Who We Are

Co-founded in 2008, The Business of Cities is an urban intelligence firm working with more than 100 cities and companies worldwide each year. We are headquartered in central London, with partners and associates in four continents.

Our core mission is to partner the power of business with the magic of cities. Good urbanisation is the cradle of innovation, social connection, rich experience, and responsible stewardship of our planet. We support city leaders and urban investors to play their part, by providing them with the advice, the strategy, the benchmarks, the narrative and the global practice insights they need.

Urban Investment: We partner city leaders and urban investors

We help global businesses, providers of urban services, scale investors and asset owners to succeed in cities. We advise on how to look at urban markets, target the right cities, find the right partners, and build brand alliances. Companies we have worked with to do this include Microsoft, Capgemini, HSBC, Airbnb, Blackrock, JP Morgan and Siemens.

Global benchmarking: advanced analytics of urban performance

We provide cities, regions, districts and their advocates with world-leading benchmarking services. We harness the insights of 1000+ indices, with real-time data and perception tracking. Our benchmarking intelligence has been used by 120 cities, featured in over 100 media outlets, and informed national and international strategies at all levels of government.

Leadership Strategy: for governments and place partnerships

We support leaders in cities to amplify their strategy and design the right governance. We chair and convene advisory boards around cities' big questions. We supply a unique evidence base of global lessons to learn from. We work with cities across the spectrum, from Malmö to Mumbai, from Bogota to Brisbane.

City Identity, Reputation and Visibility: we help cities distil and communicate their unique DNA

We provide cities and regions with the tools to shift from short-term branding exercises towards a balanced and compelling identity and narrative. We provide analysis of external perceptions, strategies to grow visibility and confidence, and guidance on how to develop stakeholder alliances.

Examples of cities we have worked with include Atlanta, Barcelona, London, Oslo, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Sydney.


Our team writes and publishes think pieces, benchmarking studies, peer-reviewed research, multi-volume reports, and books. We welcome invitations to commission us to write or co-create a paper for publication.

A Selection of Our Clients and Partners