London: The new world capital?

London: The new world capital?

The Independent, a British compact newspaper, recently conducted a study comparing the world’s largest cities’ population figures, financial markets, tourism trends, transport facilities, transportation, sports and arts events in an effort to name the new world capital. Using 14 separate criteria that help to define a city, the London newspaper calculated and scored hundreds of cities. An explanation of their study can be read here.

After months of researching what the paper claims to be “reliable independent resources such as OAG, the experts on flight schedules (note: OAG is also based in the U.K.),” The Independent names London as the new world capital, beating New York City by a narrow margin.

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London’s Mayor, Ken Livingston, commented on the study:

“Londoners are proud of our ‘unity in diversity’ and regard the multiculturalism of our city as one of its greatest strengths. With over 300 languages spoken here, London is literally the most international city in the world. Its financial sector, its creative industries and its tourism industry all rely, in different ways, on their relations with the rest of the world and, with the achievements of winning the Olympic Games and hosting major sporting events like the Tour de France, we have proved the success of becoming the city that embraces globalisation.” —from The Independent.

The United States has four cities at the top of the study’s best 60 cities list: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. Each continent was given a capital by the study. New York City was named “capital of North America.” Tokyo, which placed fourth overall, was dubbed “the capital of Asia.” Paris was named “capital of continental Europe.” There are some interesting surprises on the list. Mexico City placed 11th overall, while Istanbul (25th overall) scored higher than Sydney, Copenhagen, and Vancouver.

The Independent explains how the cities were scored:

“ … a mathematical function was constructed that, when applied to each raw statistic, gives a reasonable rating. Sometimes these were easy – a point for each time the city has hosted the Olympic Games. Others were more complex. For example, an underground railway is an important attribute for any world city. London has almost twice as many miles as Paris, but it would not be reasonable to award twice the points; a straightforward way to narrow the difference is to take the square root of the distance in miles – which was then divided by three and rounded to the nearest whole number. London, the longest in the world, scores 5 for the Tube network, while Paris gets 4 for the Metro.”

Even though The Independent, which is based in London, printed this study in its travel section, the paper assured readers that each city was viewed with “unashamed interest as a tourist destination.” They also explained that some cities like Tehran, Karachi, and Jakarta were left out of the study because they are not “mainstream destinations.”

Read the collected data provided by The Independent and tell us what you think of their findings.

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