ETC/ULS Report 01/2020: Indicators for European cities to assess and monitor the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

01 Aug 2020

Sara de Maio, Stefan Kuhn, Jaume Fons Esteve, Gundula Prokop

The UN Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a call to action as well as a blueprint for progress in economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Integrated urban sustainability management can make use of the structure provided by the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets, for a common assessment ground. The present study presents a SDG indicator pool sorted along the 17 Goals for all cities to assess their multi-dimensional progress towards sustainability.


This report is the result of the analysis of 2,036 indicators found across 30 indicator sets published by a variety of institutions both on the global, European and national level. All of these indicator sets had originally been developed and published for their use at the local, urban level, however mostly without any reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The result is a compilation of existing indicators developed for cities and local governments, structured along the 17 SDGs, each of their 169 targets, and a variety of aspects of these targets.


Different from other publications on the same topic, this report does not identify any new SDG indicators for cities, nor does it promote a specific set of indicators to monitor progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on the local level. It also doesn’t measure or analyses any of these indicators.

The report serves as a pool of potential indicators local governments can choose from when developing their own, individual SDG monitoring system.