Australia boasts two of the world’s most reputable cities, with both Sydney and Melbourne ranking in the top 10 of this year’s global 2012 City Reputation Index, compiled by Australian research consultants AMR and the Reputation Institute.

For the second year running, Sydney ranked third overall in the Index, edged out only by Vancouver and Vienna. Melbourne ranked 10th overall according to the research, which surveyed the attitudes of more than 18,500 people1 among G8 nations to 100 cities selected from 60 countries across the globe.

This year Sydney was ranked as the third best place in the world to live and second best place to work. Both Melbourne and Sydney were ranked in the top 10 of all cities across the globe for having progressive social, economic and environmental policies.

The survey also revealed that among G8 residents, Sydney and Melbourne are well known iconic Australian cities. By comparison, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide – which were added into the Index for the first time this year – are relatively unknown with only one in five respondents ‘somewhat’ or ‘very familiar’ with these cities.

AMR’s Reputation Practice Director and Managing Director, Oliver Freedman, said that despite this low awareness, of those that are familiar, perceptions of these cities are “very positive”, with Brisbane ranking 32nd, Perth 33rd and Adelaide 35th overall.

“This result demonstrates that our cities have a strong platform of positive attitude to build upon. As awareness of our cities grows among these leading nations, so too will their reputations. It presents a fantastic opportunity for city marketers to capitalise on these beliefs,” he explained.

Freedman added that having a strong reputation is crucial to ensuring continued advocacy. “To be seen by residents of the world’s leading nations as a good place to visit, work, live, invest and do business bodes well for any future plans to promote Australia both as a tourist and business based destination,” he said.

UNSW Economics Professor and author of The Airport Economist Tim Harcourt said the results were “good news” for Australian cities.

“This is welcome news because doing business on an international scale is as much about urbanisation as globalisation. Having open functioning cities that are easy to do business in and live in really matters in terms of economic competitiveness,” he said. 

“As a federation, Australia needs a number of cities with global access and outlook to succeed. Sydney alone can’t do all the heavy lifting so this survey is good news.”

Freedman said each city’s ranking was based on a range of dimensions, including culture, physical beauty, infrastructure, leaders, business environment, safety, financial stability and technology, among those residents familiar with the cities.

Other specific attribute measurements showed:

  • Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne ranked in the top 10, and Perth ranked 12th for offering a safe environment for both visitors and residents alike.
  • Sydney ranked in the top 10 for being an enjoyable city, and for having quality goods and services; it is also viewed as being financially stable, ranking fourth for this particular attribute
  • Adelaide ranked 11th for its ‘progressive social, economic and environmental policies’.
  • Italy boasts the top three cities for physical beauty, with Florence, Venice and Rome rating highest among all cities included

Other overall ranking results:

  • Auckland’s reputation proved strong coming in at 24th this year
  • Other cities included in the top 10 include Copenhagen, Oslo, Barcelona, Florence, Venice Stockholm (4th- 9th respectively – Melbourne ranking 10th)
  • Tehran and Baghdad posted the lowest rankings, coming in 99th and 100th respectively

About the study:

The global City Reputation Index is compiled by the Reputation Institute in conjunction with AMR. It is based on research collated online, surveying more than 18,500 residents in G8 countries; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, and US. People were excluded from rating cities located within their own country of residence. 100 cities were selected to be part of the study on the basis of a range of factors that include:

  • largest populations
  • largest gross domestic product or GDP; and
  • cities which enjoy the highest amounts of tourism

About AMR:

One of Australia’s leading research consultancies, AMR regularly conducts reputation studies on corporations, countries and cities. AMR gathers in-depth data and provides insight into reputation, and how it is measured and valued both in Australia and across the world. AMR is part of STW Communications Group, Australia’s leading marketing content and communications services group.