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APR 21, 2021 | Press Release

Arcadis 2021 International Construction Cost Index finds Geneva, London, and Copenhagen the most expensive cities

Amsterdam, April 21, 2021 – Arcadis (EURONEXT: ARCAD), the leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets, today announced the release of its annual Arcadis International Construction Cost Index (ICC). Following Geneva, London, and Copenhagen, Oslo and Zurich took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, as the most expensive cities on the list. The five least expensive cities are found in Asia and India.
The 2021 Arcadis ICC Index covers 100 of the world’s large cities across six continents. The cost comparison was developed covering twenty building functions, based on a survey of construction costs, review of market conditions and the professional judgement from its global team of experts. The calculations are based in USD and indexed against the price range for each building type relative to Amsterdam. This year, coverage has been extended to cities such as Oslo, Vienna, Nice, Memphis, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kiev. The devaluation of the U.S. dollar is the main factor contributing to the drop of U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco to sixth and seventh place, respectively.
In addition to providing a comparative index of global construction costs, this report also looks at construction around the world and the noteworthy changes and initiatives of the past year in numerous global markets amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As some governments prepare to launch various initiatives to boost their economies which includes investment spending on infrastructure, Arcadis highlights the opportunity to create long term value from the right investments especially around sustainability. A five-point plan is presented in the report to help guide clients and their project teams to define and deliver their project requirements in the context of a broader assessment of value.
“While the last year has been focused on the global public health crisis, climate change is still a challenge facing all of us, and with construction accounting for a significant share of total carbon emissions it is crucial our industry increasingly embeds sustainability into every project,” said Andrew Beard, Arcadis’ Global Head of Cost & Commercial Management.
“With the various recovery programs there is an opportunity for the construction industry to create lasting change and create a more productive, inclusive, and sustainable future. This starts with making sure that every investment creates not only a quantifiable return but also enhances resilience and sustainability towards carbon neutrality,” added Beard.

 10 most expensive cities


 1. Geneva 

6. New York City 

 2. London 

7. San Francisco 

 3. Copenhagen 

8. Hong Kong

 4. Oslo 

 9. Dublin

 5. Zurich  

 10. Macau


 10 most expensive cities


 100. Bengaluru 

 95. Wuhan

 99. New Delhi

 94. Chengdu

 98. Mumbai

 93. Nairobi

 97. Kuala Lumpur

 92. Johannesburg

 96. Ho Chi Minh City

 91. Guangzhou


Download the report here


Improving quality of life
Monika Grabek
Mobile: +31 6 11 40 36 96

Jurgen Pullens
Mobile: +31 6 51599483

Arcadis is a leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 28,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.5 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.


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