Here are the most “attractive” global cities. But can they maintain their edge in a post-pandemic world?


Many major global cities have experienced a significant decline in competitiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments tighten border controls and impose strict limits on social distancing, according to the 2021 Global Energy City Index (GPCI).

It remains to be seen whether, in the post-pandemic world of work, these global hubs will retain their ability to attract highly qualified workers. But the 2021 Global Energy City Index — compiled by the Mori Memorial Institute for Urban Strategies in Tokyo — finds that most major cities have adapted to work-from-home and hybrid-work trends.

While international travel remains difficult due to COVID restrictions, many cities have begun to relax social distancing measures, with COVID-19 vaccines on the rise, says Peter Dastan, a researcher at the Urban Strategies Institute. Some cities have also begun to require proof of vaccination to attend large events, eat at restaurants, or use public transportation.
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Dastan believes this year’s Power City Index, released on Wednesday, is useful for comparing how cities are affected by COVID-19. “The look or feel of urban appeal may change, but its importance in attracting new business and talent will remain,” he says.

Read more: Here are the most beautiful places in the world for 2021

For example, Hong Kong, which has ranked in the top ten every year for the past seven years, has fallen to 13th from ninth in 2020. The Hong Kong government has among the toughest COVID-19 border restrictions in the world, with as many as three Weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers. The Asian financial hub also saw the largest drop in air passengers, at 88%.

London remains the most attractive city, according to the Global Power City Index, but its overall score has fallen, with the report’s authors attributing the drop to both the pandemic and Brexit, which has hampered its economy and global accessibility. “The fact that all other European cities have increased their economic outcomes suggests that the UK’s exit from the European Union is starting to take effect, allowing other European cities to start catching up with London,” the institute said.

Tokyo has improved its overall results, due in large part to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and improvements in work flexibility as Japan adjusts to working from home.

The Global Power City Index rates and ranks global cities by their “attractiveness” using 70 indicators across six categories: economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment and accessibility.

In the 48 cities evaluated this year, the study saw great success in accessibility; Compared to the year before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the rate of international flights between these cities has decreased by about 50%.

But the Urban Strategies Institute reported some positive changes in 48 cities despite fewer people moving between them — more than half saw an increase in co-working spaces and a fall in working hours.

Here are the top 10 global cities in the Global Energy City Index:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Tokyo
  4. Paris
  5. Singapore
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Berlin
  8. flood
  9. Madrid
  10. Shanghai



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