Vienna City Performance, Brand Image and Reputation

Vienna: how do the Austrian capital’s baroque architecture and musical heritage influence its positioning in rankings that study the cultural and economic competitiveness of cities? How well does Vienna perform in rankings that measure urban sustainability, innovation, creativity and the attractiveness of cities as business hubs?

Learn about:

  • Vienna’s global power;
  • Vienna’ potential as a hub for innovation;
  • Vienna and sustainability;
  • Vienna city brand performance and reputation;
  • The cultural and creative opportunities in Vienna.

Vienna’s global power

How much global power does the Austrian capital have?

Vienna’s performance in the 2017 Global Cities Index has been deteriorating during the past five years: from ranking 13th in 2012 to 20th in the latest, 2107 study.

The city’s performance is similar in the 2017 Global Power City Index where it ranks 14th.  Vienna has also shown an important decline in this index, considering that in 2008 it held a strong 5th position. In this index, Vienna ranked highest for livability (4th), environment (6th) and cultural interaction (8th). Research and development, accessibility (both 27th) and economy (30th) positioned Vienna lower in the 2017 edition.


Vienna as a center for innovation 

How dynamic is Vienna compared to other European cities?

Vienna ranks 18th in the Dynamic Cities study that benchmarks European cities. The Austrian capital received the highest score for inspiration (75/100) and infrastructure (72/100). This was followed by interconnection, inclusion and investment (all score 69/100). With 67 points out of 100, innovation is Vienna’s lowest scoring pillar.

Vienna’s ranks 15th in the 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index. Here, its best performing pillar is talent retainment, where it takes a strong 2nd position.

Ipsos Top Cities ranks Vienna 11th in their 2017 study. Segmented by different age groups, baby boomers (born between 1945-65) seem to be the ones who most appreciate both visiting and living in Vienna.

The 2018 Innovation Cities Index positions Vienna 19th in the study on world’s most innovative cities. This is nine positions lower than last year and makes it Europe’s fifth best-ranking city in this index. 


Sustainability in Vienna

Which are Vienna’s strongest assets of environmental sustainability?

Vienna performed very well in the 2016 Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index. Its overall ranking is 4th, which is the same position as in the planet and people sub-indices. The city ranks ten positions lower (14th) in the profit sub-index, which is topped by global financial centers such as Singapore, Hong Kong and London.

Vienna also ranked 4th in the 2010 European Green Cities Index, which highlights its strong performance in areas such as waste-water treatment, energy use, public transport, and waste and land use. Environmental governance, buildings, CO2 and air quality rank somewhat lower, but all still within the top-10 of Europe’s greenest cities.


Vienna as cultural and creative capital

Should Vienna be considered as one of the cultural capitals of Europe?

Vienna scores high in two of the main pillars of the 2017 European Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor. It ranks 4th in the dimension of cultural vibrancy and 5th for its enabling environment.

Looking at the sub-indices, Vienna scores highest for openness, tolerance and trust and cultural participation and attractiveness. The city has a very high number of foreign graduates (86.9/100) and residents express maximum satisfaction with Vienna’s cultural facilities, even though the number of museum visitors could be higher (3.7/100).

Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities ranking positions Vienna 48th in their 2018 study. In this index, Vienna’s strongest pillars are place (31st) and programming (32nd ), while people (91st) and prosperity (92nd ) rank much lower.


Vienna city brand performance and reputation

How strong is Vienna as city brand?

Vienna has a very high 3rd position in the 2017 City RepTrak ranking. However, this is one position lower than in the 2016 study. in 2017, Vienna performed best in the sub-indices of livability (10th) and visiting (9th).

In terms of city brand performance, Vienna has been pushed out of the top-10 of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index, which in 2016 put it at 13th position. While its overall rank has somewhat deteriorated, the Austrian capital still performs well in the place sub-index, where it ranks 5th.


Analysis by Maria Lindmäe. Last updated July 2018.


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