The global survey found that cities that successfully manage their reputations and improve their scores, gain most support from stakeholders
Tokyo is the most reputable city in the world, followed by Sydney and Copenhagen, according to Reputation Institute’s 2018 City RepTrak ranking.
The top three were followed by Vienna, Stockholm and Venice with all six judged as having ‘excellent’ reputations this year, an increase from only two cities considered excellent in 2017.
The survey ranks the world’s 56 most reputable cities based on levels of trust, esteem, admiration and respect. Perceptions regarding 13 attributes are grouped into three dimensions: advanced economy, effective government and appealing environment. Cities with strong reputations are perceived positively in all three dimensions.
The top three key attributes driving city reputation in 2018 are safety, beauty and leadership, which together comprise 32.7 per cent of a city’s reputation. The survey was based on more than 12,044 individual ratings, collected in the G8 countries.
Study results demonstrate significant changes in city rankings compared with last year. Tokyo rose 11 spots in the ranks to claim the top spot, leading the way in key drivers of city reputation, featuring strongly when it came to perceptions of the most respected leaders, effective government and safe environment.
According to the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, the best approach to city leadership is, “not to rely on the status quo, but to seek change and reform constantly…change in order to preserve.”
In testament to this approach since being elected to office in 2016, Koike has spearheaded city-wide reform implementation to yield elevated success and earn Tokyo the top spot.
Six cities are new to the top 10 in 2018, as Sydney, Copenhagen, Vienna and Stockholm were the only cities still in the top 10 from last year. The top 10 cities in the 2018 City RepTrak are:
Among reputation leaders, Copenhagen is recognised this year as the world’s safest city. In reputation rankings, it is number one for the safest environment for residents and tourists, number two for well-developed political and legal institutions, and number three for progressive policies.
“Fostering and developing an effective government is the most important priority for cities to attain a strong reputation”
Cities that successfully manage their reputations and improve their scores are gaining the most support across stakeholders. This is critical for local policymakers and city-wide leaders concerned about tourism, relocation and investment.
The results revealed in the 2018 City RepTrak show that cities with the highest reputations are attracting the most visitors, gain the greatest support from their stakeholders, including intentions to live, work, invest and organise and attend events in the locations.
“The competition for city reputation as the foundation for attracting businesses, a talented workforce and tourists, is only becoming more intense,” said Enrique Johnson, managing director, Spain and LATAM at Reputation Institute.
“Fostering and developing an effective government is the most important priority for cities to attain a strong reputation. Cities must promote safety, beauty and leadership, which are key attributes driving city reputation and stakeholder support.”
Along with cities that are successfully managing their reputation, many are experiencing challenges this year. Reputation is declining across cities overall, and the decline in city reputation (-1.1 pulse points) translates to a drop-in stakeholder support of (-3.4 per cent points).
Moscow is this year’s least reputable city, but maintains a strong reputation among the Russian population. Mexico City is perceived as the least safe city, following its most violent first quarter in the past two decades.
“Underlying feelings of geopolitical tension, nationalism and social unrest contribute to city reputation”
For the first time in seven years, safety surpassed beauty as the premier attribute driving reputation.
“This year’s pivotal switch between beauty and safety as the most important attribute is a sign of the current socio-political landscape shaping cities,” said Oliver Freedman, managing director, Australia and New Zealand at Reputation Institute.
“City reputation is comprised of more than just fiscal growth. Underlying feelings of geopolitical tension, nationalism and social unrest contribute to city reputation.”
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