The World's Most Reputable Cities, 2015

What cities around the globe have the best all-around reputations? What does that mean and why does it matter? Reputation Institute (RI),a global consulting firm based in Boston, has just released its fifth annual list of the 100 most reputable cities, ranked in three broad categories: advanced economy, appealing environment and effective government. According to RI’s managing partner Fernando Prado, the list shows where people and companies most want to visit, do business and invest.

Topping the list this year are two Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne, followed by Stockholm, Vienna, Vancouver and Barcelona. See our slide show for the top 25 cities. At the bottom of the list: Bogota, Nairobi, Moscow, Tehran and Baghdad. Prado says RI picks the 100 cities that it deems the best-known to international businesspeople and travelers, including tourists. It leaves off some populous cities like Lagos and Guangzhou in favor of smaller European cities like Copenhagen and Oslo and doesn’t include several cities that would surely rate at the very bottom, including Aleppo and Damascus in Syria.

Eighteen-year-old Reputation Institute consults with branches of a dozen city and federal governments that are trying to boost their international image, like the Brand Spain project of the Spanish government and Promperu, an arm of the Peruvian government. It also has more than 100 corporate clients, including Airbus, Novo Nordisk, Pirelli, PepsiCo, Hershey, Boeing and Renault. The ranking is a way to boost RI’s expertise in the eyes of its clients and potential clients and to show how cities’ reputations measure up to one another worldwide.

RI gathered its data from an online poll of 19,000 people in the G8 countries. It ran the survey in the first quarter of this year, instructing respondents only to answer questions about cities they knew. Some 200-300 people ranked each of the 100 cities.

Within the three broad categories of economy, environment and government, were 13 attributes. The two most important, according to Prado: whether the city is considered beautiful, and whether it is viewed as a safe place for visitors and residents.

About the economy, RI asked whether respondents think the city produced a wide array of unique products and services, whether it housed the headquarters of leading companies, and whether the city was technologically advanced, financially stable, had potential for growth and was generally a favorable environment for doing business.

As for environment, in addition to beauty, the questionnaire asked about experiences like food, sports, architecture and entertainment, and whether well-known people like artists, scientists, inventors and athletes lived there.

Oct 22, 2015

By Forbes.Com