The Business of Cities regularly produce strategy and thought leadership reports for publication in partnership with cities, global businesses, development banks and convening organisations such as the Connected Places Catapult, JLL and Oslo Business Region among others. See below for our full list of publications.

The team has also published two books: A Short History of Global Cities (Brookings Press), and World Cities and Nation States (Wiley).

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Auckland State of the City launched

Launched in collaboration with Committee for Auckland, Deloitte and Tataki Auckland Unlimited, this first state of the city report provides the city’s policy and business community with a fresh look at Auckland’s all-round competitiveness and performance.

Partnership with World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Cities of Tomorrow

Delivering better cities relies on sharper urban data for decision-making, communication and monitoring. This collaboration helps to unpack what cities, investors and data providers can do differently.

India-UK city-to-city partnerships to decarbonise

Innovation partnerships between India and the UK offer huge promise to

Benchmarking Melbourne 2023 launched with Committee for Melbourne and Lord Mayor

In the second annual edition, this report measures Melbourne’s all-round performance against 20 peer cities.

Towards a Partnership Handbook for Indian and UK Cities

This playbook draws on best practice in UK and Indian urban development to guide local authorities, businesses and other stakeholders in Hyderabad and Kolkata with collaborative projects that foster economic growth and sustainable development.

The role of anchors in innovation districts - global thought leadership launched

Written in conjunction with the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council, this report aims to share lessons with everyone who is involved in developing precincts.

The West Midlands - an international perspective on its innovation economy

This report, developed for the West Midlands Growth Company, discusses the opportunity that transitioning Birmingham from a single city to West Midlands as a multi-centre city platform presents.

Oslo State of the City 2022

This 8th edition of the Oslo State of the City report takes stock of all of the global benchmarks and datasets and looks across the whole post-Covid period to assess how Oslo is performing and is perceived compared to other similar cities

Benchmarking Melbourne 2022

This report measures Melbourne’s all-round performance against 20 peer cities.

Flagship digital edition of ‘Oslo: State of the City 2021’ launched

This 7th edition of the report - updated to a new digital format - provides an international assessment of Oslo’s performance relative to other similar cities.

The global future of Victoria and South Island

These 3 reports, written for the City of Victoria, Canada, and funded by the South Island Prosperity Project benchmark the city’s performance against peer cities, delve deeper into Victoria’s journey, and explore the future of the city on a global stage.

Landmark report on the decarbonisation of cities

This report explores how the UK can draw on its expertise to help address Latin American cities to address net zero challenges.

Innovation District Handbook published for city and place leaders

Our new handbook, developed in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult, helps to guide place leaders on how to host innovation and deliver innovation outcomes that underpin local well-being and national productivity.

6th Edition of Benchmarking Sydney Report Released

This 6th edition of the Benchmarking Sydney report highlights Sydney's strengths and weaknesses as a leading city in the new post-Covid era.

The success models for Innovation Locations worldwide

Our 2021 update to the 2017 ‘Logic of Innovation Locations’ report explores the role of Innovation Districts, Corridors and Quarters as hubs of the Covid-adjusted innovation economy.

The future of e-mobility in Indonesia’s major cities

This paper explores e-mobility dynamics in 3 major Indonesian cities - Surabaya, Bandung and Denpasar.

Benchmarking Helsinki’s Brand in a Global Context

This report draws on a combination of global benchmarks, global citizen sentiment data and expert intelligence to review the strengths and weaknesses of Helsinki’s brand in the global system of cities.

5th Edition of Benchmarking Sydney report released

This annual report highlights Sydney’s strengths and weaknesses as a leading city in the new post-Covid era.

City Governance and Real Estate in a Post-COVID World

This new research, carried out with JLL, develops a framework to help recognise cities that have the key attributes for future success.

Snapshot on the Future of the World’s Great River Cities

This new scene-setting snapshot paper explores the impact of Covid-19 on the long-term plans of river cities.

Research contribution to report on future of London 2050

This report is the first from the London Futures review. It examines London’s recent history and development to the present day, explores the global challenges facing London and considers their potential impact on London’s future.

Landmark report in partnership with UCL STEaPP on city collaboration post-Covid

COVID-19 has added urgency to the agenda to transform the innovation and delivery capacity of cities, regions and local governments around the world. The innovation imperative at subnational levels needs to be served by agile collaboration globally.

3rd edition of Holland Metropole Benchmarking Report released at EXPO REAL

This report benchmarks how Holland Metropole's five cities would perform if they were measured as a single metropolis.

EIB's Investment Agenda in Cities

The EIB’s evolution as a financial and knowledge partner for cities puts it at the heart of global action for progress in our metropolitan century.

'Demand and Disruption in Global Cities' published with JLL

Our new research looks at the rapidly evolving global system of cities, the impact of the major forces of change on global urban dynamics

Does the Global City Have a Future?

Prof. Greg Clark and Dr Tim Moonen contribute to this important compilation, produced by L'Institut Paris Region, on the outlook for global cities and the models that will make them survive and succeed into the 22nd century.

HSBC report on reaching Zero-Carbon Cities

Our team contributed to this HSBC Centre of Sustainable Finance report, which outlines a zero-carbon pathway for cities, by highlighting the changes that can be made in electricity generation, transport, construction, real estate and other areas.

'Mega-Regions of the Future' report launched by HSBC

Borane Gille, Opportune Simon, and Prof. Greg Clark contributed to the comparative analysis of the world's seven mega-regions, led by HSBC.

Future of Warsaw report published with ULI Poland

Grow with Warsaw was a series of workshop meetings between the City of Warsaw and real estate players held in 2018. Greg Clark, Opportune Simon and Jake Nunley discuss the findings from the workshops and describe next steps for the city's competitiveness.

The 5th edition of 'Oslo: State Of The City' launched at City Hall

This 5th edition of report provides an international assessment of Oslo’s performance relative to other similar cities. The report summarises Oslo’s progress in the current cycle and reflects on its opportunities and imperatives in the next period.

'Towards A Business Story For Glasgow' Report

This paper assesses Glasgow’s current and future business and jobs advantages and appeal in the global economy. The aim is to understand how well the world understands and recognises Glasgow’s economic assets and capabilities.

Culture, Value and Place Vol. Two - Greater Sydney case study

Volume 2 is the Greater Sydney Case study, which reviews the opportunities for arts and culture in Greater Sydney and NSW. The report highlights the role that creativity have in attracting investment and making NSW a great place to live, work and visit.

Culture, Value and Place Vol. One for the NSW Government

Volume 1 reviews more than 100 global reports, benchmark studies and comparative data sets to show the links between culture, place and value. It also reveals important links between culture and other public policy goals.

'London: Mobility City' Essay in CITY, TRANSFORMED

In this essay, Tim Moonen, Jake Nunley and Greg Clark examine how London’s unpromising 1980s gave rise to three decades of reinvestment, and explain how the EIB played a catalytic role in successive cycles of London’s evolution.

Benchmarking Holland Metropole's performance in 2018

The time of the multi-city metropolis has come. In several of the global cities we work with, leaders are revisiting the opportunity to partner more effectively with the surrounding cities in their region in order to provide attractive choices for all.


In the first of a series of essays on cities, Dr Tim Moonen, Jake Nunley and Prof. Greg Clark take a definitive look at how Europe’s cities transformed from post-industrial decline to thriving, prosperous and liveable metropolises.

CfS: Benchmarking Sydney's Performance 2018

This research highlights Sydney’s strengths and weaknesses, helping civic leaders and key stakeholders plan for future growth while addressing the pain points.

5 Key Reports with Property Council of Australia

There are four comprehensive papers and a summary report prepared for the Property Council of Australia by Professor Greg Clark, Dr Tim Moonen and our colleagues at The Business of Cities Ltd.

Essay in LSE Cities' new book "Shaping Cities"

Essay published through LSE Cities' book "Shaping Cities in an Urban Age"

Review of Innovation Precincts for NSW IPC

The NSW Innovation and Productivity Council (IPC) developed the report NSW Innovation Precincts to provide a view of what makes different types of innovation precincts succeed, and identify the common risks and failures.

Innovation Economy Paper for NSW IPC

This report examines the underpinning ingredients required for a region to host the innovation economy. It explores international learnings and examples from regions such as Bavaria, Massachusetts and Ontario, to support Industry NSW's work in this area.

Oslo: Our 3rd State of the City report

The benchmarking report for Oslo Business Region summarised Oslo's progress in the current cycle and its opportunities and imperatives in the next period.

ULI Competitiveness Case Study - Milan

This case study is one of the two notes emerging from the report published with ULI Europe, a review of Italy’s great northern cities.

ULI Milan & Turin Competitiveness Report launched in Milan

Our detailed review of the prospects for Northern Italy's two largest cities was presented in Milan to an large audience of investors, developers, politicians and civic leaders.

Report launched with JLL: Mapping the Pathways to Success

In our Typology of World Cities 2018 developed in partnership with JLL, we have identified 10 city groups each playing a distinct role on the global stage.

Benchmarking South East Queensland for Queensland CTT

Our groundbreaking analysis of SEQ's performance vs other high quality of life trading city-regions has been published by Queensland Government in 2018. See our Publications Page for full details.

Benchmarking Holland Metropole in 2017

This study demonstrates that while other global regions excel in individual areas, the Holland Metropole has the breadth, scale, diversity and dynamics to deserve comparison with the world’s best.

Case Study Review of Connected Cities for GSC

A paper examining various international case studies of Connected Cities for the Greater Sydney Commission

Analysis of Anchor Institutions for Infrastructure Australia

Infrastructure Australia is an independent statutory body with a mandate to prioritise and progress nationally significant infrastructure.

Chapter in new UN-Habitat book "Steering the Metropolis"

This book was published by UN Habitat in conjunction with the World Bank and the IDB. The publication seeks to contribute to the multi-dimensional perspective required for thinking and addressing challenges of metropolitan governance issues.

Analysis of Urban Development Aid for Cities Alliance

The Future of Urban Development Aid and Assistance: Market Landscape and Strategic Advice.

Chapter in UN-Habitat Handbook "Finance for City Leaders"

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, an estimated $3 trillion to $4 trillion is needed annually. In an increasingly urban world, cities play a pivotal role in closing this financial gap.

Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Strategies Review

This report considers international case studies of metropolitan strategic planning from a range of metro areas that have similar features to Greater Newcastle.

'Joining the Top Table?' Benchmarking Sydney 2017

This second edition report of Benchmarking Sydney's Performance is a study of the city's comparative strengths, based on the latest data from an impressive range of indicators and research into Sydney’s peers on the international stage.

Report on Decoding City Performance with JLL

In collaboration with JLL, we look at the developments in the field of city benchmarking, and the role city indices play in shaping our understanding of global city competitiveness. We provide implications for the real estate sector.​​

State of the City 2017 report for Oslo Business Region

The benchmarking report for Oslo Business Region summarised Oslo's progress in the current cycle and its opportunities and imperatives in the next period.

Study of Sustainable Urban Mobility Solutions for the EC

EU mobility urban approach.

Logic of Innovation Locations paper launched with FCC

In this report we identified 12 fundamental drivers for Innovation Locations, as well as 20 ecosystem attributes for areas to develop, enhance and monitor for locations to succeed as innovation hubs or hotspots.

Report on Agglomeration, Centres and District Plans for GSC

Agglomeration, Centres and District Plans: Greater Sydney Commission

The Global Practice of City Leadership, with UCL STEaPP

This paper is about how leadership teams are built and run, to enable cities to move beyond the governance deficit and into sustained phases of innovation.

World Cities & Nation States: A Global Perspective

The 16 chapter book takes a global perspective to show how national governments and states/provinces/regions continue to play a decisive, and often positive, partnership role with world cities.

JLL: Benchmarking the Future World of Cities

This study is the third paper in a groundbreaking series exploring the latest trends in city benchmarking and performance. This latest report by JLL and The Business of Cities takes a deeper look at the different ways cities are categorised and compared.

Greg Clark's "A Short History of Global Cities"

In Global Cities: A Short History, Greg Clark, an internationally renowned global urbanist, examines the enduring forces—such as trade, migration, diversity and technology—that have enabled some cities to emerge from the pack into global leadership.

JLL: Governance, Devolution and the Investment Ready City

A report for the JLL Cities Research Centre (2016) on Governance, Devolution and the Investment Ready City.

Building the Innovation Economy Report with ULI

With Research Professor Dr Gert-Joost Peek, Professor Greg Clark and Dr Tim Moonen delve into a comparative analysis of city-level strategies for planning, placemaking and promotion.

Report on London's West End for the West End Partnership

This review explores the economic competitors to London, and in particular to the West End. We examined six cities and their relevant central district sector specialisations, as a direct competitor to the West End.

Chapter on Metropolitan Areas in UCLG book on Urban Futures

UCLG would like to acknowledge, in particular, the contribution of The Business of Cities to Sections 1, 2.1 to 2.3, and 3.1 to 3.2.

Benchmarking's Oslo international performance

Cities all over the world are competing to for the talent, visitors, investors and attention. Oslo is a young, dynamic and compact city with lots of potential, but how is it really doing as a city?

New ULI Report on Belgian Cities’ Competitiveness

Launched at ULI Belgium’s inaugural Annual Conference in May 2016, this report assesses Belgium’s two largest cities along 12 dimensions of competitiveness.

Tomorrow's City Centre: Glasgow Agenda

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Land Institute wanted to consider how constantly evolving technologies would influence consumer behaviours and potentially impact the city centre experience in the next five years.

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Cities - Advice for CfS

This is the second of two papers commissioned by the Committee from Professor Greg Clark. This companion piece builds on work published by Professor Clark in 2012. It is about the importance of a city’s identity, reputation and branding.

Reflections on Glasgow as a Global City for the IPPI

Globally, cities are now the dominant locations for production, consumption and human settlement - and their number, scale and influence is set to increase in the century ahead.

JLL: Istanbul on the World Stage

Istanbul is a dynamic and increasingly successful ‘Emerging World City’, despite a background of rising geopolitical risks.

Landmark report on Density & Urban Change in 6 European cities with ULI

This report explores the question of density and urban change by looking more closely at the experience of six European cities. It examines how density may play a role in helping cities in cycles of growth or shrinkage to succeed in the future.

New analysis of Density (Drivers, Dividends and Debates) with ULI

This 2015 report examines what we mean by the term density, and explored the long term benefits density offers to people, the environment and on investments.

Study of Technology, Real Estate and the Innovation Economy with ULI

Through the partnership between ULI and the Oslo Metropolitan Area, this report aimed to address a critically important issue: how the real estate industry must adapt and meet the demands for sustainable spaces for innovation and enhancing quality of life.

Munich's Journey to an Innovation Economy

As part of a collaboration between ULI and the City of Rotterdam, this case study of Munich was developed in order to explore the ways in which cities can foster an innovation ecosystem and build a strategy to establish themselves as innovation hubs.

Study on The New World of Cities for JLL

This paper, produced jointly by JLL and The Business of Cities, offers a fresh approach to understanding city performance and prospects. A new typology of cities is presented, with a focus on the trends, challenges and real estate implications.

Review of Future Cities definitions for UK Government

This paper reviews the origins, definitions, trends and pathways of knowledge about future cities and the future of cities.

Report on Local Economic Leadership with the OECD

Greg Clark, Tim Moonen and Emily Moir along with their partners at OECD LEED view local economic development as a complex process that requires unique kinds of leadership if it is to succeed. Case studies of Amsterdam, Hamburg, Manchester, and Stockholm.

Article in LSE Cities' "Governing Urban Futures"

Greg Clark, Tom Moonen and Emily Moir wrote the "Underpowered Cities" article in LSE Cities' "Governing Urban Future".

Brookings Mumbai: India's Global City

A case study for the Global Cities Initiative : A joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase

JLL: The Business Of Cities 2015

This report, the 4th developed by our team, assembles the widest range of comparative studies and reports on city performance to date. It includes 200 indices in total, up from 160 in 2013. C

Brookings Hong Kong: A Globally Fluent Metropolitan City

Hong Kong: A globally fluent metropolitan city written for the Global Cities Initiative, a Brookings and JPMorgan Chase joint project.

Clark and Moir: The Business of Cities Paper

One important trend in the investigation into the future of cities is the rapidly evolving relationship between cities and business

Review of Future Cities for UK Government

This essay was commissioned as part of the UK Government’s Foresight Future of Cities Project, September 2014.

Review of Business-Friendly and Investment-Ready Cities for ULI

City Government and the Local Business Growth and Investment Climate.

Brookings Munich: A Globally Fluent Metropolitan Economy

A case study for the Global Cities Initiative : A Joint Project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase.

JLL: The Canadian Quartet

Canadian cities are collectively entering a newly energised, globally connected and impactful era. Of its 12 main commercial hubs, we identified the Canadian Quartet (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver) as holding most promise as future world cities.

Making Global Events Work for City Development

The ULI Europe publication 'To Bid Or Not To Bid: Making Global Events Work For City Development' re-examines the key challenges involved in deciding whether to bid, how to bid, which events to bid for, and how to make the most of such opportunities.

Centre For London: Nations and the Wealth Of Cities

In the latest cycle of globalisation, ongoing economic integration has added to the number of internationalising cities whose roles in trade, services, migration and labour markets all exceed national boundaries.

Report on Urban Innovation and Investment for FCC

The 2014 report explains for the first time how International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are responding to the rapid rise in urbanisation and how they will help us build the cities of the future.

Brookings: The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas

Swift global integration, the rapid expansion of a global consumer class, and the rise of urban areas as the engines of global economic growth have ushered in a new era that demands more global engagement from America’s city and regional leaders.

Centre For London: Europe's Cities In a Global Economy

This note assesses the recent trends in European city traderelated performance, as measured in over 100 quantitative and perception-led benchmarks and studies, including work undertaken by Brookings Institution and LSE Cities.

The Making of a World City: London 1991-2021

The Making of a World City: London 1991-2021 sets out in clear detail both the catalysts that have enabled London to succeed and also the qualities and underlying values that are at play.

Report on Delivering Local Development with the OECD

Delivering Local Development: New Growth and Investment Strategies

City Branding and Urban Investment

This InfoBurst distils the conversations held at a ULI Urban Investment Network workshop on City Branding held at MIPIM, Cannes, France in March 2011.

OECD: Local Development Benefits from Staging Global Events

A peer review of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy for East London proposed by the UK Dept. of Communities and Local Government.

ULI: Global Events and Urban Investment

A Report of the Urban Investment Network

Report on Leveraging Public Land: ULI

A ULI Urban Investment Network Report

Report on Local Economic Development with the OECD

The Role of Development Agencies and Companies

OECD: Recession, Recovery and Reinvestment

Since the economic crisis beginning in September 2007 with the collapse of banks in the UK and USA, we have seen the triggering of a global recession and wider processes of economic restructuring.

Closing the Investment Gap: Public and Private Investment.

The mission of the Urban Land Institute is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating thriving communities worldwide.

Local Development Benefits from Staging Global Events

This book identifies how staging international events works as a trigger for local development, and what hosting cities and nations can do to ensure that a positive local legacy and wider benefits are realised.