Quality of living a priority in creating a successful city
Quality of living ranks highest in creating a successful city, according to PwC Survey
The good life is not a luxury. It’s a basic requirement for cities and businesses that want to attract and keep talent. Results from PwC’s Cities of Opportunity: A New Zealand perspective show that balance works best in creating a successful city.
The Global Cities of Opportunity 7 survey covers 30 cities around the world to determine what makes them successful. Our New Zealand supplement takes these findings and considers how they can be applied locally. Although many of the cities in the study represent engines of global or regional economies, the strongest relationships with overall success comes from areas such as quality of living, disaster preparedness, relocation attractiveness, workforce management risk, housing and senior wellbeing.
“The findings clearly show that if you take care of the people first, you have the recipe for urban success,” says David Walker, PwC’s Local Government Director.
“In the New Zealand context, concerns over high housing costs is a good example of a current challenge to this recipe, although it’s not unique globally in economically successful cities and regions. In response, public and private sectors need to work together to find a solution that will ultimately result in urban success. The current national focus, whether it is people relocating south from Auckland or the Queenstown food, beverage and event industries struggling to hire staff due to the affordability and availability of accommodation, is directed at the public sector and the issue of supply. However, there are some broader multi-dimensional impacts identified by international cross sector forums.
“These can range from the impact on health and wellbeing because of long commutes, through to reduction in spending power due to the increase in accommodation costs. In Auckland, you may have heard of the difficulty international students face with finding accommodation. This has resulted in schools such as Rangitoto and Macleans College planning to build international student hostels, presumably using funds that could be put to better use in the classroom.
“Internationally these issues are beginning to galvanise the private sector who are starting to feel the effects. In Sweden, for example, large companies such as Ericsson are getting more involved in regular discussions about how to develop urban areas and are part of the decision-making process. Businesses depend on city wellbeing and governments on healthy economies for shared success. When the two are in alignment, they create a potent force for shared prosperity,” says Mr Walker.
The Survey also highlights four areas that could challenge the attractiveness of a city. In addition to affordable housing these include disaster exposure, income distribution and changing demographics.
“New Zealand is not alone in facing housing market pressures. Housing affordability and availability can have a long term effect on growth and a city’s success and we can learn from others already tackling these types of issues,” concludes Mr Walker.
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