Tuesday 24 May 2016 – European cities perform well at the top of this year’s ‘Cities of Opportunity’ benchmarking developed by PwC. London claims pole position at #1, with Toronto in second place — up from fourth in 2014. Paris follows at #3, with Amsterdam and New York locked in a virtual tie for fourth. The Big Apple drops from #2 in the last edition.
PwC’s Cities of Opportunity 7 provides a balanced benchmarking of the social and economic health of 30 of the world’s leading cities by measuring their performance against 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, the ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost. The study underscores that city success requires balanced social and economic strengths for the community to work as a whole. It finds high scores in the human elements of urban life show the strongest relation to city success. These traits include good quality of life, senior wellbeing, public transport systems, housing, literacy and enrolment, and disaster preparedness.
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:
PwC US Chairman and Senior Partner Bob Moritz, who will take on the role of Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International on 1 July 2016, 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.”
Hazem Galal, Cities and Local Government Sector Global Leader, says:
“The consistent performance of cities like London, Paris, Singapore and New York within the top ten of Cities of Opportunity shows that their success goes much deeper than economic might alone. Good quality of life in the city plays a fundamental role in their ability to attract and retain the globally mobile talent they need. The continued urban competitiveness of these cities rests on continuing collaboration between the businesses, policymakers and citizens who build them.”
While the need for risk resilience is not new, the stakes of disaster have skyrocketed with cities facing increasing risk from extreme weather, terrorism, nuclear mishaps and other manmade threats, as well as disease. This year’s study shows that the most vulnerable cities can also be the most resilient. Tokyo came top in exposure to risk – and top in the ability to deal with it – outperforming all other cities in natural disaster preparedness. Amsterdam has the second highest disaster vulnerability but the fifth highest preparedness.
Adds Bob Moritz:
“Cities must remain aware, prepare and act to manage today’s threats. What Tokyo and Amsterdam prove is that resilience is all about vigilance, strategic preparation, technological expertise, governance, adaptability – and above all, the resolve of institutions and the community to work together to withstand potential disaster.”
Because no two cities are the same, the study suggests each city needs to develop its own individual strategy to understand strengths, weaknesses, and identities and then orchestrate growth to suit its own profile, building on opportunities and also tackling challenges like providing affordable housing, knitting together effective public transit and reducing disaster exposure.
The full ranking and a copy of the full report are available at http://www.pwc.com/cities.
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