London the world's best city for culture

03 November 2022 3 min. read
More news on

New York is currently the best city to live in in the world, according to a new study. But with a booming culture sector, London is the city with the best outlook for the future.

The 2022 Global Cities Report is produced by global management consulting partnership Kearney. Each year, the firm combines studies for a Global Cities Index (GCI) and a Global Cities Outlook (GCO), to consider which cities are best placed to weather the challenging economic conditions faced by cities and city leaders around the world.

If the GCI is a picture of the present, the GCO is a forecast of the future. And for London, at least, the picture is pretty rosy. Ranking number two in the GCI, the UK capital’s personal wellbeing, sporting events and culinary offerings, have seen it rank as the world’s top city for cultural experience for the first time in Kearney’s analysis. The consulting firm contends that London is now ahead of cultural capitals Paris, New York and Los Angeles in that regard.

Top10 in the 2022 Global Cities Index

However, the report also reveals weaker-than-usual performances in human capital and business activity for London – with the city coming to second and eighth place respectively – as a result of the pandemic and Brexit. Declining scores in those two GCI dimensions is consistent across other global cities, and reflects disruptions of the global economy and still diminished flow of international travel; but the added geopolitical changes London has been subject two since 2016 have seen it hit harder still.

Andrew Stewart, Managing Partner UK & Ireland at Kearney, said, “The UK capital has strived for innovation and personal wellbeing in the last year, gaining first spot for cultural experience, regardless of the challenges of the global pandemic and impacts of Brexit. In navigating the current and upcoming political and economic challenges however, city leaders will need to champion innovation to continue to offer unique value to businesses and communities.”

Top10 in the 2022 Global Cities Outlook

Fortunately for London, Kearney believes that the city is well placed to do all of the above. Kearney’s GCO is designed to spotlight not only the well-established leaders, but also those cities best positioned to challenge their supremacy – and while New York languishes at sixth on that basis, London holds on to the top spot in terms of its future potential.

The GCO reveals which cities are primed to be the next generation of global hubs by assessing four metrics: personal wellbeing, economics, innovation, and governance. London’s top place is due to strong performance in personal wellbeing and innovation post-pandemic. Looking ahead, this and the city’s dominance in culture seem likely to help it attract the top talent it needs for its financial and business sectors to flourish once more.

“While last year’s report focused on the tentative recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the 2022 Global Cities report highlights the harsh reality that we have had to contend with in recent months,” Stewart added. “London continues to confirm its well-established global city status and position as one of the world’s most dynamic and desirable cities. Despite the short-term challenges, we believe London remains in a prime position to do just that.”