Inspire Policy Making by Territorial Evidence
  • CityBench - ESPON CityBench for benchmarking European Urban Zones

    Thematic scope

    Cities of all sizes can play a crucial role as creative, efficient and environmentally sound engines of smart, sustainable and inclusive territorial development. But there are threats and barriers to this in the form of demographic challenges, economic challenges, social disparities/polarisation and urban sprawl.

    EU Member States and the European Commission are progressing urban policy at the European level. In 2014-2020, the urban agenda likely to be more prominent than in previous Structural Fund programmes. This process will require evidence about the urban reality, a task where several initiatives are taken, and where the joining of forces and cooperation can provide added value.

    Against, a backdrop of increased emphasis on the urban component but also the anticipated increased use of financial instruments in territorial cohesion policy, this ESPON project will deliver the CityBench webtool. This webtool will help policymakers, practitioners and public and private investors to put economic, social and environmental sustainability of cities at the core of decisions. This webtool will allow them to benchmark their cities against other similar cities, around issues such as demographic challenges, economic challenges, social disparities/polarisation, urban sprawl and greenhouse gas emissions. This benchmarking webtool will create opportunities for the forming of innovative learning networks among cities. It will also provide a first indication of the suitability of financial engineering instruments in place-based policymaking for addressing risks and opportunities.

    Please read more about the main research areas and main results envisagedon the next page.

    Lead Partner

    Geodan Holding (NL)

    Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

    Budget: € 198 874.00

    Project’s lifetime: December 2012 – February 2014

    Delivery of Reports

    Inception Report: 28 February 2013

    Draft Final Report and Webtool: 30 November 2013

    Final Report and Webtool: 28 February 2014


    Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

    More information

    Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:

    Sandra DI BIAGGIO, e-mail:

    Name Type Size
    Final Report PDF 4.71 MB
    Draft Final Report PDF 3.27 MB
    Intermediate deliverable 2 PDF 1.70 MB
    Intermediate deliverable 2 - prototype PDF 1.29 MB
    Intermediate deliverable 1 PDF 1.41 MB
    Inception Report PDF 1.81 MB
    Inception Report-Annex PDF 704.73 KB
    Project specifications PDF 75.79 KB
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