Measuring Up: PWC and Cities of Opportunity

April 12th, 2010

How does your home city compare globally for diversity, easy of entry or purchasing power? PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has just released its third Cities of Opportunity report , and has given us a new perspective on the state of 21 global cities.

PWC believes that cities are home to most of the world’s population and that the intellectual, social and economic capital this represents makes cities important drivers of our future prosperity and well-being. The Cities of Opportunity report benchmarks city performance to answer questions on, “What direction will cities go in the years to come?” and  “What are the key ingredients needed to make a city strong and resilient to financial downturns and other risks?”

Their overall findings are that the better balanced a city is for both business and residents, the better it will fare. Quality of life is a tangible economic asset. The cities of Chicago, Stockholm, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore, London and New York City are among the cities that demonstrate this balance.

For this edition of the report, diversity indicators were added to the set of 58 variables against which cities were ranked. Toronto popped to the top of the rankings, leading the study in city livability, with high quality of life and health and a diverse population with advanced education. The study suggests that diversity maps well to creative knowledge-based economies –and that diversity, innovation and social cohesion are entirely compatible outcomes of urban migration.

PWC researchers have made this data fun to play with. The study also includes an interactive database that allows you to compare 21 cities against key city indicators –from purchasing power to the number of medical schools to which cities ranks as the top global fashion capitals.

We tested the model on our home city here in Toronto. Toronto comes in third just behind New York and London for demographic diversity. Singapore topped the list for ease of entry, followed by Hong Kong and Stockholm. Alas, for fashion, Toronto was a more distant 16th on the list…

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