Global Power City Index
The first Japan-based comprehensive ranking
survey of the major world cities



Under severe global competition among cities, the Global Power City Index evaluates and ranks the "Comprehensive Power" of the major cities in the world with a very unique method developed by the Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation. There is an assumption that the integration of variety of powers that attract creative people and companies from all over the world is the "Comprehensive Power of a city."

Global Power City Index is the first ranking survey for international cities undertaken in Japan. 40 major cities in the world are selected and evaluated based on 70 indicators of city function in six main functions representing city strength such as "Economy," "Research and Development," "Cultural Interaction," "Livability," "Environment," and "Accessibility." Furthermore, evaluation is carried out from the view points of four global actors who are leading the urban activities in their cities such as "Manager," "Researcher," "Artist," and "Visitor" and one local actor, "Resident." A matrix composing city actors and city function indicators is created and the evaluation is carried out in multiple methods. This research is very unique in the world that evaluates cities from both subjective and objective perspectives, based on city functions and city actors.

This research is carried out with the involvement of academics such as Sir Perter Hall, a global authority in city planning, as well as Dr. Richard Bender, Dr. Saskia Sassen, and other renowned international scholars. Peer review by third parties are carried out as well to maintain the fairness of the ranking.

The Cities

5 cities are newly added in the GPCI-2012.
(Barcelona, Stockholm, Istanbul, Washington, D.C., Mexico City)

GPCI-2012 Comprehensive Ranking Top 5

  • London

  • New York

  • Paris

  • Tokyo

  • Singapore

Function-specific Comprehensive Ranking

London, New York, Paris and Tokyo are ranked as the top four cities respectively in the function-specific comprehensive ranking for 2012. Since 2008, when the GPCI first started, New York has always ranked first, but loses its crown this year to London, which now ranks first overall.
However, this does not mean that New York’s comprehensive power has declined. New York has maintained the same standard in all indicators as last year, but London, which was previously comparable to New York in the rankings, has increased significantly giving it an advantage over New York in the overall ranking.
This is due to the improvements made to London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. An increase in the number of international conferences and other Olympic related pre-events held by the city an aided by the government, improvements made to facilities and accommodation and actively attracting foreign visitors to the city is all reflected in the data.
Within the top four below New York, Paris and Tokyo remain in the same positions as last year. The gap between Singapore, ranked No.5, and the top four still remains substantial.
Looking at the cities that rank below No. 4, two clear trends emerge: the continuing growth of Asian cities and the decline of North American cities, except for New York. This decline is most clearly seen in the slowing down on economic growth. In the 2012 edition of the GPCI, the indicator groups have been revised and more weight placed in the function of “Economy” and less in “Research and Development”. As North American cities previously scored highly in “Research and Development”, the current emphasis on economic function sees their rankings suffer.

Institute for Urban Strategies
The Mori Memorial Foundation
Yasuyuki Miwa, Chiharu Hirota
Email: gpci@mori-m-foundation.or.jp

Link to the GPCI previous reports