Tokyo, Sydney and Copenhagen Ranked Most Reputable Cities in World’s Largest Survey of Global Perceptions

Tokyo,  Sydney  and  Copenhagen  claimed  the  top  three spots as the world’s most reputable cities in Reputation  Institute’s  2018 City RepTrak®, the world’s   largest   annual   survey   of  city  reputation.   These   cities   are  joined   by  Vienna, Stockholm and Venice, collectively comprising six cities with excellent reputations  this year. This is an increase  from only two cities with excellent  reputations  in 2017, as the factors that drive desirability and reputation become increasingly competitive. 

Study  results  demonstrate  significant  changes  in  city  rankings  compared  with  last  year. Tokyo rose 11 spots in the ranks from 2017 to become the most reputable city in the world this year. It led the way in key drivers of city reputation,  featuring  strongly on 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 implementations 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 ten cities in the 2018 City RepTrak are:  

  1. Tokyo
  2. Sydney
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Vienna
  5. Stockholm
  6. Venice
  7. Rome
  8. Zurich
  9. Munich
  10. Montreal

Among reputation  leaders, Copenhagen  is recognized  this year as the world’s safest city. In reputation  rankings,  it is #1 for the safest  environment  for residents  and tourists,  #2 for well-developed political and legal institutions, and #3 for progressive policies. 

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 organize 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 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   cities   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% 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.

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 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.” 

The  top  three  key  attributes  driving  city  reputation  in  2018  are  safety,  beauty  and leadership, which together comprise 32.7% of a city’s reputation.

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