2016 U.S. Place Equity Index


All cities, large and small, compete for talent, trade, investment and tourism. Historically, cities’ competitive identities were determined primarily by geographic factors and their effective exploitation of natural advantages like climate, access to resources, ports and proximity to other centers and points of trade.

But as developed economies have shifted from a manufacturing orientation to services, physical location has become less important in determining the economic success of not only cities, but also states and countries. Today, it is increasingly quality of place that determines where talent, capital and tourism flows.

Resonance Consultancy has undertaken Destination Assessments and created Destination Development Plans for a wide range of communities, cities and countries around the world. The Place Equity Index was developed to quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity of one city to another by collecting data for the Top 100 U.S. cities on 23 key factors that influence external perceptions of destinations as places to live, visit, work and play. Unlike most rankings that are either based solely on statistics or surveys of public opinion, the Place Equity Index uses both statistical measures combined with an analysis of millions of reviews by locals and visitors in social media channels such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. Rankings for each of these factors have been grouped into six categories explained in the report:



  • PLACE Perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environment
  • PRODUCT Quality of a city’s key institutions, attractions and infrastructure
  • PROGRAMMING Quality of the arts, culture and entertainment in a city
  • PEOPLE Educational attainment, immigration and diversity of a community
  • PROSPERITY Employment, income, poverty and corporate head offices
  • PROMOTION Quantity of articles, references and recommendations online

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