In this study, which focuses on the role urban centres play in the context of APEC’s social and economic growth, we found that Toronto, Vancouver and Singapore are the top three cities in APEC in which to live and do business. Amongst other trends, the study also tracks cities’ growing influence outside their borders through three lenses: how they fare in basic city development, what differentiates them, and the hindrances standing in the way of growth.
Rapid urbanisation is one of the powerful global megatrends reshaping industries, societies and economies worldwide. Other examples of our involvement in this area include our work with Los Angeles in California – a city that boasts a GDP 1.5 times greater than Saudi Arabia. Today, large cities are essentially carrying the opportunities and responsibilities of nations. As the biggest US city without a cohesive plan to address interconnected sustainability issues, Los Angeles was receiving criticism.
In response, the Mayor decided to create not just a ‘green plan’, but a comprehensive roadmap integrating his vision for the city – including food, transportation, and resilience. With PwC US’s help, he developed a ’pLAn’ focused on three areas – environment, economy, and equity – detailing near-term targets for 2017, long-term targets, and strategic/priority initiatives.
PwC worked through every step of the process, from topic selection to analysis, goal-setting, buy-in, drafting and launch. And incredible results have been achieved in just over a year – including reducing water use by 19%, and being the first big US city to raise the minimum wage to US$15 an hour.
At a national level, we have also worked with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government as it seeks to move towards greater non-oil based growth. Powered by the Vision 2021 programme and a National Green Growth Strategy, this initiative seeks to ensure long-term development that is socially inclusive, cohesive and environmentally sustainable.