Top 1000 Global Cities ranked

Are you living in a city that is future-orientated?

Cities are vital drivers of economic prosperity because they pool creative and intellectual energy and as a result act as incredible drivers of growth to create value far in excess of the sum of the individual actors and businesses that reside in them.

Oxford Economics (a UK-based economics think tank made up presumably of economists [so take this information with the noted bias that is attached to the worldviews of those that created it)] have recently published their inaugural Global Cities Index 2024 that ranks 1000 cities according to simple scores in 5 dimensions, which they have chosen: Economics, Human Capital, Quality of Life, Environment, and Governance.

Here are the Top Cities in each of those dimensions:

Top 10 Global Cities in the Economics dimension

Let's not dwell too much on the blunt and seemingly outdated nature of the individual metrics that make up the collective index here. It's duly noted that they are contentious and riddled with skewed neoliberal economic assumptions that are perhaps less relevant in a post-capitalist future.

Is 'Foreign-born population' a negative or positive indicator. Can't think of too many foreign-born inhabitants in Toyko, Japan if I recall?

Top 10 Global Cities in the Quality of Life dimension

Internet speed is still a thing? Housing expenditure in Bern and Zurich, Switzerland is affordable is it?

Top 10 Global Cities in the Environment dimension
Top 10 Global Cities in the Governance dimension

Overall, which according to Oxford Economics are the Top 10 Cities in the world?

What's very clear looking the the overall picture presented by Oxford Economics is that the so-called 'Global South' is certainly some distance behind the more developed regions in the 'North'. Hardly surprising given the criteria that was used, but it does paint a rather telling picture that captures the story of the recent past in present day economic terms.

If you were wondering where South African cities ranked in the list - Joburg as placed at 380 and Cape Town right down at 445.

The highest ranked Chinese city on the list is Shenzhen at number 206, which is well behind the hotbed of economic activity that's happening in a place called Allentown, PA (#133) in the USA that frankly we have never in our lives heard of.

Perhaps what this then suggests is that lists and rankings like this - as sound as the methodologies that they use may seem - are subjective and honestly rather benign as a source to use if you are trying to understand something about what futures may play out for cities.

Cities are important things to consider for foresight and strategy purposes, but multiple divergent perspectives are needed if you are to generate better source material on which to make a sound judgment.