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14.06.2017 14:00

Europe and the US have the “smartest” cities, according to IESE’s Cities in Motion Index

Dorothee von Canstein IESE International Communications
IESE Business School GgmbH (Campus Munich)

    - New York, London and Paris hold the first three spots, scoring highly in almost all of the dimensions. However, social cohesion remains an unresolved matter.

    - Both the US and Europe have four cities each in the top ten in this fourth edition of the Index. Seoul and Tokyo complete the list.

    - The ranking aims to be a tool for mayors, city managers, companies and interest groups that want to improve the quality of life of city residents

    MUNICH, June 14, 2017. – New York, London and Paris top the fourth edition of IESE’s Cities in Motion Index (CIMI), with top qualifications in almost all criteria used in the index. New York is the world’s most important economic center, ranking first in this dimension, and is in second place in Technology. London tops the Mobility and Transportation and the Human Capital dimensions, being the city with the highest number of business schools and universities, while also standing out in International Impact (2nd). First in International Impact, Paris proves the world’s most popular tourist destination.

    This annual study, which has one of the largest ranges of data analyzed and geographical coverage, goes beyond the mere measuring of technology and the environment, to examine all aspects that make up sustainability and quality of life in 180 key world cities in 80 countries.

    IESE professors Joan Enric Ricart and Pascual Berrone used 79 indicators, which cover the following ten dimensions: Governance (effectiveness of state intervention), Urban Planning, Public Management (administration’s efficiency), International Impact (tourism and foreign investments), Environment, Technology, Social Cohesion (consensus among the different social groups in a city), Mobility and Transportation (ease of movement and access to public services), Human Capital (developing, attracting and nurturing talent), and Economy (economic development.)

    Rounding out the top 10 are three other American cities (Boston 4th, San Francisco 5th, and Washington, D.C. 6th), two other European cities (Berlin 9th and Amsterdam 10th), and Seoul (7th) and Tokyo (8th). The two cities with the lowest ranking are Lagos (Nigeria) and Karachi (Pakistan). They both show a poor performance in almost every dimension of the ranking.

    According to IESE Prof. Berrone, “globalization combined with a higher population moving toward cities is generating new challenges that put the sustainability of cities at risk. Some of the new problems include population aging, refugees, inequality, pollution and energy inefficiency. They are all complex problems that require cities to review their strategies, decide their priorities and determine what they want to become. Moreover, the transformation of a city is not an individual´s undertaking but a collective endeavour, so collaboration with different social partners (public, private, educational institutions, non-profit organizations) is essential”.


    This fourth edition of the Index has improved its accuracy and fine-tuned year-over-year comparability (introducing more indicators and refining the statistical methodology.) The aim is to generate a tool for mayors, city managers, companies and interest groups that want to improve the quality of life of city residents.

    Top ten list

    1. New York City
    2. London
    3. Paris
    4. Boston
    5. San Francisco
    6. Washington, D.C.
    7. Seoul
    8. Tokyo
    9. Berlin
    10. Amsterdam

    About IESE Cities in Motion

    IESE Cities in Motion Strategies is a research platform launched jointly by the Center for Globalization and Strategy and the Department of Strategy of the IESE Business School.

    Led by IESE Profs. Pascual Berrone, holder of the Schneider Electric of Sustainability and Strategy Chair, and Joan Enric Ricart, holder of the Carl Schroeder Chair of Strategic Management, the initiative unites a worldwide network of experts on cities and specialized private companies with local administrations from around the world. The main objective is to develop valuable ideas and innovative tools that can lead to more sustainable, smarter cities and promote changes at the local level. More info here:

    About IESE Business School

    IESE, the business management school of the University of Navarra, offers formation for executives in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Founded in 1958, the school is committed to forming leaders who can have a deep, positive and lasting impression on people, companies and society thanks to their professionalism, integrity and spirit of service. Throughout its more than 50 years, IESE has received numerous recognitions at the international level for its teaching and research work.

    attachment icon Cities in Motion Index 2017

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