City & Regional Benchmarking

We provide benchmarking services to investors, cities, regions and district locations in more than 30 countries. Click here to download our benchmarking services primer.

Over the last decade we have developed a unique set of tools with which to compare urban performance, competitiveness, and future growth management and capacity. With our partners at JLL, we have jointly published the leading global review of city rankings, indexes, comparative assessments and surveys every 2 years.

Our benchmarking approach is informed by

  • more than 500 recognised public benchmarks of city performance and perception
  • frontier datasets that track urban and metropolitan flows, innovation, connectivity and reputation in real-time
  • our experience working with teams at the world's top urban analytics centres to solve common methodological and conceptual dilemmas about how to measure city performance

How Does Our Benchmarking Help Our Clients?

  • provides a neutral and external evidence base of how a city (or group of cities) is really performing
  • offers insights on how and why cities are moving, winning, stagnating, or recovering
  • informs strategic priorities for governments and investors
  • acts as a source of advocacy for negotiations with higher tiers of government
  • underpins a promotional prospectus or narrative that can engage prospective investors, talent and visitors.

The Benchmarking Services We Provide

  1. We help cities to understand and address their performance in global rankings and benchmarks
  2. We help regions and larger metropolitan areas to audit their perfomance, assets and tools against their global peers.
  3. We enable national governments and industry bodies to review how their nation's cities perform in comparative and international Perspective
  4. We advise cities and regions how they can become more visible in global benchmarks and identify opportunities to improve.
  5. We provide businesses and investors with customised benchmarking of groups of cities identified for business development purposes
  6. We help districts and projects to assess the relative maturity of their location and to assess their current or future impact on citywide performance and rankings
  7. We guide developers of new and established city rankings on how to optimise their analytical framework, and how to develop influence and traction with target global audiences.

See more detail on each of the 7 services in turn below.

1. What do the World's City Rankings and Benchmarks Tell Us About Our City?

Our database of more than 500 global benchmarks spans more than 750 cities worldwide, and provides unique insight into how cities perform comparatively against others globally.

We provide short and long-form reports that evaluate current performance and outlook in more than 20 subject areas critical to long-term success. Our database stretches back over the last 25 years and also provides a lens on the likely evolution of a city's competitiveness over the next 10-15 years.

We have produced benchmarking analysis for more than 80 cities, including Istanbul, Milan, Mumbai, Newcastle, Santiago and Toronto.

2. How is Our Region Performing Against Places Similar to us Around The World? How do its Assets, Tools, Governance and Investment Compare?

Our agile and wide ranging datasets are equipped to help larger metropolitan areas and multi-city regions to measure themselves as a single combined unit. This is becoming more important as the megatrends of urbanisation, technology disruption and capital flows concentrate opportunities in globally competitive metropolitan regions.

Our benchmarking responds to the customised needs and geographies of each region. It not only helps these regions understand their strengths and challenges in a global perspective. It also supports internal collaboration, external promotion of collective strengths, and advocacy to higher tiers of government.

We have worked for regions such as South East Queensland (Brisbane-Gold Coast-Sunshine Coast), the Holland Metropole (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht-The Hague-Eindhoven), and Western Scandinavia (Oslo-Gothenburg-Malmo-Copenhagen).

3. How are Our Nation's Cities performing in a Global Context?

Our benchmarking helps National Governments, Industry Associations and other Organisations to assess how well their nation's cities perform as a group, versus other groups or 'systems' of cities in other countries.

We analyse how a country's cities compare in terms of population, economic specialisation, infrastructure, connectivity, density, skills, governance, fiscal capability, and future growth trajectory, and many other areas. Our approach helps our clients to look beyond national horizons and spot common advantages and imperatives for their cities.

4. What does Benchmarking Reveal about Which Cities to Prioritise or Invest In?

Benchmarking is a useful tool for companies seeking to develop a 'filter' for cities that meet a certain set of core criteria, whether as places to invest, locations for market development, or as opportunities for client relationships, recruitment or branding.

We help companies to develop a set of preferred or 'target' cities based on very customised criteria. We also provide deep-dive analysis on cities that have been identified for further attention.

5. How can Our City or Region Become More Visible and Successful in the Global Rankings?

We advise teams in City Marketing and Economic Development Organisations about how to enhance their city's visibility in influential global rankings and benchmarks.

We also provide insight and an evidence base to help these clients target the right indexes that align with their strategic goals, and to establish new high quality rankings and benchmarking clubs that promote the advantages of their city and region.

6. How Does My District or Project Impact on the City's Performance? How does it Compare Globally?

We help major City-Shaping Projects such as 2nd CBDs, Innovation Districts, Cultural Districts, Airports, Ports and Urban Transformation Schemes to benchmark their progress and potential against their peer locations around the world.

We also provide insight and evidence base for the current and future impacts of these projects on their city's overall performance and rankings, based on our unique knowledge of the benchmarks and the projects underway in other cities.

7. How can we Develop and Improve our City Index?

With over 10 years analysing over 500 of the world's city indexes and benchmarks, our team provides advice to developers of new and established indexes seeking to optimise their accuracy and impact.

We help teams at think tanks, global companies and inter-governmental bodies to build and refine their approach in order to respond to changing trends, maximise their policy relevance, and achieve impact with target audiences.

Read our Benchmarking Report for Sydney

In September 2018, Committee for Sydney published the 3rd edition of our analysis of Sydney's performance across all global benchmarks. The new edition observes the remarkable cycle of growth and demand that has propelled Australia's largest metropolis to become a global contender. It also spotlights areas around the city's famed liveability, quality of place, and identity, that require attention in order to sustain Sydney's progress.

Dr Tim Moonen discusses City Performance with JLL's Jeremy Kelly

Tim picks out a few highlights from the report Decoding City Performance, published in collaboration with JLL, including the emergence of Seoul and the rise of benchmarks that assess how well cities manage their growth challenges.