As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease, more residents are moving between cities—50% of urban residents have already relocated to a new city, and 48% are considering moving in the future. These are among the findings of the latest Cities of Choice report released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
“Relocating is easier now than ever before. The challenge for urban leaders is to determine what makes their residents happy so they can retain current residents and attract new ones,” said Vladislav Boutenko, a BCG managing director and senior partner, and a coauthor of the report. “To do this, urban leaders need to delve into the nuances of how their city works best—or doesn’t.”
“Gone are the days when citizens had no choice but to stick to the cities they knew well. With increased mobility and opportunities, cities will compete with each other to grow. City leaders will have to understand the multi-faceted needs of liveability of different segments of population and continuously up the game.
Factors like climate resilience will increasingly become important as residents consciously make choices to mitigate uncertainty” said Suresh Subudhi, Managing Director and Senior Partner, and BCG’s Global Leader: Travel, Cities & Infrastructure Practice.
London and New York rank number one and two as the most desirable megacenters to live in, repeating their performance from BCG’s 2021 Cities of Choice report. While the two cities performed well in terms of economic opportunities, quality of life, social capital, and interactions with authorities, they scored lower on speed of change, signalling their top spots could be vulnerable in the coming years. As a group, however, megacenters—defined by their populations of more than 10 million people—showed below-average results in the economic opportunities dimension.
For cities with an urban population of more than 3 million people, Washington, DC, Singapore, and San Francisco emerged as the group’s leaders. While cruiser weight cities have higher scores in the interactions-with-authorities dimension, they did not fare as well in dimensions such as social capital and speed of change.
As a group, middleweight cities—defined as medium-sized cities with an urban population of less than 3 million people—performed the best, with 18 of the 28 cities receiving overall scores above-the-median score. With Copenhagen, Vienna, and Amsterdam taking the top three spots, middleweight cities stand out for receiving high quality-of-life scores.
The cities, characterized by their high growth rate and rapid urbanization, can be distinctly identified for their high speed of change but lower quality of life. Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi lead this group.