I recently received my monthly issue of Monocle and was excited to see their annual Quality of Life Survey for cities worldwide. The 2016 Survey captures the “elements that define superior cities–and why a bit of action after sundown is as vital as bike lanes and smooth tram lines.”

As a quick note, I first discovered Monocle in the Frankfurt, Germany airport as I was waiting to catch another flight. If you aren’t familiar with it, the magazine describes itself as “A Briefing Global Affairs, Business, Culture & Design.” It’s one of my favorite publications.

The top ranked city in the survey this year was Tokyo, Japan. Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen, Munich, Melbourne, Fukuoka, Sydney, Kyoto, and Stockholm round out the top 10 on the list.

What factors are they considering as they rank the cities? It’s a varied list that gives one a deeper understanding of what’s happening in a particular urban area:

  • Population
  • Ambulance response time
  • Unemployment rate
  • Monthly rent for one-bed apartment
  • Daily Newspapers
  • Culture
  • Restaurants opened in the past year
  • Can you get a good meal after 10pm?
  • Are dogs welcome?
  • Commuters who cycle to work
  • New infrastructure
  • Three things to improve the city

It was remarkable to read through the results and see how much the answers changed from city to city. It was also clear that culture and things happening after work hours were determining factors.

If you have a healthy and positive culture in your city, business, or organization you will have a firm foundation for future growth and development.

Culture matters.

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