London perceived as the world’s best city, PwC report shows

London phone box

City rankings are all the rage these days. This year we have seen surveys from Mercer, the EIU and Monocle. Any day now, I’m expecting to see the World’s Best Cities to Celebrate the Festive Season (with the likes of Vienna emerging top again).

Most recently, PwC have joined the throng, revealing the world’s Best Cities as voted for by the public across a range of factors such as politics, food, happiness, culture and business. The report was conducted in collaboration with BAV Consulting, polling 5,200 decision makers, informed elites and other members of the public from 16 countries (I’m not sure why so few countries were targeted) in December 2015.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the so-called “world cities” that dominate international affairs and fill column inches that have won most recognition. They have a left an imprint on the public consciousness.

London (which enjoys by far most media attention in the UK) is seen as the world’s greatest city, with perennial superbrands Paris and New York completing the top three:

    1. London
    2. Paris
    3. New York
    4. Amsterdam
    5. Sydney
    6. Berlin
    7. Tokyo
    8. Toronto
    9. Stockholm
    10. Los Angeles

It’s hard to see London displaced any time soon. Brexit is unlikely to hurt London’s ranking, a question posed by PwC in their report. The UK capital has a history of battling through crises. More than anything, its capacity to remain resilient and reinvent itself throughput the years underlines its appeal, like all successful brands.

Yet while the traditional triumvirate are seen as the most influential, they might not necessarily be the most liveable cities. Young people are keen to move away from expensive cities, and from London in particular.

PwC’s findings are especially interesting as a report was released in parallel showing how cities were performing in “reality”, based on hard facts instead of perception. The report, Cities of Opportunity, showed that while London came top again, Singapore and Toronto emerged second and third best, respectively:

  1. London
  2. Singapore
  3. Toronto
  4. Paris
  5. Amsterdam
  6. New York
  7. Stockholm
  8. San Francisco
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Sydney

It appears that Hong Kong and Singapore have an image problem!

Vienna world’s best for quality of living, says Mercer survey

Hofburg, Vienna

Planning your next move? Vienna has retained its status as the world’s best city in Mercer’s 18th Quality of Living city survey (the Austrian capital came second in last year’s EIU’s Global Liveability Ranking). Perennial favourites London and Paris, meanwhile, are in the lower thirties (or higher, depending on your perspective).

The survey was conducted between September and November 2015, serving to help employers take adequate precautions for expats who relocate with family.

The usual suspects occupied the top 10 in 2015, with central Europe accounting for most (Austria, Germany, Switzerland):

  1. Vienna
  2. Zurich
  3. Auckland
  4. Munich
  5. Vancouver
  6. Dusseldorf
  7. Frankfurt
  8. Geneva
  9. Copenhagen
  10. Sydney

As for the city ranking lowest, look no further than the Iraqi capital.

PSFK publishes report on digital nomad trends

Pamphlet reading

PSFK, an online resource for creative professionals, has launched a new report, The Nomad Class Debrief, exploring trends emerging around digital nomad lifestyles, and how they might impact the rest of us over the next 18-36 months. An accompanying article reveals a snappy crash course on becoming a digital nomad.

The report states that, for digital nomads:

“concepts like borders, time-zones and office-spaces can be ignored in lieu of a connected ecosystem of tools and services that help them live, work and play in a way that seem extreme to many of us today, but will become the norm for a much larger group of professionals in the next few years”

At $150, the 20+ page report might not appeal to most digital nomads on a shoestring, but it will be useful reading for “brands” and professionals wishing to understand the digital nomad category better.

A summary of the report can be seen below, via Slideshare:

The summary shows that workers (in the US at least) are clamouring for more flexible and remote work:
  • 80%-90% of working Americans would like to work remotely at least part-time
  • 60% of office employees are expected to work remotely by 2022
  • Remote employers are up to 13% more productive
The crash course article meanwhile reveals 3 types of digital nomad (slightly tongue in cheek possibly), before explaining how to get wifi and how to get started:
  • The Van Dwellers
  • The RVers
  • The Airbnbers