Nairobi, 12 August 2021 – UN-Habitat and CitiIQ have collected daily COVID-19 data for more than 2,600 cities around the world since May 2020, data which are processed and made publicly available so officials can make measure their long-term responses to the pandemic better.
The data, available at https://unhabitat.citiiq.com, are of vital importance to local and national leaders, and to the UN Human Settlements Programme, as they cooperate to agree on new construction, renovations, and design programmes and policies to advance global Sustainable Development Goals.
Cities are connected in multiple ways and most notably through their people. Local leaders thus require wider situational awareness of factors that directly affect their citizens.
“The complex challenges for city leadership are profound - ever demanding, ever changing, with the enormous pressures of caring for the needs and demands of citizens,” said Robert Ndugwa Head of Data and Analytics at UN-Habitat.
“Surprisingly, there are few places leaders can look to find objective measurements comprehensive enough for the broad considerations of the city along with a framework to compare to other cities. This is the very reason why UN-Habitat and CitiIQ set up the COVID-19 cities platform,” he added.
Collecting cumulative data increases the long-term ability to retrospectively assess gaps in responses to COVID-19. Continuous updating of the urban indicators database also allows cities to monitor long term impacts and outcomes.
The platform shows the wide range of differences between cities and communities, even as the aggregated data affirm the overall trend of increasing spread in some cities across the globe.
Over a 14-day period between April 20 and July 19, the number of measured cities showing significant upward trending in cases (10% +) outpaced those with significant downward trending at a 10:1 ratio. The alarming situation may be due to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant that has proven to be more lethal that previous variants.