Berlin Is Still an Attractive City for Artists, According to Study

The German capital's magnetism hasn't faded, defying predictions.

The canal surrounding the Bode Museum, Berlin. Photo: Thomas Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

Berlin has a well-established reputation as an artist’s paradise. And whilst studio space isn’t as cheap and bountiful as it was a decade ago, a new study by the consultancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers ranks it among the top cities in several artist-friendly categories.

The study, titled Cities of Opportunity, ranked 30 global metropolises on the basis of publicly available data. According to the study’s findings, Die Welt reports, Berlin offers an enormously high quality of life compared to other international cities.

Although it may surprise Berlin’s current residents, who sometimes grumble over rising rents, living in the German capital is comparatively cheap. Of the 30 cities studied in the investigation only Johannesburg, Toronto, and Los Angeles were found to be cheaper.

Berlin also ranked highly in the categories of safety, green space, sustainable lifestyle, and for its lively cultural scene.

Additionally, the city appeals to residents both young and old. Only New York and London ranked as more attractive for young people, whilst only London and Sydney offer better care services for the elderly.

A mural (top) by artist Aaron Li-Hill decorates the building that will house the Urban Nation museum for urban contemporary art, in Berlin on may 20, 2016. The museum, the first of its kind exclusively dedicated to street art, is expected to open its doors in 2017, though many of the works will be displayed where they belong: in the street. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A mural (top) by artist Aaron Li-Hill decorates the building that will house the Urban Nation museum for urban contemporary art, in Berlin on May 20, 2016. Courtesy of JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images.

“Berlin is a city that obviously not only attracts young people, but people of all ages because it offers a very high quality of life,” Steffen Döring, partner at PwC Berlin told Die Welt.

All of these qualities explain why artists flock to Berlin. The study, however, has also exposed a major drawback. The city has a serious economic deficiency, which the authors measure in terms of the number of corporate headquarters, economic growth, and the number of new jobs created. Only Lagos, São Paulo, Bogotá, and Rio de Janeiro ranked lower.

“The challenge is to provide a basis for these excellent living conditions with more growth and greater prosperity for its citizens,” Döring added. “For years Berlin has remind below its potential.” It seems that former Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit’s famous description of Berlin as “Poor, but sexy,” made in 2004, still rings true for the moment.


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