local crafts and artisan items, substantial evidence needed.

Private Art Galleries

Measuring art dealers and related industries.

Public Art Galleries

Public art galleries can profile a city and support the art in that city.

Public Artworks

Public statues, external 2D and 3D art and external exhibitions or artistic items.

Public Museums

Measuring breadth and depth of museum infrastructure in city.

Satire & Comedy

Measuring support for comedy events.

Theatre & Plays

Theatres and plays (not movie cinemas) within CBD and surrounds accessible to visitors and residents.

Youth Activities

Data points on breadth of available activities for youth (from pre-school to teenage).

Basics Services, Water & Food Supply

Back to [TOP]

Electricity & Gas

Measures renewable energy, availability and reliability of current electricity supply.

Food Supply

Food quality measured with lower degree of processing, and proximity of farms/food supply to urban centre.

Public Water Supply

Water supply quality and purity, and process of water supply.

Waste Management

Comprehensiveness of waste treatment and recycling programs.


Back to [TOP]

Advertising in Media

Measures advertising and media agencies / services in city.


Measures design (with a focus on graphic, business and industrial design) as a core skill of the innovation economy.

Green Business

Potential for multiple green business development in city.

Industry Diversity

Single-industry focus is dangerous for cities. Measures the diversity of industries that creates global business links, and prevents single industry failure.

Video & Film Production

Measures video and film production facilities and achievements relative to other cities.

Commerce & Finance

Back to [TOP]

Business Approach

Measures whether the city is pro-business versus impediments to business.

Card Acceptance

Acceptance of major credit cards across all business and payment types.

Finance & Banking

Central Bank independence and bank stability. Important: no bank failures.

Foreign Exchange

Availability of Foreign Exchange in major currencies and formats to business and private travellers.

Multi-National Headquarters

No. of multi-national corporations headquartered within driving distance, and relative importance of proximate multinationals.

Professional Services

Availability of a range of accounting, consulting, legal and other professional services across all advice areas.

Public Meeting Spaces

Availability and affordability of meeting spaces of various types.

Cultural Exchange: Travel & Tourism

Back to [TOP]

Global Airport Connections

How well connected and how close is the airport to other major airports in flying hours?

Hotel Range

Range of hotels, motels, hostels and accommodation options with a strong mix and bed supply being optimal.

Inbound Visitors

Number of inbound tourist arrivals in area by all recorded modes.

International Conferences

Conference popularity and facilities within city, and whether all year round or seasonal.

International Students

Number and professional mix of international students in city, compared to competing cities.


How many languages do the citizens of a city speak? Are those languages international languages, or regional dialects. % of English fluency is a key enabler of trade.


Multi-lingual cities, speaking major global languages, are open to further trade diversity than more isolated single language (or dialect) cultures.

Tourist Entry

Ease of visitor entry for wealthier national tourists and casual visitors to country.

Travel Advisories

Travel advisories by one of the UK, US, Canada, Australia or NZ can indicate negative reasons against travel.

Visitor Entry

Measures visa requirements for entry and classifies degree of burden placed on a potential traveler.

Visitor Information

Quality and quantity of printed, web and mobile information in English and other languages, that is easily available.

Diplomacy & Trade

Back to [TOP]

Embassies & Trade Ambassadors

The presence of trade and diplomatic facilities globally.

Relationships with Neighbors

Neighbor relationships impact trade and long-run economic wealth.

Economics (General)

Back to [TOP]

Domestic Market Health

The health of the domestic market at a city-level not national based on key industries.

Domestic Market Size

Accessible domestic market size estimated for economic area (within own borders).


Exports national data points. Also attributed to city level through calculation.

Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment is a key metric. Attributed to city level through calculation.

GDP Per Capita

On a Real basis and PPP (where available). GDP per capita is measured at a city metropolitan area level.


Imports at a national level. Attributed to city level through calculation.

Neighbors Market Size

Measures market size of immediate bordering or closest trading entities (states or nations, as applicable).

Property Prices

Property prices for units and houses, relative to income and value in the inner-city.


National. Foreign exchange and gold reserves normalized into tiers. Includes calculations of city shares of reserves.

Trading Partners Economies

Health of major trading partners or free trade bloc for the city.

Unemployment Rate

Current unemployment rate at a city level, or analyst adjusted estimate based on state/region/national data adjusted for city.

Wealth Distribution

Equity in the society based on wealth equality, using best recorded Gini coefficients and other proxies.

Education, Science & Universities

Back to [TOP]

Arts Education

Arts education drives arts and design industries. Measuring tertiary and commercial arts institutions.

Business Education

Mix and availability of business education options, international ranking and quality of business schools.

Science & Engineering

Science and engineering facilities and competitive position of city.

Student Population

Student populations size — a proxy for fresh approaches and affordable labor for new business models and experiments.

University Breadth

Data points for breadth of university offerings in the city.

University Commercialization

Measuring ability of universities to commercialize technology.

Environment & Nature

Back to [TOP]

Air Cleanliness

Measuring the city air cleanliness, and potential for air quality in given geography.

Climate & Weather

Is the weather consistent and conducive to work? Data points measuring the average climate.


Data points on emissions at a city level where available, or state/national level in some cases.

Natural Disasters

Measuring recent history of natural disasters and potential impact of natural disaster such as earthquake, flood, bushfires, cyclones.


Natural environmental assets such as beaches, parks, wetlands which may affect life quality, and drive tourism/eco-tourism.

Noise Limiting

Measuring noise causes, and classifying limitation measures.

Public Green Areas

Measuring city park protection, and natural and wildlife preservation areas within immediate metropolitan area and inner-city.

Water features

The major water features in terms of importance (e.g. major river), range of amenity and cleanliness.


Back to [TOP]

Fashion Designers

Measuring fashion designers and fashion events within the city.

Textile Industry

Data points for textile supply chain through to finished production and sale.

Food & Hospitality

Back to [TOP]

Cafes & Tea Rooms

Diversity, range and sheernumber of cafe’s / tea rooms and suitability as multi-purpose business and visitor venues.

Fine Restaurants

Quality of restaurants, especially destination restaurants.

Food Diversity

Measuring the breadth in diversity of food cuisines.

Meal Affordability

Affordability of basic sandwich and beverage (or local equivalent) relative to other cities at a ‘walk-in’ food establishment.


Back to [TOP]

Freight Dependencies

How dependent is the city on foreign freight and what is the potential for blockages, loss or slowing of the supply chain?

Physical location

How favourable is the geographic position of the city, and how favourable the traditional geographic features?

Trade Routes

Where is the city relative to global trade routes, and how does the city work as a current or future juncture in physical trade?

Government & Politics

Back to [TOP]

Government Responsiveness

Online, Gov 2.0, open data and eGovernment initiatives as measures of responsiveness and service provision capability.

Government Stability

Type of government model combined with recent history to provide a stability analysis.

Political Transparency

The transparency and openness vs. potential for corruption within a city.

Public Servant Professionalism

Measuring institutional basis for professionalism, education and independence for public service as a branch of government.

Health & Medicine

Back to [TOP]

General Medicine

Number and breadth of doctors and facilities relative to competing cities.


Private / public hospital coverage and classifying overall delivery of services to community.

Infant Mortality Rate

Infant Mortality normalised into performance bands (national where city not available).

Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy normalised into performance bands (national where city not available).

Waiting Lists

Availability of elective and emergency medical services to the community in the city

Industry & Manufacturing

Back to [TOP]

Industry Clusters

Are there world leading clusters (e.g. Silicon Valley) in specific segments in the city? Clusters can balance industry diversity, and sometimes if integrated support development.

Manufacturing Breadth

Breadth of manufacturing activity by sectors of industrial manufacturing.

Manufacturing Quality

Quality of manufactured outputs and level of advanced manufactures.

Publishing Industry

Measuring publishing industry and publications distribution chain.

Trade Diversity

Measuring the cities diversity of trade.

Wine, Spirits & Brewing

Size and representation of alcohol industries covering wine, spirits and beer manufacturing.

Information, Media & Publishing

Back to [TOP]


Measures presence of bookstores and book outlets (may include new media/ebooks).

Magazine Availability

Magazine availability and outlets for printed periodicals.

Media Censorship

Measuring media censorship (and media manipulation) by central authorities blocks economic opportunities, as events over take centralised bodies.

News Journalism

News journalism sources in the city (of all kinds).

Public Libraries

Libraries and media centers for the public to access free informaton are crucial to new types of innovation.

TV & Radio Networks

The number, existence and independence of local TV and radio networks.

Underground Publications

Measures independent underground newspapers, zines or other ‘dissent’ publications.

Web Censorship

Web censorship or control can lead to the blocking of business opportunities, and rampant industrial espionage (an emerging problem).

Labor, Employment & Workforce

Back to [TOP]

Clerical Wages

Average wage affordability for a senior MS Office qualified clerical worker, and language fluency.

Labor Force

Labor force availability % applied to the population to show available workforce.

Working Visa

Time and cost of achieving working visa for qualified Western nationals.

Law & Governance

Back to [TOP]

Citizen Rights

Restrictions on citizen rights, such as freedom of speech, expression and potential non-structural separation of powers.


A community police force that is integrated and achieves lower crime and lower impact crime.

Separation of Powers

Structural separation and number of branches of government.

Logistics, Freight & Ports

Back to [TOP]

Container Freight

Container port efficiency in tonnage of port nearest to city, and relative ease of reaching port via road/rail.


Multi-modality of freight, and integration of freight modes.

Postal System

Postal services availability, and classifying reliability and frequency.

Railway Track

Measuring railway track available to a city using calculations.

Military & Defence

Back to [TOP]

Relative Military

What is the realtive military strength of the state, and to a lesser extent, city in real terms?

Strategic Power

How is the perceived power of the city and it’s host nation expressed as an ability to enforce favourable terms of trade?

Mobility, Autos, Cycling & Transport

Back to [TOP]

Airport Transfers

Modes of airport transfer and direct integration and support on city transit networks.


Road quality and expansiveness, as well as car-sharing and environmental initiatives.

Bicycle Friendly

Availability of protected and designated bicycle facilities, as well as bicycle support.

City Transport Infrastructure

Availability of multiple transport modes, and interoperability, preferably with safe metro option or light rail.

Inter-City Connections

Availability of super-fast/fast-rail (higher benchmarks), rail or alternately airports or buses (lower).

International Airport

Major modern airport with full facilities measured against best airports.

Service Delivery

Reliability of services, and amenity of services on an average day.

Service Frequency

Frequency of services to most suburban areas during the key peak and off-peak times.

Street Signage

Availability and international language-neutral approaches to signage.


Width and layout of streets, major streets that are well known globally.

Taxi Service

Availability, safety and reliability of taxi service and government policy towards taxis.

Transport Coverage

Distribution of multiple transport modes across the city in existing and new suburbs.

Walking City

Safely walkable CBD with supporting transport modes.

Music & Performance

Back to [TOP]

Classical Music

Successful choirs, orchestras and classic music groups.

Music Venues

Measuring if the city has a comparable number and breadth of music venues?


The quality, variety and mix of nightlife venues and the regulation (or self-policing) of venues.

Opera House

Is there an Opera House, and what is the degree of support for opera measured by opera infrastructure.

Popular Music

How many popular musicians or how much support for future contemporary music does the city provide?

People & Population

Back to [TOP]

Alternative Population

Evidence of alternative population may be evidence of creative and new ideas.

Education Level

Level of educated workforce availability now and in future.

Equality of Women

Are women equal (not in number/quotas) but in access measured by actual positions held (such as Mayor)?


Presence of litter and policies to beautify the city.


Population of the city indicates size of the market.

Protest & Activism

Activism is common in cities that create new ideas, but may also destabilize. Classifying the size and ability of protest.

Public Safety

Back to [TOP]


Measuring theft and predominately non-violent, non-lethal crime.

Violent Crime

Violent crime rates from murder, rape to assault and punishment effect localized at a city level.

Resources, Mining, Oil & Gas

Back to [TOP]


Measuring available resources at a national level with best available city allocations.

Retail & Shopping

Back to [TOP]

Department Stores

Breadth and range of department stores of a general or specialist nature within city area.

Local Markets

Local markets including delicatessens, fresh food and other small shop functions within city.

Local Shopping

Prevalence of ‘high street’ shops, and shopping ‘streets’ attractive to visitors, and/or ‘destination’ local malls with diverse (as well as global chain) wares.

Retail Establishment

The ease, predictability and facility of establishing a retail presence.

Small Retail Clusters

Retail cluster development in small and diverse mixed-use clusters.

Spirituality, Religion & Charities

Back to [TOP]

Places of Worship

Number of churches, mosques or all places of worship.

Sports & Fitness

Back to [TOP]

Fitness Facilities

Presence of gyms, and indoor and outdoor facilities for amateur and professional sports.

Sports Fanaticism

Level of support for a variety of sports codes, and general sports industry support.

Sports Stadiums

Quantity and modernity of stadium infrastructure in or near city.

Start-ups & Entrepreneurs

Back to [TOP]

Company Setup

How long does it take to set-up a private company? A more transparent, fast company process is part of entrepreneurial culture.

Growth Business Funding

Measuring the breadth and depth of venture capital availability options.

Start-Up Office Spaces

Are the spaces for start-up or branch office companies to use for first offices? Do spaces allow collaboration? Are they affordable?

Technology & Communications

Back to [TOP]

Broadband Internet

Measuring estimated broadband internet penetration the cities economy relative to competing cities.

Fixed Phone Network

Measuring the presence of a fixed phone network can be valuable in a crisis, and is still part of global business, even in a mobile world.

Government IT Policy

Government should be a customer of local I.T. and promote trade and exports. Is government suppporting I.T. development?

Internet Users

How many internet users are there in the city relative to competing cities?

Mobile Phone Network

Measuring how many mobile phone users there are relative to competing cities.

Social Web 2.0 Media

Social media is a modern tool and platform for enablng innovation, and low cost global business message communication.

Wireless Internet

Wireless networks, and world class connectivity are a key part of business and service access in any global cities. Measuring business grade wireless.

 Do you have a question?

Please refer to our – FAQs

Custom indicators: let us design to your ideas!

In addition to the standard city indicators, we can work with to design, measure and assess custom city indicators. We deliver commercial grade custom indicators, globally standardized and assessed for one or more cities. In all the formats you need. Ask us

More detail about the data:

3 Factors | 31 Segments | 162 Indicators | Data Points | Benchmark ScoresData Types | Geographic Data