The Daily Urban Dynamic Indicator: Gauging the urban dynamic in Porto during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak motivated the development of a myriad of weekly and daily indicators that track economic activity to estimate and predict the consequences of the pandemic. With some exceptions, these indicators are calculated at the country level and are mainly focused on tracking economic factors, disregarding local urban phenomena. To address this, we present the Urban Dynamic Indicator (UDI), a novel composite indicator designed to measure a city's daily urban dynamic. The UDI is applied to Porto municipality, in Portugal, and it corresponds to a latent factor obtained through a factor analysis over seasonal adjusted daily data regarding traffic intensity, public transportation usage, internet usage in public buses, NO2 emissions and noise level. The UDI's values show that, by the end of 2020, despite the approach of economic activity to its pre-pandemic values, as suggested by the Portuguese Daily Economic Indicator (DEI), Porto urban dynamic did not recover completely. The UDI enriches the information available for Porto city planners and policymakers to respond to crisis situations and to gauge the application of local policies that contribute to urban sustainable planning. Furthermore, the methodology defined in this work can be followed for the development of daily urban dynamic indicators elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103714
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Urban dynamic index
  • Composite indicator
  • Daily data
  • Factor analysis
  • COVID-19


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