What buzz and wellness mean to a tech city

What buzz and wellness mean to a tech city

Savills has just unveiled the latest findings of its Tech Cities research programme, which aims to understand the diverse factors that make places good locations for the tech sector. 

The Tech Cities programme currently measures 22 global centres against more than 100 individual metrics, grouped under headings such as tech environment, business environment, talent pool and real estate costs, but for the first time in 2017 Tech Cities has also considered how each city performs on buzz and wellness.

Cities attract young tech talent who increasingly want to live in dynamic, healthy neighbourhoods within walking or cycling distance of the office. The Tech Cities ‘buzz and wellness index’ specifically looks to capture these qualities and identify the liveable cities that deliver what this demographic desires by measuring ‘buzz’ (i.e. nightlife, entertainment and cultural offer), ‘wellness’ (i.e. pollution levels, quality of parks, healthcare, commuting times) and the cost of living (excluding property costs) in each location.

These new metrics have seen some changes to the cities included in the programme, with Melbourne appearing for the first time as the top tech city in Australia. When looking specifically at buzz and wellness, Melbourne ranks 16th on city buzz, 13th on cost of living and 3rd for wellness.

The trade-off between buzz and wellness

Cities with high buzz scores tend to have great bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, music venues and museums, and radiate excitement and creativity.  

But buzzy cities can have downsides: being popular on a world stage tends to lead to high property and living costs, and can lead to overcrowding and congestion. This could lead to younger generations of talent increasingly looking for something different as more young workers aim to strike a better balance between living in fun, energetic cities and maintaining their physical and mental health. Buzz alone may not be enough to attract these potential workers to a city, many of whom are either already employed or are looking to start careers in tech and its related industries.

That’s why it’s also important to look at wellness in a city - low crime and pollution rates, quality parks and public spaces, and low congestion. Copenhagen, Stockholm and Melbourne are at the top of this list.

While there’s often a trade-off between ‘buzz’ and ‘wellness’, Amsterdam and Toronto balance the two. Occupiers looking to attract the new generation of talent therefore need to pay close attention to such factors when looking for new locations

Looking at the future, we suspect it is these cities which can balance both factors (representing shorter commutes, easier access to amenities and a better work/life balance), that will move up the rankings in future iterations of Tech Cities.

City Buzz and Wellness index

Buzz and Wellness Index

City Buzz + Wellness + Cost of Living index*

Buzz and Wellness Index - Separate categories

*Each of the three components is weighted then averaged together to get the final index score.

Source: Savills World Research, Tech Cities 2017.

More Information

Savills Tech Cities 2017 programme aims to understand the diverse factors that make places a good location choice for the tech sector; examining 22 global centres which have thriving and growing tech industries, home grown start-ups and incubators, and are at the top of global shopping lists for tech companies looking for space in which to locate. Explore the globe.


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Nicky Wightman

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