Funded by the European Union HORIZON 2020 programme, CITYkeys developed and validated, with the aid of cities, key performance indicators and data collection procedures for the common and transparent monitoring as well as the comparability of smart city solutions across European cities. All project's deliverables are publicly available on our website (go to page). For basic information, download our leaflet.




The research institutes VTT (coordinator, Finland), AIT (Austria), and TNO (Netherlands) cooperated with five cities – Rotterdam, Tampere, Vienna, Zagreb and Zaragoza and EUROCITIES to define the needs, analyse existing results and develop recommendations for the use of performance indicators. Find more about CITYkeys partners here.


Additional cities contributed to the project in order to gather as much evidence and feedback as possible about the practical use, benefits and challenges of key performance indicators (KPI) and smart city project evaluation frameworks.


The project started in February 2015 and run for two years, until January 2017.



Benefits for the cities


Cities can benefit from CITYkeys in

- strategic planning and measurement of their progress towards smart city goals,

- promoting  response to citizen’s needs and

- making a clever use of cities budgets.

In addition, CITYkeys supported cooperation between cities involved in smart cities lighthouse projects and provided the possibility to compare solutions and find best practices. It also provided recommendations to policy-makers for collecting new sources of data in order to improved territorial knowledge for local smart city planning.

Two handbooks have been published to help practioners and experts create and run a performance measurement system using CITYkeys framework of indicators (go to page).


Project summary and objectives

The European Commission has developed two parallel approaches to support the implementation of smart urban technologies: the creation of 'lighthouse projects' (large scale demonstration of technology in cities and communities) and 'horizontal activities' to address specific challenges (e.g. regulatory barriers, in standardisation, public procurement and performance monitoring).


CITYkeys project is within the context of these horizontal activities. The mission of CITYkeys is to develop, and validate, a holistic performance measurement framework for future harmonized and transparent monitoring and comparability of the European cities activities during the implementation of Smart City solutions.


The work methodology was based on the following key factors:
• Extensive collaboration and communication with European cities
• Establishing a baseline by analysis and integration of existing results from previous initiatives (download CITYkeys lists of indicators)
• Developing a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific for Smart Cities initiatives evaluation and comparability (download)
• Smart solutions for transparent and open data collection and processing (downoad CITYkeys specification on methodolgy and indicators)


The tangible objectives of the CITYkeys project were to:

1) Develop and validate a transparent performance evaluation framework: including KPIs definition, guidelines for data collections, performance system prototype and testing in case-cities.


2) Develop recommendations for the implementation of the performance system into the cities decision-making process (go to page) and recommendations for the development of new business (go to page).


3) Engage stakeholders in identifying and exploiting opportunities for synergy and replicability; and establish a collaboration platform for European cities (Smart City Index - go to page).



CITYkeys is co-financed by the European Union programme Horizon2020.