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Song Rui: The City Samples of Global Urban Competitiveness Report

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Five hundred cities were selected for the Global Urban Competitiveness (GUC) study. The extent to which the two samples analyzed are extensive and typical is critical to the accuracy and value of the findings of the study. The thwo types of cities are selected in this study are:

General sample: 500 cities

       Five hundred sample cities across the world were selected for general assessment of their competitiveness. In the first step, a rough scanning is made for cities in countries and regions of the 6 continents. Candidates are selected from major cities for initial screening.  Next, the number of sample cities in each country or region is identified within the total of 500 worldwide, referring to local population and income per capita.  Then specific sample cities are selected in each country or region sequentially according to the size and economic importance. Finally, adjustments are made for sample cities in each country with considerations as to the availability, accuracy and comparability of the statistical data of each city. Eventually, those with availability of standard, comparable and accurate data available were selected as sample cities.

       In terms of geographic distribution, the 500 cities selected through the above steps are located in 130 countries and regions in 6 continents. Specifically, 181 of the cities are in Asia,143 inEurope,100 inNorth America,36 inAfrica,28 inSouth America and12 inOceania.  In terms of development stage, the 500 cities may be divided into 4 groups by the standard of GDP per capita (based on official exchange rates as of 2005). 91 of the sample cities are with GDP per capita of more than 40,000 dollars, 72 between 30,000 and 39,999 dollars, 74 between 10,000 and 29,999 dollars and 263 less than 10,000 dollars. In general, these 500 cities represent the development levels of different regions in today’s world. The reader should refer to the Global Urban Competitiveness Index Ranking for the 500 sample cities.

Focused Analysis Sample: 150 Cities

       Based on the general assessment of the 500 sample cities, 150 which play an important role in international, national and regional affairs are picked out in accordance with the following standards for focused competitiveness analysis: 

1. The candidate cities shall have considerable influence and be well known in the world with the most extensive human resource, capital and technology stocks.

2. The candidate cities shall be the economic, political and cultural centers in their respective countries and regions, with the most dynamic business activities, information flow and knowledge-based innovations.

3. The economic and social development models of the candidate cities shall be typical and representative.

4. The candidate cities shall have unique identities and value for study.

5. The candidate cities shall have abundant and detailed data available, and many achievements shall have been made in relevant studies about these cities.

       The 150 cities are located in 47 countries and regions in 6 continents, including major cities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and central cities in Latin America and Africa. As these cities vary in terms of natural resource reserves and development levels, a comprehensive analysis of their strengths and weaknesses could provide local governments and businesses with the basic data and reference materials to make informed decisions. See Part 3 for the 150 sample cities.

—— From“Global Urban Competitiveness Report(2007-2008)”,Pengfei  Ni with Peter Karl Kresl