EU cities sweep social inclusion and prosperity awards

EU cities sweep social inclusion and prosperity awards

Of the top 20 cities in the world, 15 are European

On 21 November 2019, the first-ever Prosperity & Inclusion City Seal and Award (PICSA) were bestowed to 20 cities from across the world.  The winners were chosen based on the PICSA Index Report which reflects three distinct spheres of urban development – Prosperity (GDP per capita and quality of life of citizens), Social Inclusion (safety, education and internet access) and Spatial Inclusion (housing, environmental quality and access to healthcare).

Explaining the PICSA index and its many facts, PICSA Index co-founder Bruno Lanvin, stated that “With the PICSA index, for the first time, cities were measured not only based on income but on three pillars that create an overall picture of inclusivity. Through their work on prosperity, social inclusion and spatial inclusion, the cities that ranked on the top of the index have demonstrated world-leading projects and policies that have created inclusive urban centres for all their citizens.”.

The award ceremony was held in Bilbao, Spain, and was attended by over 100 city leaders, experts on urban development and other dignitaries. Together they also discussed the importance of cities in fighting inequalities, climate change and their roles as drivers for economic prosperity.

European citizens – the biggest beneficiaries of good governance

Based on the PICSA index, the top city for social inclusion and prosperity is Zurich, Switzerland followed closely by Vienna, Austria and in 3rd place Copenhagen, Denmark. Citizens of these three cities are more likely to have a higher quality of life and better access to vital services – in general, they are those who are most well looked after by their respective local governments.

And here is the full list of top 20 winners:

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  5. Helsinki, Finland
  6. Taipei, Taiwan
  7. Oslo, Norway
  8. Ottawa, Canada
  9. Kiel, Germany
  10. Geneva, Switzerland
  11. Washington, USA
  12. Munich, Germany
  13. Prague, Czech Republic
  14. Seattle, USA
  15. Stockholm, Sweden
  16. Boston, USA
  17. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  18. Berlin, Germany
  19. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  20. Bilbao, Spain

It is evident that cities in the EU and in Europe as a whole are by far the most dominant group on the list – but that does not mean that there isn’t more work to be done. Other EU municipalities could also learn much from the example set out by the frontrunners like Vienna and Copenhagen.  



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