August 10, 2011
Cities Of Opportunity: Which Cities Are Thriving And Why?
Infrastructure, transportation and sustainability? Economic clout or livability? Intellectual capital and innovation? What did the study find were the strongest factors governing city success in a changing world?
A look across the overall rankings reveals several interesting patterns.
Only one of the Top 5, New York, might be called an economic powerhouse. The successful modern city relies on intelligence and social well-being as much as economic clout—a conclusion that seems not so much to challenge any theory as to confirm common sense. New York wins only narrowly, with its real key to success the balance that may have helped it weather the Great Recession.
Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney round out the Top 5. Livability and balance mark these four cities. Arguably that's just 'the right stuff' for a world less dependent on geography and historic connections and more reliant on holistic approaches to attracting and keeping creative minds and businesses that will build the future with fresh eyes.
The other 'alpha' cities -- London, Paris, Tokyo -- finish 6th to 14th overall. They're not bunched at the top as might be expected. London, 6th, leads in economic clout. Paris, 8th, tops infrastructure and transportation. Tokyo falls to 14th. View full report>>