Benchmark: Paris one of the great metropolises of the world

Benchmark: Paris one of the great metropolises of the world
How to make sense of all the surveys comparing and ranking metropolises of the world?
The attractivity of the world’s cities is based on a comparison of indicators which often influences ranking order in international surveys. Usually, Paris occupies an excellent position in these surveys in spite of some weak points in certain areas. There are numerous surveys and at times the rankings they propose are contradictory.
In order to get a better understanding of these surveys comparing Paris with other large global metropolises, identify their sources and appreciate the resulting rankings, Apur asked the students studying for a Sciences Po-Paris Institute of Political Studies-MA in “Governing the Large Metropolis” (GLM), to undertake a study. 
The aim of this study was to analyse the surveys and help Paris to find its place in relation to other large metropolises in terms of attractivity, economic development and quality of life.
The mission given to the MA students was to:
  • identify and assess large, world-scale comparative surveys;
  • analyse how Paris fared in these surveys;
  • put forward an objective, permanent benchmark tool for the use of Paris in the short-term.
The results of the study show that the existing surveys are not generally clear about the scale they are operating on and that in the case of Paris, the indicators presented almost always concern the whole of Ile-de-France.
The study shows that the surveys often omit to mention their sources, making it impossible to verify the results.  They are mostly English or American in origin, they focus on economic and financial indicators and do not take socio-territorial inequalities into account.
Paris’ rating in the surveys
As regards to the position of Paris, it turns out that the city often comes third after New York and London. But this ranking varies according to subject: 
  • Economy: Paris has a good position but is never in first place and always behind London;
  • Culture: Paris is less international than London or New York but remains one of world’s most important cultural centres;
  • Transport: a level of performance which varies from average to good according to which survey and what geographical parameters have been used (Paris or Region);
  • Health: excellent scores in this category, health remains a strong point for Paris in international competition, in particular when compared to London;
  • Environment: very irregular results, very likely connected to what measurement tool is used although this is often not clearly indicated.
Towards a permanent benchmark tool
The study confirms the need for a permanent benchmark tool for Paris which would take account of socio-territorial inequalities, with a living interface, adjustable according to the user profile.
The development of this tool is part of Apur’s work programme for 2016.


Documents to download

  • Benchmark: Paris one of the great metropolises of the world

    Format : pdf, 1.78 MB