• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

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.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
Protesters demonstrate in front of the French parliament on Tuesday. All photos: AFP

France's controversial labour reforms are finally before parliament but here's why everyone seems to be up in arms.

Where are the most polluted cities in France?
Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

A new study reveals where the most at-risk areas are in the country.

The French eating habits the world should learn from
The French eat together, that's one thing we could learn from. Photo: AFP

Living in France will change the way you eat and there are good reasons for it.

French bus drivers 'told to count migrants'
Twisto buses. Photo: AFP

A bus company in northern France has brought in "migrant tallies", and the drivers aren't impressed.

Unresponsive Air France jet escorted down in UK
Photo: Jonathon Gross/Flickr

British military jets acted fast to escort down an Air France passenger plane from Paris.

Euro 2016
All you need to know about the mega Paris fan zone
Photo: Lagardère Sports 2016/PACIFA

They say it will be the biggest fanzone ever at a football tournament and it will be right in the heart of Paris.

No booze, no noise: Paris cracks down on Nuit Debout
Photo: AFP

Will the Nuit Debout movement survive a ban on booze and noise?

US stubbornness will end EU free trade deal warns France
Photo: AFP

Washington needs to compromise or the deal could be off, says France.

Corsican separatists 'to end 40-year military operations'
Photo: AFP

Corsica's main militant group has said it will end "military operations".

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Proust's personal archives to go under the hammer in Paris
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Who exactly are the masked rioters causing havoc across France?
French rail passengers must now pay to change their tickets
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Travel
Here are nine must-see landmarks in Paris you may have missed
Society
Paris makes love-lock bridge even more love-lock proof
Lifestyle
Parisians paying dearly for their bad 'parking'
Society
What's on in France: Ten great things to do in May
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Society
Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
National
French dangerously 'unprepared' for future natural disasters
Is it really safe to come to France for Euro 2016?
National
Salah Abdeslam: Pot-smoking 'little moron' is finally back in Paris
Rail strike: Passengers in France face major disruption
Cats in a cafe?!? Nine of the quirkiest things you can see in Paris
National
VIDEO: The moment a Paris suicide bomber blew himself up
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and why there will be more
National
Winter is coming (back). Why is France so cold right now?
National
WWI's Anzac Day heroes honoured in northern France service
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?
Culture
How did the French end up with their 'crazy' numbers?
Politics
Why this man could become the next president of France
Society
VIDEO: Jewellers in southern France raided by... swarm of bees
Culture
Did you know the strange origins of these six French curse words?
Why are more and more people dying on French roads?
2,782
jobs available