In 2008, the Trade Alliance and the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) developed the first-ever International Regions Benchmarking Consortium. This 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 and in-depth research into specific issues of common interest.


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.

The goal of the Consortium is twofold:

  • To develop a shared set of economic and social indicators for each participating region that show evidence of best practices in certain areas;
  • To build a learning community that shares these best practices in a way that makes participating regions more competitive in the global economy.

This allows 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.

Member Regions

The metropolitan regions that have accepted membership in the Consortium are:

  1. Barcelona, Spain
  2. Daejeon, South 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, several regions such as Singapore, Cape Town, and Glasgow have participated in an observer role.

For more information, visit the IRBC website.