• France's news in English
 

Paris falls out of top five in global city rankings

Joshua Melvin · 20 May 2014, 11:59

Published: 20 May 2014 11:59 GMT+02:00

Paris dropped two places to sixth in the 30 world-class cities ranked on the respected PricewaterhouseCoopers “Cities of Opportunity” index, which saw London take the number one spot.

Paris’s libraries, highly educated populace and respected universities brought it top honors for innovation and intellectual prowess. It was also deemed to have one of the world's best public transport systems and indeed the best when it comes to the coverage of the network.

Paris also came in the top five in categories such as Sustainability and the Natural Environment - putting it far ahead of London, as well as Economic Clout.

New York, Singapore, Toronto and San Francisco rounded out the top five. Stockholm, in at number seven, and Berlin at 11 were the closest European competitors to Paris. 

But the City of Light also has a few issues that were the cause of its fall from the top five -- most notably when it comes to cost. The French capital was ranked 23rd out of 30 when it came to the cost of living in the city.

One of its weakest points was housing. Anyone who has ever battled to win the honor of paying a whopping a rent to live in one of the capital’s pokey apartments, can attest to the challenges there. Paris came in 14th on the list.

Paris captured the same unimpressive ranking for traffic. Whether it’s accidents on the Paris’s ring road the ‘périphérique’ or creeping along behind bottlenecks on the capital’s narrow streets, driving here is no picnic.

“The greater Paris area, which aims to reinforce and optimize transportation between suburbs and the city, could certainly take it up a notch on the problem of traffic jams,” Bernard Gainnier, president of PwC’s operations in France and francophone Africa.

It doesn’t sound like there is much relief coming for frustrated drivers, but Paris Town Hall says help is on the way for housing.

“We are well aware of the problem,” Deputy Mayor for Housing Ian Brossat told French daily Le Parisien. “That’s why we adopted a battle plan yesterday during the meeting of the Council of Paris, that calls for the creation of 10,000 new housing units each year for the next six years.”

While London managed to bounce up to the top spot from third place year due to scoring highly in categories like technological readiness and economic clout, the overall quality of the two eternal rival cities isn’t that different.

Story continues below…

“The gap is not huge,” Gainnier, the PwC executive, told Le Parisien. “Like London, Paris got a balanced score. Ultimately what made the difference was the growth rate of the country.”

With a record unemployment in France and a moribund economy, France is already well aware of the problem.

For more news from France, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
France's rugby union team captain Guilhem Guirado. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
24 minutes ago

France and Italy kick-off the Six Nations on Saturday under a massive security operation as international sport returns to Paris's Stade de France for the first time since suicide bombers targeted the city on November 13.

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
Photo: Whitecatsg/Flickr

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
17 hours ago

The first French person to be given the designation "neutral gender" appeared in court on Friday to testify in an appeal of the decision.

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
18 hours ago

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been voted as the "biggest liar" of 2015. But why?

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
Photo: Kent Wang/ FLickr

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
18 hours ago

As Paris gets its first automatic meat dispenser it seems "Only in France" could you buy bread, cheese, steak and pig's intestines from 24-hour street vending machines.

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
Children in the Jungle camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
20 hours ago

This time it's the United Nations that has blasted France for the conditions at Calais.

Americans in France
Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
Photo: AFP

Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
20 hours ago

Can you guess which region in France only 55 Americans call home?

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
The Canal Saint Martin area of Paris that has been plagued by litter problems. Photo: AFP

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
22 hours ago

Yes, you read that right.

State of Emergency
Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
Photo: AFP

Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
22 hours ago

The French PM defended the ongoing state of emergency in France on Friday claiming that the sweeping powers helped them foil a terror attack.

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
Photo: AFP

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
23 hours ago

Airbnb moves to appease critics by handing over €1.2 million in tourist taxes to Paris City Hall.

Unique French ski resort runs on old slag heap
Photo: AFP

Unique French ski resort runs on old slag heap
1 day ago

France's busy little ski resort of Noeux-les-Mines is also its most unusual. It has no mountains, no snow, runs all year round and is built on a decades-old slag heap.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
Lifestyle
Le Chandeleur: Why do the French eat crêpes on February 2nd?
Culture
Mad Max director to head Cannes Film Festival jury
National
'And what if your daughter married a Muslim?' - Survey shocks France
Features
Are these really 'the only streets in Paris' you need to go to?
Culture
Is the Michelin guide worth the paper it's written on?
Society
VIDEO: See the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris in 1926
Society
Is this the simple solution for Brits stressed out by driving in France?
3,534
jobs available