City benchmarking and indexes

The Business of Cities is one of the leading exponents of comparative city benchmarking. Since 2009, we have published bi-annual syntheses of over 100 international indexes, research assessments and surveys to help track city trends, economic and investment patterns, and the effects of political or regulatory changes. Our database of individual indexes now exceeds 160, covering over 800 cities.

Benchmarking city performance – whether in terms of investment, visitors, brand, international students, innovation or commuting – helps inform and crystallise the ingredients of city success over long time frames. When used and applied carefully, they provide valuable indicators of fundamental processes taking place at the city level: governance, strategy, vision and investor open-ness.

Our vigilant benchmarking research has yielded many key insights into the emerging global urban system; the rise of the ‘Big Six’ global cities; competition among high-quality ‘middleweight’ cities; polarisation among Asian megacities; and a new order in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Since 2009 the Business of Cities has provided over 25 diagnostic assessments to individual cities, and provides support to government and corporate organisations that seek to create their own public or in-house benchmarking tools.

Learn More: