Is London the world’s most reputable city?

I recently saw a news item which said that London has earned the highest reputation rating in Reputation Institute’s 2011 City RepTrak, an annual study that assesses public perceptions of 100 cities, representing some 59 countries.

The study measures the overall trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards these cities, as well as perceptions across 13 different attributes relating to economy, administration and general appeal.

I know that a person’s perception of a city, actually their perception of anything for that matter, is an entirely personal thing; and that people like or dislike places for any number of complex reasons, but I simply don’t believe that London is the world’s most reputable city.

In fact, I don’t believe that any city is the world’s most reputable. How can anyone realistically judge such a thing when it is the human element which makes up a city?

Let’s take London as an example. There is no doubt that London is full of historical buildings, and wonderful, if sometimes archaic, traditions; there is certainly an overwhelming amount of cultural activities in which to indulge; and there can be no doubt that London is one of the world leaders when it comes to finance, plus it has a legal and political system which are very workable.

As a visitor to London I have found the locals to be unfriendly, the streets to be dirty, the food to be atrocious, the prices to be exceedingly expensive and the weather is generally rotten. All of those elements, whether taken singly or as a combination, just don’t add up to making London the most reputable city in the world.

This week the workers in London, and elsewhere in Britain, went on a general strike. London was so reputable that air travellers were advised not to travel to London because huge delays were expected at Customs and Immigration.

Several months ago thousands of people rampaged through the streets of London ransacking shops – those sorts of incidents don’t cement an image of a city of repute in my feeble mind.
I don’t dispute that London is a great city, and it is certainly worth visiting, but if London has a reputation for anything, it’s for being expensive. And I don’t mean a little bit expensive, I mean outrageously expensive, thanks to the inflated value of the Pound.

London is one of those places that you go to because you really should visit it, just like you should visit Paris, New York, Rome and dozens of other cities because of the overall experiences you have in them.

As for London being the world’s most reputable city? It’s nowhere near it in my book.

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