London, New York, Tokyo and Paris are the most “comprehensively attractive” cities in the world. Belgian capital, Brussels, takes 27th place in the newest Global Power City Index (GPCI) 2019. The annual index represents a detailed report compiled by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies, a Tokyo-based consultancy. The Institute is ranking cities since 2008 and their reports are overseen by a designated committee of urbanism professors from around the world.
Given the global competition between cities, the Global Power City Index (GPCI) evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their “magnetism,” or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring 6 functions—Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility—providing a multidimensional ranking. The GPCI is able to grasp the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of global cities in a continuously changing world not only through a ranking, but also through analysing that ranking’s specific components.
This year’s survey looked at more than 40 metropolises using 70 indicators covering everything from business to the environment. This year four new cities were added, including Melbourne and Dublin, and new categories were monitored such as tourist attractions, nightlife and public-transport use. While Brussels received 27th position overall, it finished on the 20th position in terms of accessibility (which measures direct international flights, number of air passengers, commuting time etc). When it comes to liveability and cultural connections, Brussels is on the 22nd place among the global cities.
Top 10 Cities – Strengths & Weaknesses of world’s cities
There was no change in the top 10 ranking from last year’s GPCI. In comparison with the top 3 cities of London, New York, and Tokyo, Paris’s drop in score was minimal, narrowing the gap once again between the French capital and Tokyo. Although Paris experienced a downtrend in score following the repeated terror attacks of 2015, following the 2017 confirmation as host-city of the 2024 Olympic Games, an upward trend in score is building. Among the 4 new cities added this year (Melbourne, Helsinki, Dublin, Tel Aviv), Melbourne at #11 was the highest performer.
London (#1), which saw its score rise following the 2016 EU membership referendum, marked a decrease in score for the indicators “Nominal GDP” and “World’s Top 500 Companies,” perhaps due to confusion surrounding the Brexit negotiations. Nevertheless, the city still possesses superior strengths overall, with 12 of its 16 indicators in Cultural Interaction placing in the top 5.
New York (#2) was once again first in the Economy and Research & Development categories, earning high scores for “Nominal GDP,” “Stock Market Capitalization” and “Number of Researchers.” In Cultural Interaction and Accessibility, it placed second and third, respectively, but fell slightly in Livability and Environment. Both “Availability of Skilled Human Resources” and “Number of Foreign Residents” showed falling trends due to human talent shifting to other domestic or international cities.
Paris (#4), following a drop in score after the 2015 terrorist attacks, received improved scores in “Number of Foreign Visitors” and “Number of Murders.” Competition between Paris and Tokyo to boost urban power is anticipated as the two cities prepare to host the Olympic Games in 2024 and 2020, respectively.
Amsterdam (#6), well known for its inclusivity, was second in Livability behind only Paris. Despite the city’s relatively small size, its popularity as a destination for entertainment was reflected in a third-place ranking in the newly added “Nightlife Options” indicator.
To read more information and download the full report, head to GPCI website.