Chicago City Profile: Economic Performance, Brand Strength, Reputation

Chicago: how well does the "Windy City" perform in international rankings that study the competitiveness of cities in terms of attractiveness for talent, innovation and business? Does Chicago have a chance at beating its national rivals New York and San Francisco thanks to its cultural offering? How well does the city do in terms of sustainability? Find the answers in this post on Chicago’s performance in various global rankings that measure city competitiveness.

Let's take a closer look at:

  • Chicago and sustainability;
  • Chicago's global power;
  • Innovation and finance in Chicago;
  • Chicago city brand reputation.

Chicago and sustainability

In the past years, Chicago has been enhancing the lives of its residents through its aggressive “Sustainable Chicago” plan and has led the way on several fronts, such as the development of more than 225 miles of cycle lanes. The city also prides itself for having high quality water. Despite these efforts, Chicago’s performance in the Sustainable Cities index is not too impressive. In 2016, its overall ranking was 60th ; in the people category it scored even lower (74th), while its performance in the planet (67th) and profit (45th) sub-indices were somewhat better.

Chicago’s ranking in the Green Cities index is 11th among US and Canadian cities. It scores highest for transport (6th) and energy (8th) and lowest for CO2 emissions (19th).

Global power of Chicago

After a strong descent in 2014, Chicago currently ranks at a fairly strong 22nd position in the Global Power City Index (2017). This, however, is still far from its all-times-best, 14th position in 2008.

Chicago does very well in the research and development category, where its position is 8th. This is an exception, though, as other indicators show a much lower performance - with livability (40th), environment (34th) and economy (27th) ranking all below the top-20.

AT Kearney’s Global Cities Index ranks Chicago much higher (7th) in its 2017 study, featuring it as the second-best American city in this index. Chicago’s performance in this study has been very steady, having maintained the same position for the last five years.

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The Editorial Team

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