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London is the best city in the world, says exhaustive new report

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In a new (pre-Brexit) report on cities, the British capital scored well in every measure but affordability

International accounting and business research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers just released its annual Cities of Opportunities report, exploring which global cities are the best place to live and do business. Considering the business slant of PwC, you might their rankings are focused squarely on jobs and investment data. But, as the report’s authors explain as they lay out their ranking system:

Despite the fact that all our cities represent business centers, engines of the global or regional economies, the strongest relationships with overall success appear in areas like quality of living, senior wellbeing, housing, and disaster preparedness. Put differently, effectively dealing with human needs, both everyday and extraordinary ones, remains the essence of city success.

The report’s authors suggest that creating a more livable metropolis, reducing income inequality, and developer more resilient infrastructure are the key issues that may hold back some of the world’s biggest cities. Resilience, in fact, was the reason New York fell out of the top five (New Amsterdam, it turns out, was pushed aside by Old Amsterdam).


Often pegged as simply a financial powerhouse, the PwC report notes that London also excels when it comes to intellectual capital, innovation, and technological readiness. Like other urban areas in the top 10, London takes a big hit when it comes to affordability, probably the biggest strike against a city that performs well in nearly every ranking. However, this sterling ranking comes from pre-Brexit data, so it’s an open question if it remains well-ranked next year.


The city-state has a reputation for solid planning and a proactive government, and its strength as a business and tech hub reflect those investments. The city also scores high on infrastructure and quality of live measures.


The Canadian city lacks "buzz," according to the report, but makes up for it with a strong economy and great quality of life, measured in public infrastructure, parks, and health, as well as an incredibly diverse population.


Despite a difficult stretch of terrorist attacks and economic difficulties caused by eurozone political crises, the City of Light hasn’t lost a step, posting extraordinary high scores across the board.


While the Netherlands’ biggest city is one of the most at-risk for disasters, it’s also among the most prepared to deal with them, and has become a technological powerhouse, with a well-educated population, and some of the best mobile and wireless networks in the world.

The rest of the top cities, in order, are New York, Stockholm, and San Francisco.

You can read the entire report here.