Munich City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Munich, at the center of Bavarian heritage, strives to compete in a global market and to diversify its tourism-influenced brand through tech, talent and innovation.

But how does Munich position itself as a sustainable, dynamic and green European city while factors such as geographic location and people characteristics (not to mention the world-famous Oktoberfest) have been playing a key part of how Munich is perceived around the world?

Let’s take a closer look at: 

  • Munich’s global competitiveness and financial performance
  • Its innovation potential and dynamism
  • Livability: Munich’s appeal for digital nomads and locals
  • How well does Munich perform in urban sustainability?

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting, 2thinknow and Resonance Consulting for supporting our city profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.

Global competitiveness and financial performance

Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities (2020) report on global place equity ranks Munich 37th overall, behind St. Petersburg in Russia (35th) and Austria’s capital, Vienna (36th). Munich’s most impactful negative factor is Place (221st) which qualifies a city’s physical sense of place, calculating perceived quality of its natural and built environments through weather, safety, neighborhoods & landmarks and outdoors.

The IPSOS Top Cities Report (2017) ranks Munich 23rd alongside Copenhagen, Osaka, Shanghai and Helsinki. While Munich does not rank among the top cities, it is fairly balanced in terms of live, work and visit.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index awards Munich’s strong appeal to skilled workers with a 10th position overall, considering the city especially strong in building global knowledge (13th) and retaining talent (17th).

The Global Financial Centres Index 27 considers Munich to be one of the most established international cities, with good performance considering that the city’s current ranking (37th) is an improvement of 15 positions since the publication of the GFCI 26.

Munich: how innovative, how dynamic?

2thinknow‘s Innovation Cities Index (2019) ranks Munich 27th, just behind Beijing (26th – up by 11 positions), down by six positions since previous year’s study.

Seated just outside of the top 5 cities (London, Paris, Cambridge, Berlin and Amsterdam), the Dynamic Cities report (2019) ranks Munich 6th. This study takes into account a city’s attractiveness for long-term real estate investment, with a focus on disruptive technology, ageing populations, urbanization and environmental challenges through six categories; infrastructure, interconnection, inspiration, inclusion, innovation, and investment.

Strengths displayed by Munich over recent years, according to the Dynamic Cities study, are positive population growth forecasts, patent density relative to population, as well as tech- and business-related grassroots participation.

Livability: how attractive is Munich as place to live?

The Mercer Quality of Living report ranks Munich 3rd alongside Vancouver and Auckland, collectively beating out Düsseldorf, now on 6th position. The company’s sister publication – Mercer Cost of Living – ranks Munich 67th, alongside Mumbai, and just behind Helsinki (65th).

The Nomad List ranks Munich relatively high (4.08/5.00) with the lowest scoring factors being startup score, cost, free WIFI in the city and traffic safety. On the other hand, Munich scores highly in social aspects such as nightlife, friendly to foreigners, female friendly and LGBTQ+ friendly.

Internations’ Expat Insider city study ranks Munich 51st, ahead of Hong Kong (52nd) and Switzerland’s Lugano (53rd), but behind Cologne (50th).

Spotahome, in its Healthiest Cities Index ranking, considers Munich 3rd overall, with key performances in air and water quality, green space, and work-life balance.

How well does Munich perform in urban sustainability?

The Sustainable Cities Index (2018) ranks Munich 7th overall, considering it a Balanced Innovator, en par with cities such as San Francisco, Seoul and Brisbane.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Resonance released a report on The World’s Greenest Cities, which highlights best practices for urban design for a post-COVID-19 world. Just behind Vienna as number one,  the consultancy sees Munich 2nd and Berlin 3rd. Commended for initiatives in infrastructure investment, Munich’s development encourages public transit, reducing car ownership and further improving quality.

Last updated in May 2020.

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