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.

Cities, Business and Capital: We help Companies and Investors optimise the way they engage with cities

We help global businesses, urban service providers, investors and asset owners to develop strategies for growth in cities. We advise our clients on how to enhance market penetration in cities, optimise their approach to diversification, and build a strong narrative and brand alliance in and with cities. Companies we have worked with to do this include Microsoft, Capgemini, Airbnb, Blackrock, JP Morgan and Siemens.

City and Regional Benchmarking: we provide advanced comparative analysis of urban performance

We provide cities, metropolitan areas, district locations and globalising companies with unique city benchmarking services. We combine a database of more than 500 indices and benchmarks, with a customised platform of performance metrics, real-time data and perception tracking. Over the past five years we have used benchmarking intelligence to inform and advise more than 50 cities and regions spanning six continents. All of our work is designed for your specific needs - no two projects are the same.

City Leadership, Governance and Reforms: we advise on strategy, institution-building and reform processes

We help to design governance for metropolitan areas. We chair and convene advisory boards around cities’ big strategic questions. We supply a unique evidence base of customised global case studies 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