The sixth edition of Cities of Opportunity examines the current social and economic performance of 30 cities, all capitals of finance, commerce, and culture—and, through their current performance, seeks to open a window on what makes cities function best. This year, Athens has been added as the 31st city of the list and has been evaluated based on indicators that reflect the fundamentals of a well-balanced city.
Athens ranks well, although there is much room for improvement, in 4 areas: sustainability and the natural environment; health safety and security; cost; and city gateway.
Our study also reveals that Athens does not perform well compared to western/European cities (London, Paris, Stockholm, Toronto) and to the “rising stars” of the East (Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokio). There is also intense competition coming from southern European, “competitive”, cities such as Madrid and Istanbul, which requires monitoring.
Areas of concern are the city’s global economic clout (ranks 30th) mainly due to its low attractiveness for foreign investments, and its transportation and infrastructure (ranks 28th) due to the operational inefficiency of its transportation system and the traffic congestion.
Athens should set out a long-term strategic goal, to provide as a reference point for its development and with targeted interventions can improve its performance.