December 2020 – UN-Habitat has added hundreds of new cities to its platform which monitors COVID-19 cases daily and identifies hotspots, allowing national and local leaders to plan and implement their responses.
UN-Habitat and CitiIQ developed the COVID-19 tracker for cities (https://unhabitat.citiiq.com/) with an initial set of 1,200 cities monitored on a daily basis. Tracking the impact of COVID-19 at a city level where the front-line challenges are often faced is key for the success of any national strategies.
Together with CitiIQ, UN-Habitat has added 500 new cities with daily trending to the city COVID-19 tracking platform, bringing the total coverage to 1700 cities globally. Daily city counts/scoring vary depending on data availability on any given day. The new cities cover the UK (85), Germany (48), Argentina (58), Japan (24), South Korea (4), Australia (30), South Africa (7), Canada (25), the United States (75), and Mexico (144).
On the site, the city trending is illustrated using colour coding on a world map. When cases are trending downward, the platform displays green values, an increasing number of cases displays red values and rates of change near zero are grey.
For example, the situation in various cities Europe which suffered from a second wave of COVID can be monitored. Many cities tried to change the rate of COVID-19 infections by implementing lockdowns and other restrictions. The site shows the European cities that have now moved from trending red (increasing cases) toward a stable level.
Other parts of the world such as the United States and Canada are experiencing significant second-wave COVID-19 increases and this is reflected by more cities experiencing an increase in cases (red on the site). These trends are made even clearer when a specific city is selected and the city trending is compared with that of the country.
On the ground, those working on the front lines of COVID-19 testing and treatment are aware of surges and impacts. However for others, trending information provides a point of reference that is changing over time. These changes can support vigilance in cities with upward trending and a sense of hope where trending is actually moving downward.
UN-Habitat plans to increase the number of cities covered by a further 400 by the end of Feb 2021.