January 17, 2006 09:00 ET

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Canadian Cities Face Same Challenges As Global Counterparts, PwC Study

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2006) -

Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver participants in global research project

While each city in Canada has its own unique identity, characteristics and environment, a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found that they also face common challenges and opportunities. The study highlights that virtually every city around the globe deals with the issue of imbalance between the responsibilities placed on cities and the resources they have to address those responsibilities.

PwC's Cities of the future - global competition, local leadership, is based on year-long research and interviews with senior figures from over 40 cities from all continents around the world, including Toronto's Mayor David Miller, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and the former mayor of Vancouver, Larry Campbell. The study identifies the principle challenges and trends influencing city leaders all over the world. The PwC research has uncovered that regardless of differing environments, cities around the world are facing similar trends:

- Globalization: competition between cities to attract global businesses is increasing.

- Citizen expectations: citizens need to be viewed by city officials as customers.

- Acceleration: citizens expect fast, responsive service from government.

- Technology: technology has implications on the delivery of all existing services.

- Urbanization: large cities have a growing influence on the economic health and prosperity of wider regions and in some cases nations.

- Democratic renewal: cities around the world are searching for more effective ways to ensure that citizens have a real voice in making their cities work.

"With 60% of the world population predicted to live in cities by 2030, cities must be proactive in developing and articulating their vision for the future," says Stephen Martin, leader of the PwC Canada Municipal Government Practice. "Once determined, city leaders should develop a holistic and integrated strategic plan, encompassing all aspects of municipal responsibilities, outlining the steps they need to take to successfully achieve their vision."

The PwC report points out that all cities seek to compete on a global scale, become economically viable and a place that people want to live, grow and invest. Martin adds "The report provides fresh perspectives on cities, their challenges, and their visions, and steps they are taking to develop effective and pragmatic strategies for the future - strategies that reflect today's and tomorrow's trends, developments and needs."

In addition to identifying trends, city leaders also identified significant challenges that have to be taken into account when creating an integrated strategic plan for the future. The report segregates these critical challenges into a number of different asset groups, or capitals. These capitals form the basis for developing a strategic approach for cities moving forward:

- Intellectual and social capital: to compete in the international knowledge economy means ensuring the appropriate people, skills and capabilities are developed and retained.

- Democratic capital: city administrations need to be accountable and transparent in their dialogue with citizens.

- Culture and leisure capital: a strong city brand is a potent weapon to maximize visibility of the city's qualities.

- Environmental capital: cities have to provide a clean, green and safe environment.

- Technical capital: city technologies must be able to support the changing needs of their citizens. This includes basic infrastructure needs like transport, housing, water and energy, as well as new demands for effective communication like broadband networks.

- Financial capital: growing demands on cities' budgets mean that cities need to be creative and flexible in their financial strategies.

Located in more than 21 cities across the country, PwC's Canadian Government and Public Sector Practice provides independent and objective advice to clients across the broad public sector at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal government levels.

We are working with local government and other municipal sector organizations across Canada to meet the challenges they face and keep their organizations relevant and effective by providing a comprehensive range of advisory and financial assurance services.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Forest, (416) 814-5730. The full report Cities of the future - global competition, local leadership can be found at

PricewaterhouseCoopers ( provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 130,000 people in 148 countries work collaboratively using Connected Thinking to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ( and its related entities have more than 4,300 partners and staff in offices across the country.

(Unless otherwise indicated, "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Canada, an Ontario limited liability partnership. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Canada, is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.)

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