Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

npj Urban Sustainability






22 (1-10)


We present the Urban Nature Indexes (UNI), a comprehensive tool that measures urban ecological performance under one standard framework linked to global commitments. The UNI was developed by interdisciplinary experts and evaluated by practitioners from diverse cities to capture each city’s ecological footprint from local to global scale. The UNI comprises six themes (consumption drivers, human pressures, habitat status, species status, nature’s contributions to people, and governance responses) that encompass measurable impacts on climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem services, pollution, consumption, water management, and equity within one comprehensive system. Cities then adapt the UNI to their context and capacity by selecting among indicator topics within each theme. This adaptability and holistic approach position the UNI as an essential instrument for nature-positive transformations. With the institutional support of IUCN, the UNI offers an opportunity for cities to assess and enhance their contributions towards a more sustainable and biodiverse future.


© 2024 The Authors.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original authors and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Data Availability: Article states: "Data used to inform the UNI has been provided where possible in the supplementary materials for this paper, though individual responses and comments have not been provided in order to maintain confidentiality. The corresponding author can be reached for reasonable requests. The latest version of the UNI can be found on IUCN Library System:"

Original Publication Citation

Pierce, J. R., Costadone, L., Mannetti, L., Morpurgo, J., Green, C. E., Halder, M. D., Guijosa, P. A. L., Bogan, A. L., Galt, R., & Hughes, J. (2024). Urban Nature Indexes tool offers comprehensive and flexible approach to monitoring urban ecological performance. npj Urban Sustainability, 4(1), 1-10, Article 22.


0000-0002-8143-9466 (Costadone)

Costadone-2024-UNISuppNotes.pdf (892 kB)
Supplemental Materials

Costadone-2024-UNIReportingSummary.pdf (5292 kB)
Reporting Summary