Of the world’s roughly 10,000 cities, Atlanta ranks in the top .5 percent. How’s that for billboard material?

The more sobering news: ATL isn’t sniffing the top-city slot in its own country.

That’s according to Resonance Consultancy, a Vancouver-based global consulting firm that just released its 2023 World’s Best Cities Report. It ranks Atlanta at No. 50, summarizing the current state of things here as: “Ambitious and dripping with history, ATL is creating its future mid-flight.” 

For all the city’s warts and frustrations, the slotting continues a strong year for Atlanta, in terms of national and international accolades and media attention.

Resonance Consultancy considers its annual rundown “the most comprehensive city ranking on the planet”—a sentiment that’s been echoed by Bloomberg.

The study leans on “objective… proprietary methodology” that weighs an array of factors, including each city's architecture, internet presence, diversity, weather, culinary scene, presence of major corporations, airport connectivity, pro sports teams, arts and culture, nightlife, and income inequality, which is notoriously not ATL’s strong suit.

In the latest report, Atlanta does rank above global business and cultural powerhouses such as Shanghai, Rio, Miami, Mexico City, Cologne, and Hanoi.

The Midtown and downtown sections of Atlanta's skyline, as seen over Atlantic Station in October.

Resonance Consultancy’s summation of Atlanta succeeds in not mentioning the Civil War (cue: harp music) but instead focuses on a history of civil rights and current growth. An excerpt:

“… more than 200,000 [people relocated] to the city over the past year, with more mulling their options, indicated by ATL’s No. 11 Google Search ranking globally. Good thing the city—already home to Global 500 companies that rank it No. 31 on the planet—is planning for the influx, with bold projects downtown (like the 50-acre Gulch redevelopment called Centennial Yards, featuring 12 million square feet of residential, retail, and office space, and 1,500 hotel rooms).”

Courtesy of Resonance Consultancy

The ranking continues Atlanta’s 2022 winning streak for positive—if sometimes questionable—city-o-meter outcomes. Most notably, Money magazine’s October issue declared the city proper “the Best Place to Live in the U.S.”, citing Atlanta’s “booming jobs market and eye on equality,” among other factors.  

British publication The Economist declared Atlanta in August the “most livable” city in the United States. A couple of weeks later, a CommercialCafe analysis found Atlanta to be the country’s best city for young adults, or Generation Z, right now. All of that followed a poll in April among 175 organizations in 23 countries that determined ATL to be the top target for global real estate investment in the U.S.  

Before the chamber of commerce declares a ticker-tape parade, consider that 13 other U.S. cities ranked higher than ATL in the new Resonance Consultancy report, with some surprises among them.

They are New York (No. 3 overall) followed by: Los Angeles (12); Chicago (13); San Francisco (14); Washington D.C. (17); Las Vegas? (21); San Diego (32); Boston (36); Seattle (39); Orlando (40); Houston (42); Austin (43); and Dallas (47).

And for what it’s worth, this is Resonance Consultancy’s ranking of the world’s Top 10 upper echelon of urban places:

1. London

(Declared the world’s “capital of capitals”)  

2. Paris

3. New York

4. Tokyo

5. Dubai

6. Barcelona

7. Rome

8. Madrid

9. Singapore

10. Amsterdam

• Money magazine: 'Atlanta is the best place to live in the U.S.' (Urbanize Atlanta)