London claims pole position for the second time in a row in a comprehensive benchmarking study of 30 leading business centres globally, boding well for its ability to withstand post-Brexit competition on a number of fronts.
Singapore comes second in PwC's Cities of Opportunity Index; Toronto third, with Paris and Amsterdam completing the top five. Overall, European cities take four of the top ten places.
PwC's Cities of Opportunity 7 provides a balanced benchmarking of the social and economic health of 30 of the world's leading business cities. It measures their performance against 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost.
The report demonstrates that cities succeed not only when they perform well economically, but when they succeed in providing a range of social features, including good quality of life, senior wellbeing, housing, and disaster preparedness-each of which demonstrates a strong relationship with top cities in the study.
As the report's methodology and data is based mostly on the two years before the UK decision to exit the EU, the Brexit vote does not impact London's position in the Index this year. However, detail in the report's wide ranging measurements give an early indication of both the city's international strengths and areas it will have to compete on post Brexit. The message won't be lost either on European and overseas city competitors who see opportunities to challenge London's position as the UK plans its exit from the EU.
Bob Moritz, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, comments:
"Over half the world's population live in cities, and they represent engines of global or regional economies. A good life is not a luxury in these cities, it's a basic requirement for cities and businesses to get and keep talent. Strong performing cities are those planning and providing across all the measures of the long-term quality of life of its citizens. Having the infrastructure in place - social, economic and physical - builds stronger communities and in turn the resilience of the city no matter what it faces."
Cities of Opportunity's comprehensive measurement of major centres of business, commerce, intellectual capital and culture, highlights the complex economic and policy challenges cities face to succeed.
Hazem Galal, Cities and Local Government Sector Global Leader, says:
"The consistent performance of cities like London, Paris, Singapore and New York within the top ten of Cities of Opportunity shows that it's not only economic prosperity that drives success. Good quality of life in the city plays a fundamental role in their ability to attract and retain the globally mobile talent they need. The continued urban competitiveness of these cities rests on continuing collaboration between the businesses, policymakers and citizens who build them."
Because no two cities are the same, the study suggests each city needs to develop its own individual strategy to understand strengths, weaknesses, and identities and then orchestrate growth to suit its own profile, building on opportunities and also tackling challenges like providing affordable housing, knitting together effective public transit and reducing disaster exposure.
Notes to editorsThe complete ranking and a copy of the full report are available at http://www.pwc.com/cities.