Kelsey Munro Urban Affairs

December 2, 2011

New Years Eve
Sydney … was voted the world’s third best city after London and Geneva. Photo: Quentin Jones

IT MIGHT feel third-rate at times but, in fact, Sydney has been voted the world’s third best city.

That’s according to the 2011 City RepTrak index, a survey of 35,000 people in 15 countries.

The survey found that, overall, Sydney has the third best reputation of world cities, after London and Geneva; despite being ranked as ”the best city to live in” and the second most beautiful city after Rome.

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Sydney is also perceived as having progressive social, economic and environmental policies, second to Oslo; and was ranked in the top five cities for safety.

In the survey, run in Australia by the research company AMR and globally by The Reputation Institute, 100 cities were ranked in several categories, including culture, physical beauty, infrastructure, leadership, financial stability and safety.

The scores were combined for the overall rank.

The reputation index differs from other city rankings and liveability lists because it is based on a survey of people’s perceptions, rather than on metrics such as employment and housing affordability, AMR’s Oliver Freedman said.

”It’s what people think about the city, and it’s really an emotional connection, a level of trust and admiration and respect, of liking that particular city. That’s what gives us the measure,” Mr Freedman said.

”The other aspect is the European cities as a whole do very well when you look at that list, so Sydney stands out.”

Mr Freedman speculated that Sydney’s signature Harbour Bridge and Opera House and a time zone that puts the photogenic harbour at the top of New Year’s Eve news bulletins around the world, contributed to its strong global reputation.

The study, a first for cities, surveyed the attitudes of 35,000 residents in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Britain and the US to 100 cities worldwide.

Melbourne, the only other Australian city to be ranked, came in 28th, just below New York and Milan. Tehran and Baghdad were ranked last.