Hong Kong ranked one of world's most attractive cities for creative minds

City rated seventh of 40 in annual Global Power City Index, scoring highly for its free port and liveability, but only Singapore scores lower on attractiveness to artists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 October, 2015, 5:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 October, 2015, 6:55pm

Hong Kong is among the 10 cities most attractive to  creative minds and businesses from around the globe, whose presence boosts their economic and social development, according to the latest Global Power City Index released by the Mori Memorial Foundation in Japan.

Hong Kong’s free port (it comes in first for accessibility) and its safe living environment saw the city ranked 7th in the world by  the Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies, up two places from 2014.

“In Asia... Singapore (fifth) and Hong Kong make significant gains, while Shanghai (17th) and Beijing (18th) slip in the rankings after exhibiting promising vitality in previous years,” the report said.

London, New York and Paris top the index respectively, while Tokyo comes in at No. 4, a position the Japanese capital has held since the annual rankings were launched in 2008.

The index evaluates the “power to attract” of 40 leading cities according to six factors – economy, research and development, cultural interaction, liveability, environment and accessibility. Cities are also examined from the viewpoints of four overseas respondents – a business manager, researcher, artist and visitor – and one local interviewee, a resident.

While Hong Kong fares well in the overall ranking, the city comes second last, ahead only of Singapore, as a desirable  place for artists to live and work in.

“Certain North American cities show marked improvement due to investments in infrastructure and quality of life, with cities like Los Angeles surging ahead,” says Vishaan Chakrabarti, an architect and a professor at Columbia University. “By contrast, we are seeing the impacts of poorly planned urbanisation and consequent downgrades in quality of life in Beijing and Shanghai.

“The message is quite clear: in order for global cities to compete for increasingly mobile human capital, they must improve the quality of life they offer residents and businesses in terms of great design, efficient infrastructure, a cleaner environment and diverse cultural exuberance.”

The Institute for Urban Strategies is a research body in Japan that promotes urban strategies to allow world-class cities to grow and develop sustainably.