Cities of Opportunity

by | May 31, 2017 | Cost of Living & Economy

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – Tonight I attended an event that MOCA Cleveland (Museum of Contemporary Art) hosted called The Land of Opportunity, featuring several members of MOCA’s Business Innovation Committee (who knew an art museum had such a thing!). Using PwC’s Cities of Opportunity annual report (7th edition) to outline what makes cities around the world the places that people want to relocate to a city, visit or do business in a city.
PwC created a list of criteria they believe makes a city a great place to live including:

  • Intellectual capital and innovation: Public libraries, math/science skills, percentage of population with higher education, world university rankings, innovation cities index, intellectural property protection, entrepreneurial environment
  • Technology readiness: Internet access in schools, broadband quality score, mobile broadband speed, ICT usage, software development and multi-media design, digital security
  • City gateway: Hotel rooms, international tourists, international association meetings hosted, incoming/outgoing passenger flows, world top 100 airports, airport to central business district access, airport connectivity
  • Transportation & infrastructure: Mass transit coverage, affordability of public transport, licensed taxis, major construction activity, housing, traffic congestion, ease of commute
  • Health, safety & security: Road safety, health system performance, end-of-life care, crime, political environment, secruity and disease risk
  • Sustainability & the natural environment: Natural disaster exposure and preparedness, thermal comfort, recycled waste, air pollution, public park space, water-related business risk
  • Demographics & livability: Entertainment and attractions, quality of living, working age population, city brand, relocation attractiveness, senior wellbeing, YouthfulCities Index
  • Economic clout: Number of global Fortune 500 headquarters, employement growth, financial and business services employment, attracting FDI, productivity, rate of GDP growth
  • Ease of doing business: Ease of starting a business, resolving insolvency, ease of entry (VISA waiver), number of foreign embassies and consulates, level of minority sharehold protection, operational risk climate, workforce management risk, tax efficiency (corporate and individual taxes)
  • Cost: Corporate total tax rate, personal tax, cost of business occupancy, cost of living, purchasing power, affordability of rent

Working with almost 150 families each year who are considering a job offer that would require them to move to Northeast Ohio, we hear questions related to these criteria every day. One of the questions PwC used to determine “relocation attractiveness” was to poll thousands of their employees all over the world and ask them if they were to relocate to any city in the world to work for PwC, which city would they choose, and then tossed those real life numbers in to the mix.
Based on these criteria, London was ranked #1 in the world. But the report was issued before Brexit happened, and it will be anyone’s guess if London captures that top spot again next year as changes begin to happen. The rest of the top 10 were:
2. Singapore
3. Toronto
4. Paris
5. Amsterdam
6. New York City
7. Stockholm
8. San Francisco
9. Hong Kong
10. Sydney
And, on the panel to share their insights into whether Cleveland is moving in the right direction to become a City of Opportunity itself was Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, which is dedicated to attracting immigrants to our city and providing them with opportunities; Debbie Read, Managing Partner at Thompson Hine law firm, Andrew Yang, founder and CEO of Venture for America who introduced half a dozen recent college grads in the audience who are all working for start ups in Cleveland through fellowships with the Cleveland chapter of his non-profit. The discussion was moderated by New York based PriceWaterhouseCoopers Partner, Mitch Roschelle.
A factoid that I loved…numbers show that artists and entrepreneurs contribute equally to the economic vitality of a neighborhood, and urban places should work equally hard to attract both! Cleveland definitely is a city that understands the value of arts to a thriving, desirable community. So many of our local businesses are devoted to sponsoring not only business opportunities in the region but also artistic opportunities.
Every week, staff members from Executive Arrangements attend thought provoking gatherings like this one so that we have the latest information not only on our region, but on how the rest of the world sees our region so that we are sharing honest, quality information with the executives we are hired to woo to Cleveland or Akron. The global competition for top talent is strong, and EA helps NE Ohio businesses and non-profits stand out in a crowded marketplace by carefully matching the needs and interests of the candidate and their family to the quality of life in our region. Interested in how we can help your organization attract and retain talent? Call us at 216.231.9311.