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City benchmarking: an overview of Auckland’s rankings in the global context

Carina Meares, Paul Owen, Catherine Murray, Mohsen Mohammadzadeh, Mehrnaz Rohani
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  

Benchmarking is a process of measuring performance using specific indicators that are comparable across different entities – in this case, cities. The international benchmarking of cities can provide useful metrics and indicators for local and central government policy development and decision-making. Benchmarking studies allow policy makers to identify aspects of a city in which improvement can be made, facilitate comparisons between cities and assist policy makers to monitor the performance of their city over time. In addition, international benchmarking studies can be used to develop and promote a city’s image and thus attract tourists and new residents, including highly skilled mobile professionals who are integral to the growth of contemporary cities.

A number of benchmarking studies measure various aspects of city performance and functioning. In this report, we use Taylor’s (2011) typology as a useful way of understanding the different approaches. These are:

  • Business cost-oriented studies
  • Liveability-oriented studies
  • Performance-oriented studies, and
  • Sectoral studies.

It is increasingly recognised, however, that city comparisons are complex and that the processes and systems within a city require significantly more analysis than that which can be captured in a single headline indicator. ...

Auckland Council technical report, TR2015/027

November 2015