I developed a ranking system for the greatest cities of the world. This is not a most-livable cities list, not a best-cities-to-do-business list, but a list of the largest and most influential cities on earth. These are “great cities” in the sense of the definition in the Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary:
GREAT, a. [L. crassus.] 1. Large in bulk or dimensions; a term of comparison, denoting more magnitude or extension than something else, or beyond what is usual; as a great body; a great house; a great farm. … 6. Important; weighty; as a great argument; a great truth; a great event; a thing of no great consequence; it is no great matter.
The rankings consider population, economy, cultural impact and connectedness. Tokyo, New York and London land in the top three. Despite the rapid rise in population and wealth among many emerging economy cities, particularly in Asia, U.S. cities are still very well represented in the rankings. The strength of the U.S. economy, high internet use and the large domestic air travel market lead to higher ranking than I would have expected. The data sources are generally from 2002; I will post updated rankings when available.
From top to bottom, here are the 60 greatest cities:
|33||Rio de Janeiro|
Data sources used in the ranking:
1. Metropolitan area population – Per “Th. Brinkhoff: Principal Agglomerations and Cities of the World, http://www.citypopulation.de, 12.11.2002″
2. Web citations: Google search engine
3. Number of Fortune Global 500 company headquarters – Fortune Magazine, July 21, 2003
4. Metropolitan airport passengers – ACI 2002 Passenger Counts