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The ideal European city, what does it look like? Is it London, or maybe more like Paris, or should we be looking at Oslo? The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor examined 168 cities in 30 countries based on 29 criteria and concluded that the ideal city does not exist. But what if you would look at which cities score best on the different criteria, could such a city ‘virtually’ be created? Certainly, that can be done. And yes, such an ideal city would be a lot less ideal without Eindhoven.

According to the monitor, there are eight cities that combine the best characteristics for that ideal city: Copenhagen, Utrecht, Glasgow, Leuven, Paris, Cork, Umea and Eindhoven.  Now you do have to be careful, of course, that you combine the right aspects of each city because each of these winning cities also has plenty that still needs improvement.

Eindhoven scores especially high on, it won’t be a surprise, “intellectual property and innovation”. All those patents, all those inventions, have not gone unnoticed. For “new jobs in creative sectors” we have to be in the Swedish Umea. Paris brings “cultural participation” and “creative and knowledge-based jobs”. Cork has the best “cultural venues”, Leuven the “cultural capital and education”, Glasgow scores on “Openness, tolerance, and Trust”. For the best connections (“local and international connections”) we have to go to Utrecht and the best “governance” can be found in Copenhagen. Add all those things together and you have the ideal European city.


Zooming in on Eindhoven, we see another interesting thing: the city isn’t only number one in the field of innovation, but also when you’re looking at things like accessibility and management. The city scores a lot lower on fields like employment in the creative sector and openness and tolerance. That last one is, for example, visible in the small number of foreign graduates and the integration of foreigners in the city. This means that according to this monitor Eindhoven is in 5th place of the 168 examined cities.  Paris gloriously tops the list; Zurich, Bern and Copenhagen are just above Eindhoven.

Here all the scores of the city together