The process of rethinking the city is important in order to move toward a more sustainable model. This method involves the application of various indicators of sustainability to help in the planning, management and operation of cities. Sustainability indicators use specific calculations to synthesize numerical values in relation to both the physical surroundings and the availability of resources in an urban setting. The indicators can then determine the degree of sustainability within a current or developing setting, giving reference to the sustainable urban model.

The indicators developed by BCNecologia combine variables like compactness and public space to simplify and define a complex urban reality. For example, the indicator of corrected compactness measures the relationship between built space and public space.

By using sustainability indicators, it is possible for example, to monitor the progression of an urban system over time. Moreover, the system of indicators is intentional i.e. they are applied at the initial stage of planning, and can thereafter be arranged and modified in order to improve a systems' environmental performance.

Therefore, sustainability indicators can help assess the degree of environmentally friendly activities incorporated into the city model at any stage of development. For example, indicators can calculate sustainable urban developments at the planning stage, when ecologically sound practices are first being implemented, and also at the application and management stages, to ensure environmental compliance continues to be met or exceeded. In this way, the same objective can always be achieved: a compact, complex and more sustainable city. In this way, the value of the indicators as instruments is fundamental to the application of the sustainable city model, in any phase of planning.

According to Ecosystemic Urbanism, the indicators developed by BCNecologia evaluate the degree of sustainability using the following aspects of the city model:

A1. Land use (occupation of the soil)

A2. Public space and habitability

A3. Mobility and services

A4. Urban complexity

A5. Green spaces and biodiversity

A6. Urban metabolism

A7. Social cohesion

A8. Management and governance

The fields, 9 in total (this includes the field "A0. Context" whose implementation is variable), are framed within the 4-axis model of the sustainable city (compactness, complexity, efficiency and social cohesion). Through a panel of indicators, these areas and their significance will vary according to each region’s specific requirements (size, existing urban fabric, new developments, etc.). The indicators will also measure the degree of sustainability, whether the areas are falling below, meeting, or exceeding requirements.


<<Sustainability indicators are used to evaluate how sustainable each development/initiative is, by means of a mathematical equation, in order to determine its level of sustainability. These indicators can be incorporated into the city model at any time, such as the beginning (planning), application or management stage.>>