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May 4, 2011

Balanced Cities Perform Best


The finance and business centers of the future may not be the traditional capitals of global dominance, according to a new report released today by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited) and the Partnership for New York City (a non-profit organization working to maintain New York City’s position as the global center of commerce, culture and innovation).

The fourth edition of Cities of Opportunity shows that “well-rounded cities with balanced economies and strong quality of life have resilience during downturns and they attract skilled people”.

New York City

New York leads the 2011 study, which analyzes and ranks how 26 global centers of finance, business and culture perform across 10 key indicators. But it is followed closely in the top five by Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney — cities more notable for quality of life and balance than global business dominance.

While these cities cannot match the size or economic clout of longstanding commercial hubs like London, New York, Paris or Tokyo, their performance highlights a changing global dynamic. “Modern cities are less dependent on geography and historic connections and more reliant on holistic approaches to attracting and keeping creative minds and cutting-edge businesses,” informs the report.

New York, despite finishing first, hardly dominates. It leads because of balanced performance across the indicators.

New York City

New York City

The study analyzes 26 cities and ranks them as follows: • New York • Toronto • San Francisco • Stockholm • Sydney • London • Chicago • Paris • Singapore • Hong Kong • Houston • Los Angeles • Berlin • Tokyo • Madrid • Seoul • Beijing • Abu Dhabi • Shanghai • Mexico City • Moscow • Santiago • Istanbul • Sao Paulo • Johannesburg • Mumbai.

The Cities of Opportunity key indicators and top three cities in each are:

Intellectual capital and innovation — Stockholm, Toronto, New York/San Francisco (tied for 3rd)

Technology readiness — New York, Seoul, Stockholm

Transportation and infrastructure — Paris, Chicago, New York

Demographics and livability — Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto

Economic clout — London, Paris, New York

Cost — Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago

Lifestyle assets — New York, Paris, London

Health, safety and security — Stockholm, Toronto, Chicago

Ease of doing business — Hong Kong, Singapore, New York

Sustainability — Berlin, Sydney, Stockholm

New York City

“Changes in communications, education and knowledge-sharing, transportation and urban migration are transforming world dynamics,” said Bob Moritz , US Chairman and 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.”

“For more than a year, researchers at the Partnership and PwC exhaustively compiled and analyzed data from more than 400 different global sources,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for NYC. “We are pleasantly surprised to see how the totals broke in favor of NYC, but with the clear competition rising from smaller, more livable cities.”

The complete report is available at:

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 4:21 AM | Link to this Post

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