The living city
London, Singapore, Toronto and Paris top the 2016 benchmark (our 7th edition) of the broad urban qualities that make 30 global business, finance and culture capitals successful. Beneath the headline results of who finishes first, however, findings show the heart of the city revolves around balanced social and economic strengths. And even in this group of cities that power the world economy, quality of life factors jump out in relation to urban success. People are at the center of the big city picture.
Education, transit, health, economics, and governance all have to line up for a city to lead. London proves this again as its balanced strengths create distance from other advanced cities. Further, eight cities make the top 3 in two or more indicators—London, Singapore, Paris, Beijing , Sydney, Toronto, Stockholm, and New York. A good combination of social and economic strengths is required to succeed.
Our snapshot of urban wellbeing today is built on 67 data variables. These are divided among 10 indicator categories, and then organized into three families of information. All in all, the study captures a holistic view of urban life.
Finding patterns look deeper into our results, as well as outward to orient our cities on economic growth, jobs, and demographics. Our key issues focuses on three critical areas: building risk resilience to a range of modern threats, knitting together an efficient and effective metropolitan transit system, and tailoring taxation to the individual needs of each city.
“ When Ericsson tries to attract people to Stockholm, what do these individuals do? They look at the city, as well as the workplace. They look at… the whole life picture. Cities and employers have come to accept that all these ingredients do make a difference… Otherwise, it’s not going to be a competitive city.”
Leaders of thought and action from business, government, infrastructure management, risk resilience, academia, and culture add insight on what makes urban ecosystems work.
Former Special Representative, UN
Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction