Just 2 of the World’s 10 Greatest Cities are in the US
Most great cities have access to quality education, a variety of public transportation choices, disaster preparedness, and affordable housing options, to name a few important qualities.
In a new report, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) evaluated the Greatness of 30 major cities across the world, as follows:
Methodology: PwC analyzed 3rd-party data to rank the cities using 67 different factors across 10 categories: intellectual capital and innovation; tech readiness; city gateway; transportation and infrastructure; health, safety and security; sustainability and the environment; demographics and livability; economic clout; ease of doing business; cost.
The World’s 10 Greatest cities:
- New York
- San Francisco
- Hong Kong
It was the 1st time in the study’s 7-year history that New York didn’t make it into PwC’s Top 5 greatest cities. NYC and San Francisco are the only 2 US cities that made The Top 10.
“The truth of the matter is it’s about balance. So you take Amsterdam, which doesn’t lead in any of our categories but it scores well in all of our categories. New York scores well in economic clout, being a financial hub, but it’s in 29th out of 30th place in terms of personal tax rate,” PwC partner Mitch Roschelle said in an interview.
High tax rates had an impact on other US cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Despite the UK’s Brexit vote hurting the public perception of the UK and its economic health, London ranked No. 1 in PwC’s study.
The firm considered ditching the entire study because it seemed erroneous to publish a report that cited a city clouded with uncertainty as the greatest metro in the world.
PwC decided to go ahead with the report because a city’s greatness isn’t determined over the course of a day, year, or even a decade.
“We looked at all 67 attributes again and while the Brexit vote happened overnight, the things that made London a great city happened over the course of a generation. The will of the electorate on a specific day isn’t really going to change overnight those things that truly make a city great,” it says.
Another major reason the US underperformed against its EU counterparts is its lagging infrastructure.
Specifically citing a lack of direct transit to a major airport in New York City, you can take the Heathrow Express in London or the bullet train in Tokyo.
“There are these infrastructure elements that literally take 20-30 years to develop. The US just isn’t competitive with peer cities around the world. I think we focus too much on being a financial center and a business center, but not the other qualities of life, like how innovative, safe and tech savvy a city is,” it said.
Ultimately, the PwC study is simply one way of pitting cities against each other, but the report says it should be a wake-up call to the US government and citizens to put themselves back on the map.