Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the Germanstate of Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley locally known as the "Stuttgarter Kessel" English: Stuttgart cauldron an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Stuttgart's urban area has a population of 623,738, and a further making it the sixth largest city in Germany, 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region, and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany.
Today Stuttgart is a very important economic zone within the European Union, consistently being ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP. Mercer's 2015 List of cities by quality of livingranked Stuttgart at 21st, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities, and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-statusworld city in their 2014 survey. Such companies as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Dinkelacker are headquartered here.
cc by Martin Dürrschnabel
At the centre of Stuttgart lies its main square, Schlossplatz. As well as being the largest square in Stuttgart, it stands at the crossover point between the city's shopping area, Schlossgarten park which runs down to the river Neckar, Stuttgart's two central castles and major museums and residential areas to the south west. Königstraße, Stuttgart's most important shopping street which runs along the northwestern edge of Schlossplatz, claims to be the longest pedestrianised street in Germany.
cc by Son of Mussklprozz
The Stuttgart area is known for its high-tech industry. Some of its most prominent companies include Daimler AG, Porsche, Bosch, Celesio, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sika – all of whom have their world or European headquarters here.
Stuttgart is home to Germany's ninth biggest exhibition centre, Stuttgart Trade Fair which lies on the city outskirts next to Stuttgart Airport. Hundreds of SMEs are still based in Stuttgart (often termed Mittelstand), many still in family ownership with strong ties to the automotive, electronics, engineering and high-tech industry.
Stuttgart has the highest general standard of prosperity of any city in Germany. Its nominal GDP per capita is €57,100 and GDP purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita is €55,400. Total GDP of Stuttgart is €33.9 billion, of which service sector contributes around 65.3%, industry 34.5%, and agriculture 0.2%.
The cradle of the automobile
The automobile and motorcycle were purported to have been invented in Stuttgart (by Karl Benz and subsequently industrialised in 1887 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach at the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft). As a result, it is considered to be the starting point of the worldwide automotive industry and is sometimes referred to as the 'cradle of the automobile'. Today, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche both have their headquarters in Stuttgart, as well as automotive parts giants Bosch and Mahle. A number of auto-enthusiast magazines are published in Stuttgart.
Science and research and development
The region currently has Germany's highest density of scientific, academic and research organisations. No other region in Germany registers so many patents and designs as Stuttgart. Almost 45% of Baden-Württemberg scientists involved in R&D are based directly in the Swabian capital. More than 11% of all German R&D costs are invested in the Stuttgart Region (approximately 4.3 billion euros per year). In addition to several universities and colleges (e.g. University of Stuttgart, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart Institute of Management and Technology and several Stuttgart Universities of Applied Sciences), the area is home to six Fraunhofer institutes, four institutes of collaborative industrial research at local universities, two Max-Planck institutes and a major establishment of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
The Stuttgart Stock Exchange is the second largest in Germany (after Frankfurt). Many leading companies in the financial services sector are headquartered in Stuttgart with around 100 credit institutes in total (e.g. LBBW Bank, Wüstenrot & Württembergische, Allianz Life Assurance)