Development of the ex post evaluation methodology for the PIA City of Tomorrow (EcoCité approach)

How to facilitate the evaluation of public investment in urban innovation?


The EcoCité approach (sponsored by the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion) pursues the aim of developing urban innovation from a conventional practice (one-off initiatives) into an integrated urban project. The PIA Ville de Demain (City of Tomorrow) programme provides the funding via Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) (500 innovative actions financed in 30 EcoCités).


CDC commissioned Efficacity to define the ex post evaluation methodology for the City of Tomorrow programme.

The methodology evaluates the EcoCités on three scales, depending on:

  • The innovative nature of the initiatives introduced, their impacts in relation to their objectives, their efficiency and replicability;
  • The correlation of these initiatives with the EcoCités territorial strategy;
  • The efficiency of the City of Tomorrow programme overall and its leverage on the emergence of industrial solutions contributing to territorial energy transition


Existing work on urban project performance evaluation methods (ISO 37 101) were examined in the light of local authority strategic planning documents (SCoT, PCAET, PLUi, etc.).

To align itself as closely as possible with the requirements of CDC and project holders, Efficacity conducted numerous interviews with EcoCités actors, with the aim of co-constructing the methodology and thus ensuring its pertinence and ease of adoption.

Results and outlook

The evaluation method proposed is based on a labelling system used to characterise initiatives flexibly, according to their nature, their innovative approach (TRL approach) and the sustainable city objectives they are designed to meet (ISO 37 101).

Depending on the labels chosen, the EcoCité must determine both action-specific indicators and territorial indicators. Financial ratios and qualitative questionnaires are used to assess the success of initiatives.

The different stages of the evaluation will be conducted on the Explorateur EcoCités online platform, an ergonomic means of carrying out an ex post evaluation of initiatives.

The methodology developed by Efficacity will be implemented in 2018, and will fuel reflection on transposing the methodology to other urban innovation programmes (DIVD, ANRU, EcoQuartier, etc.).

Client Caisse des Dépôts (CDC)

Dates 2016 - 2017

Members iNNOECO

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Efficacity a réalisé de nombreuses interviews d'acteurs des EcoCités visant à co-construire la méthodologie en assurant sa pertinence, simplifiant l'appropriation et la praticité de ce nouveau cadre d'évaluation