The study focussed on the role urban centres play in the context of APEC's economic and social growth with cities, rather than nations, competing for an increasingly mobile and global labour force.
Auckland ranks higher than its Australian neighbour Melbourne (at eighth), driven by its top ranking in six out of 39 variables.
Variables were grouped into five indicators: culture and society, connectivity, health and welfare, environmental sustainability and economics. Melbourne was a strong performer but only ranked highest in two out of 39 variables, contributing to its lower overall ranking relative to Auckland.
In addition, average performance in the culture and social health indicator and environmental sustainability indicator meant Auckland ranked higher overall than Hong Kong (11th), Shanghai (13th) and Beijing (14th).
Coming in as the top-four ranked cities overall were Toronto, Vancouver, the city-state Singapore and mega-city Tokyo. Cities need to build up their 'brand' and these four are globally identifiable and perform well over a range of indicators, with no major weakness.
All four cities ranked highest in one indicator, suggesting these cities have strong, recognisable features which they are renowned for, in addition to their broad base.
In contrast, although Hong Kong ranked highest in the economics indicator and second in transport and global connectivity, the city suffered through its performance in environmental sustainability, culture and social health, and health and welfare.
The 11th placing of Hong Kong suggests that cities need to play to their strengths, and work towards ensuring that their weaknesses are not fatal flaws.
BUILDING BETTER CITIES APEC CITY RANKINGS