For the first time, Edmonton has found itself on a list ranking the best cities in the world.
Edmonton came in at No. 60 on the World’s Best Cities 2018 list, which is compiled by global consulting firm Resonance Consultancy.
The Top 100 cities are chosen based on six key categories: place, product, programming, people, prosperity and promotion.
Edmonton scored higher in the people, place and prosperity categories, while falling short on the remaining three criteria.
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Edmonton’s close proximity to the oilsands, and well-paying jobs were among the reasons for the nod, as well as its “festival city” reputation, the University of Alberta and healthy immigration.
The revitalization of downtown also made Edmonton a contender, catapulting the city into the “urban renewal conversation that has been happening in other North American industry cities.”
“The catalyst has been the new Rogers Place arena downtown, occupied by the rebuilt, young National Hockey League Edmonton Oilers,” reads Edmonton’s profile.
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Brad Ferguson, the president and CEO of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, said rankings like these are important to attract talent, companies and investment to the city. He said Edmontonians should be proud that the city made it to No. 60.
“When you start getting into the Top 100 and when you’re in between New Orleans and Bangkok, people start to take attention to you and that’s what we need for a city,” he explained.
“Companies look at them, researchers look at them, families look at them in terms of safe places to live, great places to live.”
However, city councillor Scott McKeen doesn’t exactly see it that way.
“Sixtieth, I sort of go, ‘Meh, that’s nice,'” he said. “When I see these kind of rankings I always think, ‘Yeah, but you kind of missed a lot of our virtues.’ Our culinary scene is just amazing now and we have this great mix of rural and urban.”
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McKeen thinks Edmonton is still largely undervalued, not only around the globe but within Canada.
“When you add up quality of life, cost of living, cost of housing, we have a very flat hierarchy here. People who want to get a meeting with a city councillor, they can do that. People can access services and programs and opportunity here like no other city,” he said.
“You can come to a place like Edmonton, start a business, start a family, start a career and do very well here… we have tons to offer and some of that is hard to quantify.
“Nationally, Edmonton has never gotten its due. I think that we are still a bit of a hidden gem in Canada.”
Other Canadian cities to make the list include Toronto (13), Vancouver (29), Calgary (34), Montreal (41) and Ottawa (51).
London, England was named the No. 1 city in the world, followed by New York, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo to round out the Top 5.
The Top 10 cities are listed below:
2) New York
9) San Francisco
The list of the Top 100 cities considers the opinions of a city’s residents and its visitors. To see the entire list, visit the Best Cities website.