External Publications

Italian Cities SDGs Composite Index. A Methodological Approach to Measure the Agenda 2030 at Urban Level

Authors: Luca Farnia, Laura Cavalli
Keywords: Italian Cities SDGs Composite Index, Sustainable Development
Published in: forthcoming in journal
Date: 2018


The Italian Cities SDGs Composite Index is a tool for policy analysis and dissemination of sustainable development at local level in Italy. Structured into several dimensions representing 16 out of 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations at the end of September 2015, the index merges 53 available economic, social and environmental elementary indicators into a single composite dimension, highlighting geographical and demographic heterogeneity within the Country. The high dimensionality of the index requires the check for latent implications due to the multivariate distribution of the data. It is indeed mathematically proved that not only heterogeneous variance among indicators plays a central role on the aggregated value, but also the degree of correlations among them. With this aim, Principal Component technique has been applied to identify the latent structure of the data, clustering both indicators within goal and the goals themselves. The weights attached to the indicators have been set in such a way to favour the ones that are statistically independent of each other and to penalize, conversely, those that are correlated; the same approach has been applied for deriving the weights among goals. In this way a balanced structure of the data is guaranteed.

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