New York has knocked London off the top spot for the most influential city in the world. Berlin saw the fastest improvement in its score and the big Asian cities, Beijing, Singapore and Shanghai have all see strong grown in their rankings.

The survey, which was conducted by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank looks judges 40 cities that make attractive places for the world’s wealthy. Liam Bailey of Knight Frank explains this year’s results: ‘London has suffered more than many financial centres during the recent financial downturn and there is growing concern among the footloose international elite over threats to the city’s previously relatively stable tax environment.

The gap between the top four cities (New York, London, Paris and Tokyo) and the rest of the field is still substantial, however. Where the emerging centres still fall short is on the softer issues of quality of life and knowledge and intellectual influence. To matter as a world city you need to score well on all measures; you need a broad base of appeal – something clearly demonstrated by both Paris and Tokyo. World cities are well connected in terms of transport and communications but more importantly, in terms of ideas. These are the locations where the world’s most influential people wan to congregate because these are the locations where the ideas and values that define the global agenda and shape the world are created and settled.’