Amsterdam & Randstad rated 16th in Global City Report

A research report measuring the influence of cities on the globe has found Amsterdam to be one of the top 20 most influential cities in the world.

The Changing Face of the Global City

The report, published by the Civil Service College in Singapore, in collaboration with Chapman University (USA), ranked Amsterdam and the Randstad as 16th at a global level, and fifth within Europe.

The study, entitled "Size is not the Answer: The Changing Face of the Global City", examined key cities around the world to determine which are the key centres of influence in 2014.

Instead of using standard methods of evaluation, the analysis used a new set of criteria, ranking global cities based in factors such as foreign direct investment, corporate headquarters, air connectivity and diversity.

Amsterdam shares equal 16th place with Seoul and the Washington Metropolitan Area.

"The Changing Face of the Global City" Top 20 ranking

Rank City
1 London
2 New York
3 Paris
4 Singapore
5 Tokyo
6 Hong Kong
7 Dubai
8 Beijing
8 Sydney
10 Los Angeles
10 San Francisco & the Bay Area
10 Toronto
13 Zurich
14 Frankfurt
14 Houston
16 Amsterdam & the Randstad
16 Seoul
16 Washington Metropolitan Area
19 Shanghai
20 Abu Dhabi
20 Chicago
20 Moscow

Size doesn’t matter

One of the main findings of the report was that the size of a city does not determine its power to influence.

Amsterdam and the Randstad are a prime example of this conclusion, with the report’s researchers describing the Dutch hub as a strong, but often overlooked, global player.

One of Amsterdam’s key strengths is its well-connected status, with Schiphol airport being one of Europe’s four main airport hubs. The Amsterdam Internet exchange also provides one of the largest data transport hubs in the world.

Findings on Amsterdam

The report found Amsterdam, and its Randstad cohort of The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, as being logistically well-placed thanks to Schiphol airport, and well-connected on a business level, due to the Netherlands’ centuries-old trading tradition.

The report also highlighted the Randstad’s standing as a favourite base for multinationals' European headquarters. Over 2.500 international companies have offices in and around Amsterdam, with 115 new international businesses setting up operations in the region in 2013.

Amsterdam’s diversity was also noted, the city is currently home to people of 178 different nationalities.

A different methodology

To measure the relative power to influence on a global scale, the report ranked cities according to eight criteria:

Air connectivity
The facility to travel, measuring access to global markets.

The number of foreign-born residents in the city as an indicator of global labour force.

Foreign direct investments
The attractiveness of a city to global investors.

Corporate headquarters
A city’s importance to major global companies as a base for head offices.

Producer services
The importance of a city as a provider of key service organisations for major industries.

Financial services
The importance of a city as a financial centre.

Technology and media
The status of a city as a technology and media hub, also as a barometer for cultural impact.

Industry domination or hub status
The city as a hub for other key global industries.

The report researchers emphasised that these factors are more indicative of a city’s tendency or ability to become a globally important city instead of measuring conventional factors such as size of the overall economy.

Source: Iamsterdam

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

Read more



Leave a comment