What is Data Portal for Cities?
Data Portal for Cities is a free, open, online data platform. It helps communities make progress towards achieving their climate goals and by filling critical information gaps about their building, transportation and waste sectors.
What kinds of data are provided?
Data Portal for Cities provides estimated, city-scale activity data and relevant emission factors representing multiple sectors—Stationary Energy & Buildings, Transportation, and Waste.
The data represent important information about electricity and fuel consumption, vehicle fuel use, waste generation, and other assumptions that are required to create a community-scale greenhouse gas inventory.
What is it not?
Data Portal for Cities is not intended to replace local measurement of activity data or greenhouse gas emissions. Cities are encouraged to collect their own city-specific activity data for the most accurate greenhouse accounting. However, these estimates are reasonable approximations of city-specific data that can give some insight into a city’s context regarding multiple sectors and begin to inform the prioritization of climate action and local measurement.
In addition, the Data Portal for Cities is not intended to be a data reporting platform for cities. These data are meant to complement the use of other greenhouse accounting and reporting platforms.
Where do the data come from?
The city-scale data are estimated using the combination of existing national and regional statistics, scaling factors, and city-specific contextual data—such as population, building stock data, or business patterns.
The data are estimated using standardized and transparent methodologies. For example, the Global Protocol for Cities (GPC) guidelines describe the use of national statistics and scaling factors to estimate community-scale data.
National and regional statistics, and city-specific contextual data are compiled from authoritative data sources within each specific country—such as government ministries.
Who should use Data Portal for Cities?
Data included in Data Portal for Cities are intended to fill gaps for cities and communities that have not collected any data or have not collected data for certain sectors or emission sources. The data are intended for cities—specifically city managers and sustainability officials—who seek data to support climate action planning and greenhouse gas inventory development, but for when they do not have locally-measured or locally-relevant data available.
How can I use the data?
You can view and download the city-specific estimated data sets in multiple formats. You can use the data to gain an approximate understanding of your context regarding multiple sectors and begin to inform the prioritization of climate action and local measurement. The data are also formatted and organized to complement inventory calculation and reporting platforms such as the ICLEI ClearPath and C40 CIRIS tools.
The data should not be used for target-setting or tracking performance of city policies or progress toward city targets, since the data estimates will not reflect changes based on implementation of actions taken to reduce emissions.
Why did some of the data change?
The data presented in Data Portal for Cities are preliminary estimates using country or regional sectoral statistics and city-specific contextual data—such as population or building stock information. The methods, assumptions, and data used to create these estimates may be refined and improved over time with the intent of making the estimates more accurate and relevant. This may result in revised estimates for specific subsectors or years.
My city data is different. Why might that be?
The sectoral data presented in Data Portal for Cities consist predominately of top-down estimates using country or regional sectoral statistics and city-specific contextual data—such as population or building stock information. These estimates attempt to represent all the activity that may be occurring within a community boundary, but there are limits to their accuracy.
You may have local data measured from within the community. These may represent the same sectoral activity—such as fuel use from passenger vehicles—as the estimates presented here, or they may include or exclude specific activities. This may cause a discrepancy between locally measured data and the estimates presented here. An appropriate comparison requires that the data represent the same activity for the same geographic area and period, using the same methods and assumptions.
This does not mean that one number is more accurate than the other. It means that you should consider the methods and assumptions for each and determine which is more appropriate for your accounting purposes.
How do I cite this information?
For data estimates, you should cite Data Portal for Cities using:
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. Data Portal for Cities. 2019. Available online at: http://www.globalcovenantofmayors.org/dataportalforcities
Certain city facts—such as population—are compiled for other public or government sources. You should cite the original source for this information. The source information is included in the data download.