Design skills cited as one reason why London is the world’s best city

Clerkenwell design weekFor the first time, London is the world’s best city for business, culture and finance, according to the latest edition of PWC’s annual Cities of Opportunity report.  And the city’s reputation as a global leader in design is cited as one of the main reasons. The index of thirty of the world’s most important cities claims that London’s sheer economic clout, technological infrastructure and its design and development skills are just a few of the factors that led to the city usurping New York for the first time. When the survey was last carried out, it was ranked third. London is ranked one of the top three best places for intellectual capital and innovation alongside Paris and San Francisco and has leapt from eighth place last year to joint first place (with Seoul) in terms of its technological readiness.

The news comes as London hosts Clerkenwell Design Week, Europe’s largest showcase and programme of events dedicated to design and the built environment.

The Cities of Opportunity identifies ten key indicators and the report cites the top three cities within each. London is named in five of the top three groupings but has disappointing rankings in terms of its sustainability and cost.

  • Economic clout: London, Beijing, New York
  • Technology readiness: London and Seoul tied for first place, Stockholm
  • City gateway: London, Beijing, Singapore
  • Intellectual capital and innovation: Paris, London, San Francisco
  • Demographics and liveability: Sydney, London, San Francisco
  • Transportation and infrastructure: Singapore, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Seoul tied for third (London – 6th)
  • Health, safety and security: Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto tied for second (London – 6th)
  • Sustainability and the natural environment: Stockholm and Sydney tied for first, Paris and Berlin tied for third (London – 17th)
  • Ease of doing business: Singapore, Hong Kong, New York (London – 5th)
  • Cost: Los Angeles, Chicago, Johannesburg (London – 15th)

“London’s reputation as an economic powerhouse is well established, and reinforced when you consider it is the second most successful city in the Index for attracting foreign direct investment,” says David Snell, a partner at PwC in London. “What’s particularly interesting this year is the city’s growing digital reputation. There’s no doubt that this is linked to London’s impressive performance across indicators on education, technology access, skills, and ease of doing business.  Like many big international cities, there’s a price to pay for success. For London, while it has moved up the rankings on cost and environmental challenges, there are still lessons to be learned from international competitors on these issues.”