Is Reykjavik the smartest city in Europe?

The City of Reykjavik will be the first city in Europe to use the Social Progress Index to map and improve the wellbeing of all its residents

ReykjavikThe Social Progress Index is a flexible tool that uses specific indicators to measure social and environmental outcomes—such as shelter, health, lifespan, and education—and serves as a complementary measure to traditional economic measures such as employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It has been used to map social performance in a variety of places, including 161 countries at the national level, the entire European Union at the NUTS2 level, cantons in Costa Rica, municipalities in Brazil and cities in Colombia.

“Iceland is already a leading country in the world on social progress, and we’re used to thinking that life is pretty good in Reykjavik.This new effort to map what is and is not working for people in different parts of our city will allow us to make sure that there is a chance for all residents to enjoy social progress,” said Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik.

Creation of the new index for Reykjavik will include identifying local organizations across government, business, civil society, and academia to support research, use local understanding of Reykjavik’s unique characteristics to choose appropriate indicators, and commit to building on that new understanding to improve social progress across the city.

The Index’s methodology allows communities to use indicators that make sense in their local context, including those that directly impact government policy and areas where local businesses and civil society can better engage in activities that promote the health and wellness of its citizens.

The Social Progress Index for Reykjavik will be the first city-level use of the tool in Europe. The Social Progress Index has previously been used to examine social progress in different parts of the city of Bogota and Rio de Janeiro.

Its mission is to improve the lives of people around the world, particularly the poorest, by fostering research and knowledge-sharing on social progress and equipping leaders in business, government and civil society with new tools to guide policies and programs.

Monty (630 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.


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About Monty

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.