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European Cities and Regions of the Future 2024: Poland’s high position

In the “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2024” ranking, many Polish cities were been distinguished as leaders of the future in Europe. In the category of medium-sized cities, Wrocław topped the list.

Colorful morning scene on Wroclaw Market Square with Town Hall. Sunny cityscape in historical capital of Silesia, Poland, Europe.

About the fDi intelligence ranking

The ranking is an annual study conducted by the bimonthly fDi Intelligence. This magazine belongs to the renowned British newspaper “The Financial Times”. It deals with analyses, including benchmarking and forecasting, which regions in Europe and the world will be a beneficial  choice for long-term investments.

The study included a total of 330 European cities, which were classified  into five groups according to population size. These five groups  were- the main  largest cities, large, medium-sized, small and micro. 141 European regions were also classified into three groups – large, medium and small regions. In addition to the overall ranking, these cities and regions were assessed in 5 categories: “business-friendly”, “economic potential”, “cost-effectiveness”, “human capital and lifestyle” and “connectivity”. A separate category was the “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy”.

Warsaw just missed the podium

In the category of the largest cities, the capital of Poland took 4th place. Only London (1st place), Amsterdam (2nd place) and Dublin (3rd place) were ahead of Warsaw. Such high overall results for the capital of Poland were influenced by the results in individual categories. Warsaw was ranked 2nd in the “business-friendly” category. The city was also 5th in the “human capital and lifestyle” category, 6th in the “economic potential” and 7th in the “cost-effectiveness” category.  Warsaw also took 8th place in the “FDI strategy” category.

Victory for Wrocław

In medium-sized cities, i.e. with 200,000 to 750,000 inhabitants, Wrocław turned out to be unrivalled. The capital of Lower Silesia took 1st place, ahead of Zurich, last year’s winner. The 9th place was awarded to Gdańsk.

A year ago, Wrocław was ranked 3rd in this category. This time, it won because, according to the authors of the ranking, it has had “a record year in terms of new direct investments (…), estimated with capital expenditures of USD 5.3 billion”. The biggest influence for this result is  the proposed investment of the American technology giant, Intel.

In addition to the record-breaking investment outlays, the assessment committee also pointed out that Wrocław is the “home of technology and innovation”. The capital of Lower Silesia also ranked high in several subcategories. It won as “business-friendly” and in “human capital and lifestyle”. It is worth noting that in this category the 2nd place went to Łódź, the 5th place went to  Gdansk, and the 7th Szczecin. Wrocław also took 3rd place in the “FDI strategy” and 4th place in the “economic potential” category (Gdańsk was 9th ).

Krakow similar to Warsaw

In the general ranking of large cities, Krakow took 4th place. Only three German cities were ahead of it: Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. The 7th place was taken by Poznań. In addition, Kraków won in the subcategories “human capital and lifestyle” and “business friendly” (Poznań took 3rd and 2nd place, respectively). The capital of Wielkopolska was also ranked 10th in the “FDI strategy” category. Kraków, on the other hand, was additionally ranked 6th in the “economic potential” category.

Small successes of other Polish cities

The victory of Wrocław and the 4th place of Warsaw and Krakow stand out in the foreground. However more Polish cities appeared in the ranking in individual categories. Among the large cities, Katowice (7th place in the categories “cost efficiency” and “FDI strategy”). Among medium-sized cities – Bydgoszcz (8th place in the “FDI strategy” category and 10th place in the “cost efficiency” category). In the general classification of  small and micro-cities, there were no Polish cities   ranked in either of the TOP10 . Only in the “business-friendly” subcategory was Gliwice ranked 2nd (as a small city), while Gdynia was 7th in “FDI strategy”. In the “cost-effectiveness” category, among micro-cities, the 7th and 9th places were taken by Legnica and Stryków.

Polish regions ranked highly

As mentioned earlier, the study also classified 141 European regions, divided into three groups – large, medium and small. And here, too, Polish regions can be proud of small successes.

Among the largest regions, Mazovia was ranked 4th in “cost efficiency” and 8th in “economic potential” and “human capital and lifestyle”. Silesia was ranked 3rd in the “cost-effectiveness” category and 9th in the “FDI strategy” category.

In the “business-friendly” subcategory, there were as many as five Polish regions  out of the ten, classified as medium-sized. They were Lower Silesia (2nd place), Małopolska (4th place), Wielkopolska (6th place), Pomerania (7th place) and the Łódź region (9th place).

We would like to congratulate all the winners. Let’s hope for more such successes in next years edition of the rankings!

Source: fDi intelligence ranking (PDF)

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