The Attractiveness of Global Business Districts Report: The Challenge to Remain Competitive

EY and ULI partnered to create The Attractiveness of Global Business Districts (GBD) Report, which assesses and compares the world’s leading business districts. This report looks at the world’s largest geographical concentrations of businesses, skills, economic power, and capital. It uses hundreds of objective data points to compare real estate and infrastructure supply, labour pools, education systems, urban environments, shopping centres, sports amenities, and cultural facilities.

After releasing a very successful first edition in 2017, Paris La Défense, in cooperation with the Global Business Districts Innovation Club, has again commissioned EY and ULI to independently assess the attractiveness of global business districts in 2020. This report sheds light on what attracts businesses and talent and how cities and business districts can improve to remain attractive. In 2020, we surveyed 349 professionals worldwide. In addition, 22 global industry leaders were interviewed to obtain their inputs and perspectives.

This is a timely report given the current crisis caused by COVID-19, as we assess the impact the crisis might have on how we live and work in our cities and districts and how we adapt to make these environments more resilient. While this report does not specifically detail the measures that cities and business districts have taken or could be taking, it does provide a platform to assess the response of cities in time. Resilience and adaptation are key drivers for the success of business districts. The current pandemic and associated responses such as lockdowns, social distancing, and remote working are key elements for cities to respond to and to maintain their positions as leading business districts.