Beijing in the World City Rankings
Globalization and World Cities Research Network study Beijing is an Alpha + city, comparable to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, and Dubai.
According to the A.T. Kearney 2012 Rankings, Beijing is 14th, between Vienna and Boston, and ranks higher (6th) in the indicator for business activity. It also falls most positively on their grid of High Potential and Low Vulnerability, high in both of these measures. This is because: "A thriving economy, a growing middle class, and infrastructure investments are likely to continue pushing Chinese cities toward a larger global presence".
Where Beijing fails is in indicators of livability, with its world famous pollution making it rank lowest among 40 world cities in habitability, according to The South China Morning Post. This is a major concern and the pollution issues have caused people to leave the city and lower levels of tourism.
What these rankings show is that Beijing is a global city on the rise. There are significant problems in livability, but in terms of power and economic stability Beijing's global influence will continue to grow. Will it continue to climb the rankings and into the top 10, or will its problems pull it down. . . my guess is that business stability and power will win out and Beijing (and Shanghai as well) will ascend to top spots in the next decade.
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