City Mayors publishes economic and business information



FRONT PAGE
Site Search
About us





Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa |




























City economics
City Mayors deals with urban economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities

The lives of expatriates in the
world’s most expensive cities

23 July 2013: For very different reasons, European and African cities are named as the world’s costliest cities for expatriates. While high earnings and strong demand for quality housing drive up prices in Europe, it is the special needs of expatriates that make living in some of Africa’s booming cities extremely expensive. In its 2013 Cost of Living report, US-based consultants Mercer name the Angolan capital Luanda as the costliest city for US expatriates. Moscow and Tokyo are ranked two and three. Switzerland has three cities - Geneva, Zurich and Bern - in the top ten. More

The price of bread in the world’s
most and least expensive cities

5 February 2013: At the beginning of 2013, Tokyo has firmly established itself as the world’s most expensive city. Three out of four organisations, that conduct annual research into the cost of living in cities across the world, agree for the first time that the Japanese capital is now more expensive for expatriates than either Zurich or Oslo. Only the Swiss bank UBS still maintains that Oslo and Zurich are more expensive than Tokyo. More

America debates how investment in
transportation affects the economy

22 January 2013: Highways and private motor vehicles are iconic features of American culture - the open road, the fast lane, the drive-in and drive through, the independent trucker, the soccer mom, the teen’s first car, and so on. The cultural icons are linked to the economic benefits that highways can bring. Ninety-eight per cent of US mayors point to investment in affordable, reliable surface transportation as an important part of their cities’ economic growth. More

Silicon Valley is the role model
for many cities around the world

24 November 2012: While Silicon Valley is still the world’s number one location for start-ups, a number of cities around the world have successfully emulated the Californian region in San Francisco’s Bay area. According to a report by Startup Genome there are now 20 cities worldwide, which offer budding entrepreneurs with the right ecosystems to turn new ideas into commercial success stories. With nine cities in the top 20, North America still dominates the list, but the report’s authors already rank Tel Aviv second and also include London, Paris, Moscow and Berlin as well as cities in South America, Asia and Australia. More

Urban population growth
between now and 2030

7 August 2012: In 2008, the world reached an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, lived in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to more than five billion. Urbanisation has already surpassed the 90-per-cent mark, not only in city states like Singapore and Kuwait, but also in Belgium, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Israel and the UK. In the US, where for the past 100 years the majority of people have been living in cities, more than 82 per cent of the total population now reside in urban areas. More

US cities adopt highly creative
measures to increase revenue

22 June 2012: Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s highly-publicized proposal to ban the sale of large servings of sugary soft drinks in New York City is an attempt to reign in public health costs associated with obesity. The need to cut expenditures in public budgets has become acute in recent years and American cities have controlled costs by privatizing roads, parking meters, and water systems; outsourcing landscaping and other services that require special equipment; selling parks; demolishing buildings; laying off employees; and instituting many other measures to reduce expenses. More

Chinese cities set to challenge the old
order of New York, London and Paris

12 April 2012: New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo remain today's leading global cities, but an analysis of key trends in emerging cities suggests that Beijing and Shanghai may rival them in 10 to 20 years. The authors of this year’s Global City Index (GCI) say that shifting political and economic powers favour cities in China and, to a lesser extent, India. More

US cities lose jobs and revenues as big
pharma companies close R&D facilities

9 April 2012: In 2007, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, closed its research and development facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, displacing 2100 workers. In 2009, the University of Michigan purchased the vacant site and expected to create two to three thousand jobs over ten years. At the time of the sale, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje expressed mixed emotions. More

The most expensive cities in
the world, Asia and Europe

8 December 2011: Tokyo remains the most expensive city in the world according to new research by human resources consultants ECA International. Oslo is ranked second, while Karachi is said to be the least expensive city. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva occupy places three and five in the ranking. The top four costliest cities in Asia are all Japanese, with the Korean capital Seoul placed fifth. In Europe, Norwegian and Swiss cities are to be avoided by the budget conscious. Intro | World table | Asia table | Europe table |


The most expensive and
richest cities in the world

8 August 2011: Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Stockhom, Tokyo and Sydney have emerged as the world's most expensive cities based on a standardised basket of 122 goods and services surveyed by UBS. The basket costs the least in Delhi, Manila and Mumbai. People in Zurich, Geneva and Copenhagen earn the most in the world, while the highest purchasing power is enjoyed in Zurich, Sydney and Luxembourg. More

Annual report stresses the economic
importance of American metro areas

27 June 2011: The gross metropolitan product (GMP) of the immense New York City region - that is, the total output of all goods and services produced in the region - is greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of all but 12 countries in the world. But who would have guessed that the GMP of Jacksonville, Florida is bigger than the GDP of Syria? Or that Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s annual economic output is greater than Uruguay’s? Or that if metro Madison, Wisconsin (population 560,000) were a country, it would have a larger economy than Lithuania? More

Traditional alpha cities challenged
by up-and-coming regional centers

30 May 2011: New York City has emerged from the global recession as number one in the 2011 Cities of Opportunity report, while its traditional ‘big four’ rivals - London, Paris and Tokyo – have dropped out of the top five. New York was the only traditional power center to maintain its position in the face of growing competition from emerging regional centers, which are increasingly luring talent and economic activity away from the big four. More

Danish and Swedish regions gave up
power to create bi-national metropolis

5 May 2011: After more than a century of the original grand plan to build a fixed link between Sweden and Denmark, the early 1990s finally saw real action. Inspired by the concept of a Europe of Regions and a post-industrial search for a new economic foundation, the two countries agreed to build a 7.85km-long bridge across the Öresund strait to connect the capital Copenhagen with Sweden’s third city, Malmö, to form a united binational metropolis. More

The most powerful
cities in the world

22 November 2009: New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo are deemed to be the most powerful cities in the world. New research has assessed 35 cities from across the world based on six criteria: Economy, research and development, livability, accessibility, cultural interaction as well as ecology and natural environment New York scores top marks for its economy as well as R&D, while London is judged to be the world’s cultural capital. Paris is number one for livability and accessibility. Geneva, Zurich and Vienna are praised for their ecology and natural environment. More

London, Paris and Frankfurt remain
Europe’s favourite business cities

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. '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. More

German and Nordic cities perform
well in European economic report

25 October 2009: Munich has supplanted London from top place in the annual European Regional Economic Growth Index (E-REGI). It is the first time a German city heads this ranking. The effect of the financial markets and banking sector travails have not affected London’s high rating in most measures of city performance but it has caused a significant slide in the E-REGI from first in 2008 to eighth in 2009. More

US cities in crisis but new
solutions are taking hold

12 August 2009: America’s cities are fighting foreclosures, stalled development and budget shortfalls on a scale not seen in a generation. But innovation is taking root in the empty spaces left by economic retreat. A look at how tomorrow’s American cities will be leaner - and greener. More

Durban looks beyond
the 2010 World Cup

29 March 2009: Durban ranks as one of the biggest and most commercially active cities in South Africa. It is for this and other reasons that we are the hive of economic activity. Our climate, which is perfect throughout the year, not only makes us the preferred tourist destination but also the envy of other cities. This and the friendly disposition of Durban’s people accounts for the many national and international events that are frequently held in our city. More

New York City prepares for
revival of financial markets

20 February 2009: New York City wants to be in pole position when global financial markets start to revive. Proposing eleven initiatives to retain and promote financial companies and institutions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the financial services meltdown was a global problem, not one that any city or even nation can solve on its own. "And although we can’t predict exactly what its revival will look like, we’re confident the sector will come back. When it does, cities around the world will compete to capture the jobs it brings.” More

No early upswing in sight
for US real estate market

4 February 2009: Real estate industry experts expect financial and real estate markets in the United States to bottom in 2009 and then flounder for much of 2010, with ongoing drops in property values, more foreclosures and delinquencies, and a limping economy that will continue to crimp property cash flows, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report’s authors also believe a lengthy US recessions will also impact on Canada and urge caution in Latin America. More

German cities offer best
prospects for real estate

3 February 2009: With property values tumbling in the UK, Ireland and Spain as well as in many Eastern European countries, German cities emerge as the new favourites among European property investors. Real estate experts say that German cities are now the most promising and safest ones in Europe to invest in. A survey by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) places four German cities among Europe’s top ten. Munich and Hamburg are awarded the top two spots, with Berlin and Frankfurt ranked nine and ten respectively. More

US cities expect to be favoured
by economic stimulus package

30 December 2008: US mayors are buoyed by the prospect of an unprecedented partnership with Washington. Barack Obama has said that he hoped to sign an economic stimulus package into law shortly after taking office on 20 January 2009. While full details of the stimulus plan are not yet known, Obama says that it will be “a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face.” Many observers expect the massive economic recovery plan will total several hundred billion dollars. A large portion of the total is expected to be funneled to cities. More

UBS survey
London is the most expensive city in the world
while Zurich is home to highest wage earners

20 March 2008: London, Oslo, Dublin, Copenhagen and New York are the world’s five most expensive cities. A study by Swiss bank UBS shows that life is particularly expensive in these cities if the cost of housing is included. The basket of goods and services costs the least in Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires and Lima. European cities dominate the earnings tables, with the highest net incomes are enjoyed in Zurich, Dublin, Oslo, Geneva and Luxembourg. New York is the city with the highest earners outside Europe. Workers in Manila, Delhi and Jakarta have the lowest income. More

London remains number one
but the future belongs to Asia

10 June 2008: London remains the world's best financial and commercial city, the future, however, appears to belong to Asia and Eastern Europe, whose cities represent the fastest rising world regions in the latest commercial and financial research by MasterCard. Shanghai had the largest jump in overall rank - moving eight places from 2007 to 2008 - bringing it into the top 25 of this year's index and demonstrating the growing importance of Asian cities to a progressively urbanized global economy. More

Los Angeles is paying the price
for mayor’s focus on real estate

15 May 2008: Ever since his election in 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been portrayed as a politician with a future that possibly included the governorship. As soon as he entered office, he launched an impressive succession of ‘bold’ initiatives — among them, to make the Los Angeles Police Department a 10,000-cop force, to ‘green’ the port of Los Angeles, to improve the academic scores of some of LA Unified's worst-performing schools. Until the real estate bubble burst, he oversaw a building boom downtown and elsewhere, casting himself as a visionary re-creating LA as a model of ‘elegant density’. More

Matsuyama banks on tourism
and information technology

10 May 2008: The tourism hotspot of Matsuyama in southern Japan has forged a reputation as an early adopter of optical capabilities in local industry and town planning, earning it the designation IT Business Model District by the central government. More

Mercer survey
Moscow remains the world’s most expensive city
while London moves up from fifth to second place

18 June 2007: Moscow is the world's the world's most expensive city for the second consecutive year. London is in second position, climbing three places since 2006. Seoul moves down one place in the ranking to take third place, followed by Tokyo. Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive city in a survey published annually by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. With New York as the base city scoring 100 points, Moscow scores 134.4, London 126.3 and Seoul 122.4. More

Flexibility and transparency make
London world’s best financial city

14 June 2007: London has been named as the world’s top financial centre in a survey by Mastercard. The authors praise the British capital’s stable legal and economic framework and transparent business regulations. New York City was placed second ahead of Tokyo and Chicago. More

Tokyo is number one among
the richest cities in the world

11 March 2007: Greater Tokyo stands unrivalled in the world. For many years to come, the Japanese capital together with its surrounding urban areas will remain the richest and largest city in the world. Research published by PricewaterhouseCopper (PWC) in March 2007 places the Japanese capital at the top of the world’s richest cities between 2005 and 2020. In its own research on the world’s largest cities between 2006 and 2020, City Mayors also ranks Tokyo number one in the world. More

EIU survey
Europe is home to the most
expensive cities in the world

6 March 2007: Deciding on which is the world’s most expensive city is a little bit like choosing between the merits of various world heavy weight boxing champions. Until a year ago the choice has been between Tokyo and London. But in its 2007 ‘Worldwide cost of living survey’ the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) says four European cities had overtaken Tokyo as the world’s costliest city. However, Mercer Consulting says Moscow was the most expensive city in the world, with Oslo ranked 10th. Meanwhile, Swiss Bank UBS puts London in first place, followed by Oslo, New York and Tokyo. More

US subprime mortgage crisis hurts
individuals and whole communities

14 April 2007: Homeownership has long been the basis of community revitalization efforts in American cities. Homeowners bring well-documented stability and investment to neighborhoods. The recent rise in mortgage foreclosures, fueled by subprime lending, seriously threatens neighborhood stability and revitalization. More

Canada’s major cities should be given
greater autonomy and more resources

24 February 2007: Cities and city-regions worldwide are at the core of national prosperity agendas, attracting public and private investment to make them more liveable, more competitive and more sustainable. In Canada, cities rival the country’s natural wealth as one of the pillars of sustainable prosperity - but this importance is not reflected in the country’s policy choices. Today Canada’s major cities face major challenges - from accelerating growth and deteriorating infrastructure to environmental degradation and deepening social divides - and lack the power and the resources they need to fulfil their potential. More

London is underpinning UK economy but
high unemployment remains key concern

18 February 2007: The London economy is pivotal to the health and success of the wider UK economy, underpinning and securing investment and jobs throughout the nation, says a new report. The authors say that the strength of London’s economy had been very apparent over the past year, after a period when the potential for recovery was clear but there was less hard evidence. More

OECD advocates stronger local government
and closer links between neighbouring cities

16 January 2007: The increasing and unchecked trend towards urbanisation now affects most societies, not just the leading economies. Questions of economics and governance are increasingly metropolitan in nature, to the point of underlying most national debates. A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has considered both the benefits of urbanisation and the imbalances within the national policy-making process that hinders economic growth. More

“Take care of the cities and
you take care of the people”

As delegates to the 2006 United Nations' World Urban Forum have heard over and over again, cities around the world are overburdened and underfunded. Rich and poor, large and small, the situation is the same: national and state governments starve cities so they can keep valuable tax revenues for their purposes. More

American cities are starting to weigh up
the pros and cons of ‘big-box’ retailers

24 August 2006: Not so long ago, America's big cities were so desperate to attract commercial development they gladly would have given away the store to get one. But not now, as Wal-Mart and other super-retailers recently discovered. On 25 July 2006, the Chicago Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance requiring big-box retailers - those with $1 billion in sales and 90,000 square feet of shopping space in their stores - to give their employees a living wage. By 2010, the stores would have to pay workers US$10 an hour and provide an additional $3 in benefits. More

Eight cities in final round
to become ‘British Vegas’

Eight British cities and towns have made it into the final round of bids to build the country’s first ‘super-casino’. Of 27 applicants, the final eight will have to make a further case to be chosen as the site for Britain’s only Las Vegas-style unlimited gambling hotspot. The already unsuccessful candidates expressed dismay at the decision of the government’s new Casino Advisory Panel, though 16 licenses for smaller casinos will also be awarded. More

American metro areas remain nation’s
economic engine but new jobs pay less

America’s metropolitan areas are responsible for more than 86 per cent of US GDP, says a report published for the US Conference of Mayors in January 2006. However, unlike states and nations, metro economies are primarily defined and shaped by the nature of their economic activity. For example, New York was well known for its financial industry, Boston for its high-tech industry, and Detroit for the automobile industry. Indeed, most major industries in the US started in cities, including automobile manufacturing (Detroit), television (New York), and personal computer manufacturing (San Jose). More

Even hurricane seasons can’t stop
Florida cities from powering ahead

For the second year in a row, Florida’s cities have been named as the top job-creating metropolitan areas in the US. Even severe hurricane seasons could not stop Florida’s growth trends. The state’s metro areas hold not just the America’s top three slots, but five of its top six and 12 of its top 30 places. More

Cologne starts China Offensive
to attract tourists and business

The City of Cologne together with the Cologne Tourist Board, the Cologne Trade Fair, the Cologne/Bonn Airports and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce have embarked on a joint initiative to attract more Chinese companies and visitors to the city. Cologne hopes to double the number of Chinese business investors as well as to increase the number of tourists from China. The intention is to strengthen Cologne’s role as a gateway to Germany and Europe for Chinese tourism and business. More

New York, Hong Kong and Paris are home
to world's most expensive shopping streets

New York’s Fifth Avenue, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong and the Champs Elysées are the world’s most expensive shopping streets. New York City shopping streets make up the top three places of the American top ten of most expensive locations. In addition to Fifth Avenue, the city boasts East 57th Street and Madison Avenue as prime retail streets. The European top ten of most expensive shopping streets is dominated by retail locations in London and Paris. More

London, Paris and Frankfurt remain
Europe’s favourite business cities

London and Paris are by a long margin Europe's two top cities to locate a business, with Frankfurt in third place. The Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid are rising up the ranking to challenge the likes of Amsterdam and Brussels. In the 2005 edition of European Cities Monitor (ECM) Barcelona has overtaken Amsterdam to break into the top five, while Madrid closes up to form a leading group of seven cities. More

Canadian government offers cities
long-term partnership and funding

City mayors from all parts of Canada congratulated the federal finance minister, Ralph Goodale, on producing an excellent budget for cities. Bob Chiarelli, Mayor of Ottawa, said that the Minister’s second federal budget contained some very good news for Canada’s cities. “I think, all in all, it’s a good budget for cities”, he said. Regina Mayor, Pat Fiacco, echoed his comments by saying that communities now had the money to build bridges, fixing roads and upgrading transit systems. Toronto Mayor, David Miller, called the budget very good news. More

Large US cities suffered
most in recent recession

Large US metropolitan areas were particularly hard hit by the recent US recession. Cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago all lost more than 100,000 jobs between March 2001 and November 2004. A full recovery to pre-recession employment levels is not likely to occur before 2007. More

US cities say elimination of block grant will
threaten economies in many communities

America’s leading municipal organizations condemned the decision the US government to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). This grant is used by cities across the US to create jobs, increase economic development opportunities and expand home ownership. The elimination of the CDBG will have a devastating economic impact on cities, counties, and local communities of all sizes. More

Canadian government announces
more details of new deal for cities

Official bodies at all levels of government throughout Canada have welcomed the explanation in February 2005 by John Godfrey, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, of many of the details of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government’s ‘New Deal for Cities and Communities’. In particular he revealed the formula by which the federal government will allocate federal gas (petrol) tax revenues toward maintenance and development of municipal infrastructures. More

Sharp growth in stress levels
among world’s entrepreneurs

Business owners in cities all over the world are much more stressed than just one year ago. Top of the stress table are business owners in Taiwan where a staggering 69 per cent said their stress levels had increased in just one year. They were followed by entrepreneurs in Hong Kong (54%), Turkey (54%), Mexico (54%), India (53%), the Philippines (53%), Japan (51%), Russia (51%) and South Africa (50%) where half or more of those questioned said their stress levels had gone up. More

South Korea is planning and building
high-tech cities to remain competitive

South Korea is expected to have more globally competitive cities like Seoul in 10 years as three free economic zones nationwide are developing into international cities. Free economic zones were launched as part of South Korea’s survival strategies to cope with rising competition with other countries in the global economy. With neighbouring China growing fast as a global manufacturing hub, South Korea, the world’s 12th largest economy and Asia’s third largest, has encountered limits in its manufacturing-driven economic growth. More

Foreign retail chains plan to open
stores in China’s second-tier cities

With the full opening-up of China's retail sector approaching, the world's leading retail chain have started fighting for market share in the country's second-tier cities. US-headquartered Wal-Mart, the world's biggest chain retailing operator signed a contract on 19 September 2004 with Yuxi, a city in Yunnan Province for land transfer, where Wal-Mart is to set up a supermarket in 2005. More

Southern and western US cities
to benefit most from job growth

The resumption of broad-based employment growth in US cities is critical to the ongoing strength of the current US recovery. Of the cities that gained jobs from December 2003 to April 2004, 14 gained more than 10,000 jobs and an additional 19 cities added 5,000 jobs. All but nine of the top 33 gainers are towns and cities located in southern or western US states. More

European cities outperform
their English counterparts
English provincial cities are lagging behind equivalent cities in mainland Europe. They perform less well and make a smaller contribution to national economic welfare than many provincial cities in Germany and other European countries. Based on economic performance, Frankfurt is Europe’s richest city. The southern German city of Karlsruhe is placed second, followed by Paris in third place. London, the highest ranked UK city, is in 23rd position. Liverpool occupies last place in a ranking of 61 European cities. More

Companies vote Leipzig the most
business-friendly German city

The prestigious Bertelsmann Foundation has followed up its survey of the relative attractiveness to business of German states with a second survey comparing the perception among the business population of how business-orientated the 25 largest German cities are. Leipzig, in former East Germany, was voted the best German business city, while Germany's traditional economic power houses, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Berlin, will need to do better as far as German business is concerned. More

US cities cut civic services and
staff to confront financial crisis

As a result of an increasing squeeze on municipal budgets, many US cities and towns are cutting staff and services and increasing fees, according to survey of 328 cities by the National League of Cities (NLC), the oldest and largest organization representing US cities. More

Canada to become the world’s
number one business location

Canada will be the best country in the world in which to conduct business over the next five years, according to the latest business environment rankings from the London based Economist Intelligence Unit. Canada assumes the top position for the first time and displaces the Netherlands, which had previously headed the rankings. More

Hamburg leads German location index
but southern states are catching up

Germany’s northern city state of Hamburg remains on top of the current Bertelsmann ranking of German business locations. The east German states of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt occupy the bottom two places More

German cities dominate the
international trade fair market

German cities like Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Munich, Cologne, Berlin, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Essen, Leipzig and Hamburg host the world's leading trade fairs in an astonishing number of industrial and service sectors. In fact, two-thirds of the leading international fairs are hosted in Germany. In Cologne, the international food industry gathers each year for the Anuga fair. In Berlin, the tourism industry swaps shop secrets at the ITB fair, and consumer electronics-makers swap gizmos and cut deals at the IFA. Frankfurt is home to the world's largest publishing industry event, the Frankfurt Book Fair. More



If you think your mayor is among the best in the world, nominate him or her now for the 2014 World Mayor Prize


World Mayor 2014:
Candidates sought

The City Mayors Foundation invites you to nominate a candidate for the 2014 World Mayor Prize. The Prize is awarded every two years to a mayor who has made outstanding contributions to his / her community and has developed a vision for urban living and working that is relevant to towns and cities across the world.

Previous winners and runners-up include the mayors of Bilbao, Perth, Mexico City, Oklahoma City, Cape Town, Zurich, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Athens, Mississauga and Tirana. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

During the first round, suitable candidates may be suggested until the middle of May 2014. A shortlist of 25 nominees will be announced in June.

Please nominate your candidate for World Mayor 2014 now.