10 May 2021

Singapore emerged from our research as a future focused international benchmark. A city-state which enjoys a strong relationship and a rich exchange of knowledge and ideas with Australia, where our Urbis business is located.

Our Mission Fit Cities scorecard combines a rigorous and integrated set of metrics which have been selected to predict how a city will perform in the future, based on the strengths of its foundations today. It has been informed by our Generation 6 Cities research which explores the challenges our cities face and the factors that will underpin their future competitiveness, resilience and livability.

People and Planet are fundamental to future success. If we cannot support the environmental resilience of our cities, then they cannot grow; equally if a city has a weak People score it cannot progress socially or economically.

Positivity and Power focus on the themes of confidence and leadership, they suggest the importance of both building momentum and having the collective capability to harness it.

Place is an important mediator of city experience, supporting inclusion, identity, wellbeing and knowledge share: it is essential to the talent agenda and a key investment in growing Performance.

Whilst Singapore may not come out as the strongest performer against all success indicators, Australia can learn from the city’s focus on optimising human capital and consequent Mission Fit Score of 85%. 

  • Singapore’s core strength is its highly educated knowledge oriented workforce and co-ordinated national approach to skills development — attractive to expatriates, it has a resilient and future-focused talent pool.
  • Sustained growth in GDP and strong productivity per capita, combined with long-term strategies to deepen and diversify the economic base.
  • Highly integrated approach to transport, land
    use and economic development — enabling value creation, delivering agglomeration benefits and driving increased social equity and opportunity.
  • Increasing focus on placemaking, public realm, culture and creativity which are enriching the urban experience and lifestyle appeal.
  • Challenges to air quality and food security are
    acknowledged and commitments to renewable energy and urban agriculture will support future resilience and wellbeing.
  • Continuing to celebrate Singapore’s authentic cultural identity and build on grass roots community participation will further strengthen its international brand.
  • Maintaining the emphasis on precinct-based renewal with a public realm focus that fosters social and professional networking as a catalyst to knowledge sharing.

Cities succeeding today — like Singapore — made bold decisions 20 years ago that set them up for the success they now enjoy. For our continued growth, and to protect the lifestyle we enjoy, we need to make bold decisions of our own.

In addition to the full Mission Fit Cities scorecard for Singapore, we’ve also examined four international cities capitalising on their strengths as well as facing serious challenges in the future.

New York

Towards the top of the global tree for much of the last century with a Mission Fit Score of 75%, New York faces increasing competition for economic dominance (Performance). With human capital of growing importance, it needs to focus on fostering local skills and reducing reliance on interstate and international talent (People).


One to watch, Toronto is coming to our attention through the increasing strength of its city brand (Positivity) and economic growth (Performance), with a Mission Fit Score of 77%.


A rising European star gaining economic and lifestyle momentum (Positivity). This city is leveraging the benefit of its dense network of local and global connections to build its presence in the international business and tourism arenas, achieving a Mission Fit Score of 79%. 


An established city and economic heavy weight, with a Mission Fit Score of 81%.  London’s future success will be driven by its sustained investment in transport, digital infrastructure, innovation ecologies and urban vitality.

For further information regarding how to enhance Singapore’s global competitiveness, please contact:

Jack Backen View Profile