A view of Beijing Photo: VCG
The 2020 Global Cities Report, released by global strategy and management consulting firm Kearney on Wednesday, presented the Global Cities Index (GCI) and the Global Cities Outlook (GCO), which together provided a comprehensive analysis of cities' positions and future prospects.
In GCI report, Beijing unseated Hong Kong from its long-held top-five position, a change in the rankings of top five cities for the first time since 2008. Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing also saw significant rise in rankings.
The most striking change in the GCI report is Beijing's rise to displace Hong Kong among the top five global cities, benefiting from combining stability and growth with aggressive investments in human capital and improvement in entrepreneurship and innovation, said the report.
The GCI report also shows Shanghai made a significant jump in ranking, thanks to its scores on entrepreneurship and innovation, which incorporated a new metric of the number of unicorn companies in the city.
New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo still retained their top four places in the GCI report. Their enduring strength highlights the breadth of advantages needed to reach and stay at the top, and the self-reinforcing power of global city status, said the report.
The change in the GCO report is much more dynamic. While London maintained its first place in 2020, other cities rose or fell in the rankings. Tokyo's consistently high scores in personal well-being took it up 2 places to number 4 and Abu Dhabi jumped 13 places to number 7, driven by long-term investments in economic performance and diversification.
The GCO report also shows that cities in China and the Middle East are rapidly catching up with their European and North American peers.
"China has made excellent response to COVID-19 pandemic in full consideration of the country's situation. We believe Chinese cities will deliver even stronger performance in the coming year with effective control over the pandemic and the rapid progress in work resumption," said Jefferson Wang, Global Partner and Head of Kearney Greater China Government & Economics Development Practice.
"We also hope that as the epidemic has been brought under control, the development experience of Chinese cities can be used as a reference for other global cities," said Wang.