To get that answer, it’s a matter of asking thousands of people around the world the right questions, and leading advisor Simon Anholt and global research firm GMI have done just that through the Anholt City Brands Index.
Here are their six categories of questions, and the kinds of questions any city should ask of itself:
Presence – a city’s international status and standing – How important is this city to the world? Is there a reason to visit there?
Place – a city’s beauty, climate and other physical attributes – Is it nice to be here, is it beautiful?
Potential – a city’s economic and educational opportunities – What’s in it for me as far as jobs and education? What are the economic benefits?
Pulse – a city’s urban appeal and lifestyle – Is this city a fun place to be? Will I get bored?
People – a city’s friendliness, openness, cultural diversification and safety – Are people warm and friendly, is it safe, are there communities where I would fit in?
Prerequisites – a city’s basic qualities, including hotels, schools, public transport and sports. Does the city work on the most basic service levels?
Here’s how 30 pre-selected cities rank among one another based on these categories of questions:
1. London (pictured)
7. New York
8. Los Angeles
11. San Francisco
21. Hong Kong
23. Rio de Janeiro
25. Mexico City