Monday, April 27, 2009

We’re Number Three! We’re Number Three!

Every year, fDi magazine (Foreign Direct Investment, an offshoot of London’s Financial Times newspaper) does a ranking of 400 North American cities (divided into categories based on population) that looks at quality of life and other leading and business indicators to determine the “North American Cities of the Future.”

Victoria got the #3 position in our category, called “Micro Cities” (population within the city limits of under 100,000). Greenville, S.C. and Wilmington, Delaware nabbed the #1 and #2 spots, respectively. Victoria was also awarded the #1 spot for “Best Infrastructure” (apparently they didn’t ask about our sewage) and #2 for “Best fDi Strategy,” which I’m going to assume means conning foreigners out of their cash. :)

Quite a number of Canadian cities got a spot in the charts, though oddly none of them in the overall “Top 10” (Vancouver not being mentioned at all -- in any category or list -- is a serious eyebrow-raiser).

We were pleased to see that Tampa did very well for itself in the “small cities” category (#1 “Small City of the Future” and placing in other categories), and Orlando did well in its “Large City” category (#1 in quality of life and well in other categories). Tampa (and Miami) were the two Florida cities to make the overall Top 10.

The most surprising city to make these lists (apart from Surprise, Arizona, which ranked just below Victoria in the “Micro Cities of the Future” category) to me at least was sleepy little Halifax, Nova Scotia, ranking #1 in “Best fDi Strategy for Small Cities.” I suspect this is due almost entirely to NS’s real estate boom in vacation homes for Europeans.

The most amusing factoid coming out of these lists is that when it comes to costs (like labour costs, costs of living, cost effectivness, etc), suddenly the list is dominated by Mexican cities (who are almost completely and utterly absent from any non-cost category). Geez, on our budget maybe we should be living down there ... oh wait, the flu thing ... nevermind ...

3 comments:

Jim said...

Orlando #1 in quality of life for large cities??!! That's satire, right? Holy ****, I don't want to know what it's like to be at the bottom of that list, then!!!

chas_m said...

Believe me, I hear ya!

I mean, these business types are probably counting the no-state-taxes, easy access to the beach and sunny climate in their computations, but I still can't figure out how a town with shit for public transport, the lowest wages this side of the third world and the most contempt for art and culture I've ever encountered could rank on any list of "quality of life."

Jim said...

Not to mention cripplingly inadequate highway infrastructure coupled with runaway population! As far as lowest wages this side of the third world, Asheville's got that all sewed up, brother! If you're not making $8-12 an hour you are some kind of FREAK to be gawked at on the midway!

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