CitiIQ Hierarchy and Algorithm


To provide a sufficiently comprehensive and holistic diagnosis, CitiIQ has established an innovative approach to organizing the breadth of Considerations that contribute to the wellbeing of a city in their natural order of priority. 

The result is a scoring system with 35 Considerations, within 5 Dimensions, using data driven by over 120 Indicators. The algorithm normalizes scores out of 100 and weights the scores through non-linear aggregation in order to provide a meaningful, comparative view.

The CitiIQ framework is founded on a thorough analysis of local data, providing unprecedented insight into the ecologies of cities. Through examination of available Indicators and their relationships, a strong foundation for an evidence-based methodology was formed. 




The Considerations are organized in a hierarchical pyramid inspired by Abraham Maslow’s theory of human motivation. The established hierarchical levels of the CitiIQ framework are: 

  • Basic Needs
  • Competitiveness
  • Opportunity
  • Livability
  • Destiny

The framework demonstrates the priority of community needs such that the most basic needs form the base of the pyramid, indicating that these are forerunners of more advanced aspects. A holistically developing community will aim to advance upwards through the hierarchy. While all Considerations are important, some must be met before others can be prioritized. For example, hope for a future is essential to human well-being; however human life simply cannot sustain without the basic provisions of water, food, and physical safety. The algorithm reflects this reality as scores in the higher Dimensions gain importance with stronger scores in the lower (primary) Dimensions.




Thirty-five Considerations were identified to be essential building blocks of community health and wellbeing. These were drawn from academic knowledge, internationally recognized institutions, and anecdotal knowledge from professionals working in community development. Each Consideration was assigned to its respective level within the hierarchy, such that a city’s performance in any one Dimension is defined by its performance in all Considerations comprising that Dimension. The Considerations within each Dimension are as follows:


Basic Needs












Over one hundred and twenty Indicators form the foundation of the Diagnostic Tool. They are based on quantifiable aspects of a city, generally accessible through publicly available data, and processed through the CitiIQ algorithm.

The list of Indicators (shown below in source data) was developed to optimize comprehensiveness, credibility, accuracy, and likelihood of accessible data. Indicators inform the 35 Considerations to varying degrees, and may inform multiple Considerations in the hierarchy.

The network-like framework of the algorithm reflects its complexity, as well as the interrelated nature of a city’s wellbeing. 



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