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Currently, the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most important indicator of the performance of the economy and employment. However, this indicator says little about what economic growth or decline means for our society. Moreover, it stimulates an urban economy in which more growth instead of human wellbeing is central.

Event details of Urban Dialogue #4: Wellbeing Index
Date 23 February 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00
Organised by Hebe Verrest , Fenne Pinkster , Nicky Pouw

Even in periods of growth (as well as in decline), inequality has been increasing for decades. The assumption that economic growth automatically has positive consequences for all kinds of groups in society has not proven true for years. To pursue an economy in which the wellbeing of everyone is the goal, we need to rethink our economy, governing frameworks and other measuring ‘tools’ that monitor the development of a wider range of indicators.

These indicators need to be integrally connected to the municipal budgets and instruments. If not, alternative indicators will not be used in the daily practice of urban policy and planning. To that end, this projects aims to develop a wellbeing index – and an accompanying “dashboard” that can be used to guide and monitor policy. It is embedded in an integrated trade-off framework and new vision of the economy. More specifically, it aims to develop indicators (at the level of households, individuals, neighbourhoods and the city) that are in line with daily practice and urban policy, audit institutions and citizen perceptions, and; provides a broader set of indicators for government, businesses and civil society to look ahead and back.

Please subscribe for this Urban Dialogue by sending an email including your name and affiliation to, and you will receive the zoom link in due course.

The Urban Dialogues Series

The Centre for Urban Studies cordially invites you to participate in the new Urban Dialogues series. This series gives CUS members the opportunity to share their research and receive feedback, to enlarge their network, and to explore potential collaborations. Each session will start with a 30 minute presentation, followed by a 30 minute discussion. The Urban Dialogues are scheduled for every last Tuesday of the month, except for April 2021 (Tuesday April 20th). Please find the full programme below.





27 October (16-17hr)

Refugee Commoning Carescapes vs State Policies of Campization in Greece

Charalampos Tsavdaroglou and Maria Kaika

24 November (16-17hr)

City Science

Caroline Nevejan

26 January (16-17hr)

Sustainable Urbanization Practices in European Regions

David Evers

23 February (16-17hr)

Wellbeing Index Amsterdam

Hebe VerrestNicky Pouw 

30 March (16-17hr)

Multispecies Urbanism

Debra Solomon

20 April (16-17hr)

MOOC's: Experiences and Potentials

Marco te Brömmelstroet and George Liu

25 May (16-17hr)

Politics of Non-knowing in Smart Cities

Anna Nikolaeva

29 June (16-17hr)

Urban Aesthetics: From Places of Occupation to Gentrification

Olga SeznevaGiselinde Kuipers and Anastasiya Halauniova