PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational professional services network headquartered in London, United Kingdom, surveyed major world cities and produced Another Ranking of Top World Cities that are generally metropolises of developed countries. The report was published on September 7th, 2016; we reproduce excerpts of it below.
London claims pole position for the second time in a row in a comprehensive benchmarking study of 30 leading business centres globally, boding well for its ability to withstand post–Brexit competition on a number of fronts. [ms-protect-content]
Singapore comes second in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity Index; Toronto third, with Paris and Amsterdam completing the top five. Overall, European cities take four of the top ten places.
PwC’s Cities of Opportunity 7 provides a balanced benchmarking of the social and economic health of 30 of the world’s leading business cities. It measures their performance against 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost.
The report demonstrates that cities succeed not only when they perform well economically, but when they succeed in providing a range of social features, including good quality of life, senior wellbeing, housing, and disaster preparedness—each of which demonstrates a strong relationship with top cities in the study.
As the report’s methodology and data is based mostly on the two years before the UK decision to exit the EU, the Brexit vote does not impact London’s position in the Index this year. However, detail in the report’s wide ranging measurements give an early indication of both the city’s international strengths and areas it will have to compete on post Brexit. The message won’t be lost either on European and overseas city competitors who see opportunities to challenge London’s position as the UK plans its exit from the EU.
Bob Moritz, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, comments:
“Over half the world’s population live in cities, and they represent engines of global or regional economies. A good life is not a luxury in these cities, it’s a basic requirement for cities and businesses to get and keep talent. Strong performing cities are those planning and providing across all the measures of the long-term quality of life of its citizens. Having the infrastructure in place – social, economic and physical – builds stronger communities and in turn the resilience of the city no matter what it faces.”
Cities of Opportunity’s comprehensive measurement of major centres of business, commerce, intellectual capital and culture, highlights the complex economic and policy challenges cities face to succeed.
London retains the first position for the second edition in a row, and extends its lead against close rivals in the study. The city is among the top three in six indicators covered by the study, including intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; city gateway; demographics and liveability; economic clout; and ease of doing business. Any effects Brexit may have on London will take place in a process that will evolve over time and not overnight. Questions include the effects on talent mobility and migration, trade, investment and regulation, among others.
Singapore, the city-state renowned for its planned development, comes in second – up from third position in 2014. In addition to ranking #1 in three indicators – technology readiness, transportation and infrastructure and the ease of doing business – the city performs well in the area of tax. An analysis of corporate total tax rate, personal rate, and tax efficiency shows that Singapore, along with Dubai and Hong Kong, have the lowest rates and highest efficiency collectively.
Toronto, third in the study, ranks in the top 10 in seven of 10 indicators, and does particularly well in categories that speak to the daily needs and concerns of urban residents – finishing second in health, safety and security; second in cost; and third in sustainability and the natural environment (tied with Seoul).
Paris rises to fourth position overall from sixth in 2014 despite a decade of economic pressure and more recently, terror attacks. Paris performed strongly across the measures, the only city to make the top 10 in 9 out of 10 indicators. It returns to first in demographics and liveability overall, tying New York. Paris also bounces back to 2nd as a city gateway after falling to 7th in 2014.
Amsterdam enters the study for the first time this year – in fifth position. The city finished in the top five in three indicators (intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; and sustainability and the natural environment). It also finished in the top 10 in a further four indicators (city gateway; health safety and security; demographics and liveability; and economic clout), challenging the traditional urban powerhouses.
At #6, New York remains part of a global urban elite – but drops from second position in 2014 and first-place rankings in the editions before that. The city scores lower in many of this year’s newly-introduced measures and is overtaken by other cities’ gains in existing variables. It needs to improve substantially in sustainability and the natural environment, and health, safety and security (both #16) as well as cost (#25). On the upside, the city finished #1 (tied with Paris) in demographics and liveability, #2 in economic clout, and #3 in technology readiness (tied with Amsterdam).
The complete ranking and a copy of the full report are available at http://www.pwc.com/cities .