About the IRBC

The International Regions Benchmarking Consortium is a network of sophisticated city-centered metropolitan regions that find it mutually beneficial to compare and learn from each other through economic and social data statistics, in-depth research into specific issues of common interest and face-to-face interactions among representatives of member regions. Members understand that worldwide competition is focused neither on countries nor on individual cities, but on large metropolitan regions that function as individual economic units. The globalization of the world’s economy requires regions and their leadership to understand how they are performing compared to similar areas worldwide.

Purpose

The purpose of the Consortium is to allow self-evaluation of economy, society, environment, infrastructure, and other relevant urban issues using other regions around the world as a benchmark. Ultimately, the primary concept is that comparing ourselves will allow us to better reflect on our own circumstances.

This Consortium is dedicated to collecting and sharing best practices and lessons learned on regional development issues of common interest and concern, and conducting annual member conferences.

The Consortium has two main activities:

  • Information Sharing: Member regions share data on benchmark indicators, and research and information papers on best practices and case studies of relevance and importance to member regions
  • Annual Conference: The Consortium gathers at a different host region each year to investigate a specific theme we consider critical to the question of regional dynamism and competitiveness.

Members

The member regions of the Consortium are:

  1. Barcelona, Spain
  2. Daejeon, S. Korea
  3. Dublin, Ireland
  4. Fukuoka, Japan
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Melbourne, Australia
  7. Munich, Germany
  8. Seattle, USA
  9. Stockholm, Sweden
  10. Vancouver, Canada

In addition, Singapore, Cape Town, and Glasgow-Edinburgh have participated as observer regions, attending annual conferences.

Background

The Puget Sound Regional Council/Prosperity Partnership and Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle launched this Consortium in 2008 thanks to the generous financial support of Microsoft and Boeing. Through the Trade Alliance’s broad international network, the Consortium quickly grew to ten member regions.

Contact

Joan Chen
Senior Economic Development Specialist
Puget Sound Regional Council
jchen@psrc.org
Tel: +1-206-389-2889
Sam Kaplan
President
Trade Development Alliance
samk@seattlechamber.com
Tel: +1-206-389-7306