Paris has pushed London off the top spot to win back the number one place as the highest rated city in 2015, out of a total of 50 cities.
Sydney, which had been in the top three since 2011, falls back to fourth place, overtaken by New York as well as Paris.
These are the findings of the latest Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM (CBISM), a bi-annual study conducted in September of last year -approximately two months before the November attacks in Paris.
Simon Anholt, an independent government advisor and the creator of the Index, comments, "Our survey was conducted before the November attacks in Paris - but, if past experience is anything to go by, such attacks do not change people's perceptions of the city in any significant or long-lasting way.
"There may be a temporary change in people's behaviour towards Paris - but the attacks do not affect the reasons why people might admire the city's beauty, cultural life, opportunities, etc. and this is what CBI measures."
The study evaluates the power and appeal of each city's image, giving a holistic and detailed perspective based on six key dimensions:
- Presence (the city's international status and standing)
- Place (its physical outdoors aspect and transport)
- Pre-requisites (basic requirements, such as affordable accommodation and the standard of public amenities)
- People (friendliness, cultural diversity, how safe one feels)
- Pulse (interesting things to do)
- Potential (the economic and educational opportunities available)
Paris shows one of the largest score gains overall, surpassing Sydney and London to take the number one spot, having previously fallen from first in 2011 to third in 2013.
Two other major climbers in the top 10 are Berlin and Amsterdam. Berlin jumps past Amsterdam, Melbourne, Vienna, Toronto and Washington D.C. for a comfortable spot in seventh place (up from twelfth in 2013).
Amsterdam now ranks eighth, up from eleventh place in 2013, having also overtaken Melbourne, Vienna, Toronto and Washington D.C. As a result, Washington D.C. now sits on the very edge of the elite top 10 cities, in tenth place, down from sixth in 2013. And Toronto and Vienna are pushed outside the top 10, to stand eleventh and thirteenth respectively.
Breakdown by key dimensions
Looking at the six dimensions that make up the overall index, London, Paris and New York are seen as the top three cities for having strong international Presence.
When it comes to Place, Paris leads the ranking, followed by Sydney and Rome.
For Prerequisites, Sydney is ranked top, with Berlin second and Amsterdam third. Sydney is also ranked first for People, with Toronto and Amsterdam making up the top three - while Paris, New York and London are ranked highest for their Pulse.
Finally, for Potential, we see New York in the lead, with London second and Sydney third.
Vadim Volos, GfK's senior vice president of public affairs and consulting, and head of NBISM at GfK, comments, "The top three overall cities - Paris, London and New York - lose ground when it comes to the specific dimensions of Prerequisites and People. This enables countries that are ranked lower overall - such as Toronto, Berlin and Amsterdam - to win top-five spots in these specific dimensions, giving them a valuable foothold in the international arena."
Berlin (seventh in the overall Index) jumps in at second for Prerequisites, while Amsterdam (eighth overall), wins third place for both People and Prerequisites, and Toronto (eleventh overall) holds second and fifth on these two areas. Barcelona and Vienna (twelfth and thirteenth overall) are ranked fourth and fifth respectively for Place.
2015 rank 2013 rank 2011 rank
1 Paris 3 1
2 London 1 2
3 New York 4 4
4 Sydney 2 3
5 Los Angeles 7 5
6 Rome 5 6
7 Berlin 12 11
8 Amsterdam 11 17
9 Melbourne 10 8
10 Washington DC 6 7
(Image via Shutterstock)