Well, Atlanta, be careful what you wish for. The endless touting of the ATL as a world-class city is paying off, with our town squeaking into the top 25 on a new Guardian study of global city brands. Barely.
We’re No. 22, sandwiched between Melbourne and Mecca. We can muster pride in being one of only six U.S. cities on the list; take that, Houston and Charleston! But when you go toe-to-toe with other world cities, the assessment can be harsh. “There just isn't enough for visitors to see to make the capital of Georgia competitive with the top tier of U.S. cities,” writes the Guardian’s Chris Michael. Ouch. But, what do you expect when the World of Coca-Cola goes up against the Louvre and Sagrada Familia?
The Guardian commissioned the brand survey from Saffron, a consulting company that specializes in city branding and published a ranking of European cities in 2008. The study considered a city’s “assets,” which range from weather to infrastructure, safety, economic prosperity, and “buzz.”
Factors in Atlanta’s favor include transportation (although Michael’s praise for MARTA was mystifyingly enthusiastic; one presumes he's never been stuck in the bowels of the Peachtree Center station waiting for a delayed train) and our stature in the hip-hop world. Aside from a dearth of attractions, Atlanta was also dinged as “dangerous in places.”
Click here for details on how the rankings were compiled and here for the Guardian’s low-down on the top 25 cities.
The Top 25 City Brands
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- Rio de Janeiro
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas
- Mexico City
- Buenos Aires
- Sao Paulo