For the different lifecycle stages (LCS) or material groups and the various data used therein, different proxies need to be applied. Here are some suggestions as to what proxies and datasets (for EU countries) can be used to downscale them for the city.


There are a total of 6 proxies:

  1. (Agricultural) Area / land use
  2. Persons employed / employee numbers
  3. GDP
  4. Population
  5. Number of buildings / farms
  6. Income (household budget survey)

The primary proxy in the table is the preferred one. For example, in the case of extraction, “persons employed“ is more suitable than “GDP”. If data is not available or cannot be found for the primary proxy, the secondary proxy should be used and so on.

Proxy overview for construction sector / materials

Proxy overview for biomass sector / materials

Proxy data

Agricultural area

If you don’t find your own agricultural area, start by looking whether your NUTS 3 or NUTS 2 area has any (for instance look here for NUTS 2 and vegetables). If you do not know your agricultural area, then you can make a ratio of domestic extraction: If agricultural area is reported in total for your city, then find out the agricultural area of the country, make a share based on domestic extraction at a country level and apply that share to the city level.

Employees / Persons employed