Wellington – Urban Sustainability, City Brand Strength and Reputation

Wellington is a vibrant blend of business dynamism, cultural richness, and natural beauty. Renowned for its high quality of life, the capital city of New Zealand stands as a key economic hub in the region, attracting a diverse array of industries from finance to technology. The city boasts a thriving creative sector, with a burgeoning film industry that has earned global recognition.

Sustainable tourism in Wellington is supported by policies that protect its stunning natural landscapes drawing visitors all year round. The walkable downtown area is filled with cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere. While also known as among the worlds windiest cities, this combination makes Wellington an exceptional place to live, work, and visit.

But how does Wellington perform in terms of urban sustainability, city brand strength, and reputation, according to leading rankings and indices?

Let’s explore:

  • Wellington’s competitiveness and financial performance
  • Wellington’s brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: Wellington’s urban sustainability and appeal for digital nomads and locals

Wellington’s Competitiveness and Financial Performance

Which aspects of Wellington’s urban living make it an attractive place to live and work?

The Global Financial Centres Index 35 ranks Wellington 41st, up by 15 places, and positioned between Jersey (40th) and Glasgow (42nd). Wellington also confidently enters the GFCI 35’s Fintech rankings for the first time and is placed 23rd.

Wellington fell 68 positions and is ranked 166th in the 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023, placing it between Canberra (165th) and Dortmund (167th).

Livability: Wellington’s Appeal for Digital Nomads and Locals

Which aspects of Wellington’s urban living make it an attractive place to live and work?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Wellington 12th, between The Hague (11th) and Bern (13th). Meanwhile, in the Mercer Cost of Living Ranking,  Wellington’s ranking decreased by 19 positions to 139th, between Kaosiung (138th) and Abuja (140th), indicating that Wellington is becoming more affordable and provides residents with an excellent quality-to-cost of living ratio.

In the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Wellington is ranked an impressive 9th between San Francisco (8th) and Miami (10th). The city ranks highly in Migrant Acceptance, Quality of Coworking Spaces, and Green Spaces and Parks, making it a prime location for digital nomads.

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Wellington 42nd between Tokyo (41st) and Pittsburgh (43rd). Wellington’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 37th, People 24th, Profit 55th, highlighting Wellington’s commitment to environmental sustainability and liveability.

In 2024, the Times Higher Education ranking placed Victoria University of Wellington in the 401-500th bracket, whereas the QS World University ranking positions it 241st. The ranking notes that, despite a small decline between 2020-2023, the university is one of only 13 universities in the world to hold the maximum 5 Stars Plus in the QS Stars rating of excellence, underscoring the city’s strong educational infrastructure

Explore more city profiles

Enjoyed our summary of global rankings and indices on Wellington’s urban sustainability, its city brand strength and reputation? Thanks for sharing!


Join us at the intersection of research and practice in place branding. TPBO spotlights impactful place brand stories, from showcases to our flagship yearbook. Learn from leaders in our Who is Who World Map. Connect with us on LinkedIn for insights and join our mailing list for the latest place brand impact stories and strategies.

- Introducing: World's Best in Place Branding -spot_img

FREE Download

Place Brand Leaders Yearbook 2024

Latest articles