London skyline



FRONT PAGE
Site Search
About us |
Quiénes somos |
A propos de nous | Über uns |
Mayor Monitor
Directories
Events
Debate


Best European business cities
European growth cities
EIU: Most expensive cities
Mercer: Most expensive cities
UBS: Most expensive cities

Richest cities

World's top shopping streets
Real estate Europe
Business stress worldwide
Business locations
Europe's richest cities
Secure cities
German business cities
Cologne's China Offensive


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

London, Paris and Frankfurt remain
Europe’s favourite business cities
Brian Baker reviews a report by Cushman Wakefield*

28 October 2009: London continues to be rated as the leading European business city in 2009. Paris is again ranked second but the gap between it and London has widened. Frankfurt remains the third most favoured city in an annual survey of business leaders conducted by Cushman Wakefield.

'
Easy access to markets, customers or clients' is now regarded as the most important factor when deciding to locate a business, replacing the availability of qualified staff. The quality of telecommunications and transport links with other cities remain in third and fourth place respectively. Overall, these four factors remain the most important, with over half of the sample continuing to class these factors as absolutely essential when deciding to locate a business.

Europe's best business cities
2009
Rank
City
2008 Rank
1990 Rank
1
London
1
1
2
Paris
2
2
3
Frankfurt
3
3
4
Barcelona
5
11
5
Brussels
4
4
6
Madrid
7
17
7
Munich
9
12
8
Amsterdam
6
5
9
Berlin
8
15
10
Milan
13
9
11
Geneva
11
8
12
Hamburg
17
14
13
Zurich
10
7
14
Birmingham
21
-
15
Düsseldorf
12
6
16
Manchester
14
13
17
Lisbon
16
16
18
Dublin
15
-
19
Lyon
18
18
20
Stockholm
20
19
21
Prague
19
23
22
Rome
25
-
23
Warsaw
24
25
24
Leeds
28
-
25
Copenhagen
23
-
26
Budapest
22
21
27
Istanbul
29
-
28
Vienna
26
20
29
Glasgow
27
10
30
Bucharest
31
-
31
Helsinki
30
-
32
Moscow
32
24
33
Oslo
33
34
Athens
34
22
In 1990 only 25 cities were included in the study.

The message of the 2009 survey, according to report author Elaine Rossall, is that whilst the recessionary impact of the last 12- 18 months has been painful for cities across the world  they must continue to pursue future strategies and promote themselves. Eventually, businesses will become more confident and make decisions about new facilities and re-locations which will bring inward investment to some.

Whilst London, Paris and Frankfurt continue to top these rankings of 34 cities across Europe as they have since the survey began in 1990 and Brussels and Barcelona continue to vie for 4th and 5th places there were some changes in the middle regions of the overall table.

Birmingham was the city making the most progress this year. It rose seven places to fourteenth. Others rising up the overall table this year included Munich, Milan and Leeds. On value for money of office space, which was one of the factors cited as more important to businesses this year, Birmingham rose to equal first with Leeds.

Ms Rossall says “they improved in most of the categories this year. In terms of promotion Birmingham has been very pro-active in the last 12 - 18 months and its retail and office offer has improved in recent years. ”

She warns against expecting immediate payback for major improvements. “It can take a company 10 - 15 years to change its overall perception of a city. It is a long-term process. Business people perhaps don’t notice change very quickly. They spend a lot of time in hotels and offices.“

So, whilst Birmingham’s greatly improved retail offer dates back to the opening of Selfridges and the new Bull Ring Centre in  2003 it is only now affecting the perceptions of people at the strategic level in large corporates.

London has strengthened its overall leadership position since 2008 despite being heavily affected by the banking sector crisis and it placed first in six of the twelve specific categories which respondents are asked about each year.

Elaine Rossall says London is seen as making major improvements in the current period largely because of the 2012 Olympic Games effect. It also seems to have benefited in some respects from the economic fall-out as it rose to second -place for availability of office space.

Barcelona’s climb in these business perception ratings began with the Olympics in 1992 and has been sustained by good promotion and investment in improvements.

Ms Rossall says: “ Barcelona, Berlin and Madrid all promote themselves well globally. From that perspective they become more familiar to corporates and so there clearly is a knock -on effect from that type of city investment to how well they do in the survey.”
 
The success of the two major Spanish cities continues to impress. Rossall admits to being surprised that Barcelona and Madrid both secured increased scores in most of the ranking issues this year. “They have been rising steadily since the mid 1990’s but l did not expect it this year given that Spain has been affected more severely by the economic slow-down than most similar countries.”

Barcelona ousted Brussels from fourth place overall and Madrid rose one place to sixth. In the category of cities improving themselves Barcelona moved up to first place this year with Madrid fourth. The perception of London as improving was reflected in its rise to second. Berlin was third. Barcelona also remained first for quality of life of employees.

The interviewees are asked which other European cities are important for business in their view. Last year this table was headed by Valencia but it has slipped to fifth in 2009. Luxembourg city was mentioned by the most respondents this year followed by Cologne, Marseille and Lille.

“Because its not prompted there are wider variations in the responses to this question each year but some cities do consistently place highly notably Stuttgart, sixth this year, and Valencia,” comments Rossall.

Although the significance of the cost of office space rose in the perceptions of corporates in this year’s survey  it still lagged behind the four factors, which are regularly the highest placed in importance to business. This year easy access to markets, customers and clients replaced availability of qualified staff at the top. Quality of communication was third and good transport links fourth.

Rossall says that broadband connectivity varies between cities and this can be an important factor in any strategic decisions “ Large companies usually need to communicate electronically across the world efficiently. The broadband issue will have a bearing on how companies see different cities.”

Although the Central and Eastern European cities fell back in this year’s survey many still figure in prospective expansion plans for the next five years. Warsaw was the city cited by the largest number of companies as a possible expansion location in this year’s survey and Bucharest and Moscow also figured highly. London, Paris and Brussels were most favoured amongst the leading cities.

Responses to questions about a property strategy for 2009/10 provoked responses, which reflected the differences between short term and medium term opinions. Consolidation of office space was the key factor cited by the largest number of respondents but future expansion was close behind.

Elaine Rossall says: “Some companies are looking at greater efficiencies and consolidation of existing office space but you also have companies which are looking at expansion now because the cost of property has come down. They can have more space for the same or lower cost at present.”

Worldwide expansion
Companies were also asked about global expansion and asked to consider in which worldwide cities outside Europe, where they are not currently represented, they may expand to in five years’ time.

There is a marked fall in the number of European companies who state that they may consider global expansion, with no city nominated by more than 20 companies. New York moves up from seventh place in last year’s rating to first, as the number of companies who may consider New York as a new destination rises from 13 to 19.

The Brazilian cities are also increasingly popular global destinations, particularly São Paulo which is the third most frequently mentioned destination behind Shanghai. Shanghai remains the destination of choice in China and is second behind New York, although the number of companies potentially locating in Shanghai is half the levels recorded in 2008. The Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi are also anticipated to continue to attract European companies over the next 5 years although, while maintaining their position in the ranking, actual numbers are down sharply.

*European Cities Monitor is based on telephone interviews with board members and senior managers at large companies which are headquartered in Europe. Each year 500 are included of which at least one third are different from the previous year. The survey has been carried out every year since 1990 by global real estate services company Cushman Wakefield and includes consumer retail and distribution, industrial and professional services businesses.



Frankfurt skyline


Fastest improving European cities
Companies were asked which city they thinkis doing the most to actually improve themselves. Barcelona continues to lead the way, while London moves into second place just ahead of Berlin. Both London and Berlin closed the gap to Barcelona, while Budapest and Dublin saw large falls.

Rank
City
Improved by
1
Barcelona
17%
2
London
14%
3
Berlin
13%
4
Madrid
12%
5
Prague
12%
6
Paris
11%
7
Warsaw
10%
8
Budapest
8%
9
Brussels
7%
10
Lisbon
7%
11
Dublin
6%
12
Lyon
6%
13
Milan
6%
14
Munich
6%
15
Moscow
6%
16
Amsterdam
6%
17
Frankfurt
5%
18
Istanbul
4%
19
Bucharest
4%
20
Hamburg
3%
21
Geneva
3%
22
Rome
3%
23
Athens
3%
24
Manchester
3%
25
Zurich
2%
26
Stockholm
2%
27
Copenhagen
2%
28
Vienna
2%
29
Valencia
2%
30
Düsseldorf
2%