An Inside Look at Europe’s Coolest Cities

You’ve seen lots of rankings of cool cities based on opinions, but the city of Hamburg, Germany took it a little more seriously on behalf of their own cause and hired a firm to find out just which of the European cities were indeed the coolest and the best at attracting the creative class, now and in the future. Here’s their list of the top five, profiled in Spiegel, leading European news site:

Copenhagen This beautiful, progressive city enjoys a GDP of $76,000/capita and population growth of 3.1% thanks to lots of new patents and knowledge economy workers (62.5%), a high portion of Denmark’s students (11.6%) compared to its total population, $370 million in venture capital for startups, and tax breaks for research investment.

Barcelona is a city on the rise, long popular with creatives and a reputation for tolerance. It’s GDP/capita is only $31,000, but it’s popularity is increasing. Polish engineers consistently named Barcelona as the city they’d move to, and the creative classes make up a whopping 43.9% of all workers.

Dublin It’s no surprise Dublin has a GDP of $66,000/capita with 7% population growth given that Ireland is the second largest software exporter in the world after the U.S. and its median age downtown is something like 25, though with a modest 36.9% creative class population. It’s also profiting from newly joining the European Union.

Amsterdam Everyone knows Amsterdam (top image) is synonymous with ‘tolerance’, and that’s a huge draw for creatives, which amount to an amazing 47.1% of the workforce, translating to a GDP per capita of $66,000 with 5.6% population growth in the cosmopolitan mecca.

Vienna’s per capita GDP is $55,000, but it only has 0.4% growth as it’s still transitioning from the fall of communism. It has a bright outlook with the Richard Florida three T’s of talent, technology and tolerance with 42% of its workforce in the creative class. However, Spiegel decided to replace Vienna in the top five with…

Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn residents are vastly internet savvy, in large part since internet access costs residents almost nothing. With its beautiful urban fabric (lower two images), that adds up to a pretty powerful magnet for creatives and entrepreneurial growth.

Thanks to Braulio Agnese of Architect Magazine for the reference.

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