Benchmarking Sydney’s Performance 2021
07 December, 2021

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Committee for Sydney

Report / 7 December 2021

Benchmarking Sydney’s Performance 2021

At the end of a second year of pandemic, our annual Benchmarking Sydney report sets the city’s performance against the rest of the world, giving us the opportunity to see our city as global investors see us. 

What’s becoming increasingly clear is that the really successful cities are working out how to service much bigger populations as they grow. In some ways this is an important by-product of the Covid-19 era – understanding community sentiment and the resilience of city communities is becoming as important a consideration as their economic competitiveness.

Our collaborators at the Business of Cities reviewed 800 global city metrics, selecting 140 critical rankings for understanding Sydney’s challenges and opportunities – on performance and perception, and short through to longer term measures. 

Sydney is ahead or improving on: 

  • Real GDP and purchasing power impacts through Covid-19 – sixth least severe among 21 leading global cities in 2020, falling to 10th least severe 
  • Citizen satisfaction with healthcare and safety – climbed 13 places to 29th globally
  • Rail infrastructure boost – climbed five places to 34th out of 48 leading global cities for metropolitan-wide density of rail stations
  • Still resilient for student experience – now fourth globally, up from 21st in 2019
  • Growing promise in life sciences – now 18th globally for potential to become a leading life sciences destination, ahead of Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Toronto
  • Gender pay equality – first among 15 top global cities for gender pay equality.

Sydney is behind or declining on: 

  • Air pollution – falling 13 places to 15th of 48 leading global cities for annual average exposure to air pollution, as data catches up to the 2019-2020 bushfires
  • Housing affordability – bottom three of measured global cities 
  • Renewable energy – 14th of 20 peers
  • Resident satisfaction with nightlife – second lowest level among 37 leading global cities
  • Sustainable mode share – still at just 34%, average is 44%
  • Foreign investment and financial sector perceptions for business friendliness – fallen out of the top 15 cities. 

You can also watch a member briefing by Dr Tim Moonen (Business of Cities Co-Founder and Managing Director, Greg Clark CBE (HSBC’s Group Advisor – Future Cities & New Industries) and Gabriel Metcalf (CEO of the Committee for Sydney).