New York City has maintained its premier position among the Cities of Opportunity



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Traditional alpha cities challenged
by up-and-coming regional centers

A report by PwC and the Partnership for New York City

30 May 2011: New York City has emerged from the global recession as number one in the 2011 Cities of Opportunity report, while its traditional ‘big four’ rivals - London, Paris and Tokyo – have dropped out of the top five. New York was the only traditional power center to maintain its position in the face of growing competition from emerging regional centers, which are increasingly luring talent and economic activity away from the big four.

| The big five | Ranking of cities | New York City | Methodology |

The report, produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the non-profit Partnership for New York City, aggregates and analyzes a range of objective data from respected sources. By consolidating this information, the report is able to develop a quantitative ranking of 26 global financial centers in terms of their comparative performance across the following ten key indicators: intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; transportation and infrastructure; demographics and livability; economic clout; cost; lifestyle assets; health safety and security; ease of doing business; and sustainability.

The big five
The most striking finding is that New York is the only traditional powerhouse to rank in the top five; London, Paris and Tokyo all got knocked out of the top tier by Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney, cities not known as key centers of global finance.

While these cities cannot match the size or economic clout of longstanding commercial hubs like London, New York, Paris or Tokyo, their performance highlights the changing global marketplace - one that rewards cities for taking a more holistic approach to nurturing, retaining and attracting creative minds.

Interestingly, the cities of Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney all are part of vital regions. Notably also, ‘alpha’ cities like London, Paris, Tokyo and New York are not bunched at the top. These ‘usual suspects’ of broad, Western socio-economic leadership - with rich recent histories, deep resources and major capital markets - are spread through the top 10 and, in the case of Tokyo, fall to 14th overall.

This shift is reflected in the composition of the report’s top five cities since its first release in 2007. In that year, New York and Tokyo ranked first and second; London and Paris tied for third, with Toronto rounding out the top cities. In 2008, London moved up to second place, replacing Tokyo, which dropped from the top five. Last year, Singapore took the third spot from Chicago, behind New York and London, with Chicago and Paris tied for fourth.

"Changes in communications, education and knowledge-sharing, transportation and urban migration are transforming world dynamics," said Bob Moritz, Senior Partner of PwC. "Cities that want to thrive, need to adapt to these changes. Size is no longer a leading predictor of influence. The success of cities such as Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney sends a clear signal that holistic balance makes a real difference."

Ranking of cities
(Overall and by selected criteria)
CITIES
OVERALL
Innovation
Transportation
Economics
Sustainability
Abu Dhabi
19
21
19
22
26
Beijing
18
19
12
9
18
Berlin
13
12
18
15
1
Chicago
7
10
2
13
23
Hong Kong
10
16
8
4
19
Houston
11
9
22
16
24
Istanbul
24
26
20
23
11
Johannesburg
26
24
26
24
4
London
6
11
7
1
15
Los Angeles
12
6
21
20
20
Madrid
15
14
5
5
10
Mexico City
21
20
10
25
22
Moscow
22
17
14
18
25
Mumbai
27
25
24
19
5
New York City
1
3
3
3
17
Paris
8
5
1
2
12
San Francisco
3
4
4
14
7
Santiago
23
22
23
26
9
São Paulo
25
23
25
21
8
Seoul
16
13
9
17
13
Shanghai
20
18
15
8
14
Singapore
9
15
17
6
16
Stockholm
4
1
11
12
3
Sydney
5
8
13
11
2
Tokyo
14
7
6
10
21
Toronto
2
2
16
7
6

New York City
New York City’s top ranking can be linked to its increasingly more balanced economy. It is able to compete with both historic economic centers like London and Paris but also smaller cities that have invested in intellectual capital and technology and have embraced policies that promote quality of life and sustainability.

New York City, which is home to more than 10 per cent of the America’s financial technology workers, ranked first in Technology Readiness, an indicator of a city’s ability to nurture a high-tech future and take advantage of technological advances in the global economy. New York is closely followed by Seoul, then Stockholm, San Francisco and Chicago.

New York also earned the highest ranking among the 26 cities in the Lifestyle Assets category, which measures cultural vibrancy, recreational opportunities, hotel rooms, skylines, tourism and green space. This category favors larger, more mature cities that have well-established entertainment, tourism, fashion and culinary industries. Paris is second on the list, followed by London, Toronto and Sydney.

New York City ranked third, behind London and Paris, when it comes to Economic Clout, another category that favors larger, more established cities. This category indicates a city’s ability to influence world markets, attract investment, and stimulate growth.

New York City and San Francisco tied for third in the Intellectual Capital and Innovation indicator, coming in just behind Stockholm and Toronto. Paris rounded out the top five. This ranking is derived primarily based on a city’s share of top universities and research capabilities, as well as its percentage of population with higher education.

New York also ranked third, behind Paris and Chicago, in Transportation and Infrastructure. This category primarily measures a City’s overall ability to efficiently and cost-effectively transport people and goods, via mass transit, airports and roads.

In yet another third place finish, New York rated just behind Hong Kong and Singapore for Ease of Doing Business. This category measures how open a city is to workforce recruitment, flexible work rules and hours, as we all as ease of hiring and firing workers.

New York ranked 14th in Demographics and Livability, which measures variables such as viable housing options, commute times, climate and quality of life. This is one category in which the smaller cities consistently outperform the world’s ‘power’ cities. The top cites were Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto and San Francisco; Los Angeles and Madrid tied for fifth place.

Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive PlaNYC environmental initiative, New York City ranked 17th out of the 26 cities in the Sustainability category. Berlin, Sydney and Stockholm top this category. New York’s poor rating in part reflects the inherent challenges of a densely developed and highly trafficked city. It also is an indication that the mayor’s sustainability plan will take some time to produce lasting results, especially in light of setbacks such as the defeat of congestion pricing and a federal court ruling that struck down the administration’s effort to mandate greater fuel efficiency from the city’s taxi fleet.

New York City ranked 11th out of the 26 cities surveyed in the Cost category, which measures cost of business occupancy, overall cost of living, purchasing power and total tax rates. North American cities generally fared best in this category, taking the top five spots (Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto).

In the final category, New York City ranked ninth in Health, Safety and Security.

Methodology
Cities of Opportunity is based on publicly available data, using three main sources: global multilateral development organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; national statistics organizations, such as National Statistics in the UK and the Census Bureau in the US; and commercial data providers. The data was collected during the second and third quarters of 2009. In the majority of cases, the data used refers to 2008 and 2009. In some cases, national data was used as a proxy for city data. Care has been taken to ensure that, where used, national data closely reflects the city. The scoring methodology was developed to ensure transparency and simplicity for readers, as well as comparability across cities.

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THE LARGEST CITIES IN THE WORLD AND THEIR MAYORS 2010
Introduction
Cities by size: 1 to 150 | 151 to 300 | 301 to 450 | 451 to 550 |
Cities in alphabetical order: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |
Cities by countries: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |



Berlin achieved the best results for sustainability (Photo: Kaspar Swankey)


On other pages
The most powerful cities in the world
New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo are deemed to be the most powerful cities in the world. New research has assessed 35 cities from across the world based on six criteria: Economy, research and development, livability, accessibility, cultural interaction as well as ecology and natural environment New York scores top marks for its economy as well as research and development, while London is judged to be the world’s cultural capital. Paris is number one for livability and accessibility. Geneva, Zurich and Vienna are praised for their ecology and natural environment.

The Japanese team found that New York, London, Paris and Tokyo performed well ahead of the others on their model. The four cities were in the same order as last year. Fourth-placed Tokyo was less than 25 points behind New York City, which was on 330 points, followed by London (322) and Paris (318). Singapore, Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam scored between 275 and 250 points. More