Positive shift for Amsterdam
According to research by the Civil Service College in Singapore and the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University (USA), Amsterdam is one of the most influential cities in the world.
In their ranking of the world’s most influential cities, Amsterdam comes 16th – 5th of the European cities. The researchers looked beyond the standard – and sometimes misleading – methods of evaluating the global importance of cities. Instead they took into account the amount of foreign direct investment cities attract; the concentration of corporate headquarters; how many particular business niches they dominate; air connectivity (ease of travel to other global cities); strength of producer services; financial services; technology and media power and racial diversity.
Beyond traditional variables
These factors are more predictive of cities becoming important global cities than traditional measures such as the size of the overall economy, the researchers advocate. London and New York top the list, but the researchers add that they are not the hegemonic powers that they were throughout much of the 20th century.
The fact that Amsterdam is a well-connected city in so many different ways contributes a lot to its importance as a city. From Amsterdam, the rest of the world is never far away: Amsterdam is in the top five of best connected cities by air.
Amsterdam also has a history of diversity and tolerance. Today, people from 178 different nationalities call this city their home. In the 17th century, about 45% of the city’s population was born abroad. Amsterdam, notes the French historian Fernand Braudel, offered outsiders a “haven of comparative security,” adding “the miracle of toleration was to be found wherever the community of trade convened.”