• New York City listed at seven among "established world cities" in JLL report.
  • Real estate is a major factor in determining what cities make the city momentum index (CMI).
  • Authors of the report noted the presence of “challenger cities” that reflect their highly globalized economies, strong infrastructure and deep concentrations of corporations, capital and talent.

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New York City has been listed among the top 10 in JLL’s latest “most dynamic cities” report that was released on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

JLL, a global professional services and investment management firm, created a City Momentum Index that determines what cities worldwide successfully create environments that attract cutting-edge news businesses, nurture top economic talent, leverage technology and provide vibrant, inclusive communities.

Although Boston, Silicon Valley, Dublin and Bangalore top this year’s list, New York City placed number seven in the “strong momentum” category for “Established World Cities,” as well as their “challengers,” or cities that the JLL report says are “increasingly competing for global reach and influence.” London placed No. 1 in the “Established World City” category. Shanghai placed No. 6, Syndey No. 8 and Seoul No. 19 out of 20 world-class cities.

The 120 cities covered by the CMI were assessed using 37 variables, including recent and projected percentage changes in city GDP, population, corporate headquarter presence, office construction and office rents. Other factors included education infrastructure, environmental sustainability and the strength of a city’s technology capability.

The third year JLL has released its CMI scale findings, authors of the report noted the presence of “challenger cities” that reflect their highly globalized economies, strong infrastructure and deep concentrations of corporations, capital and talent. Many of these cities, especially those in the Pacific Rim, are preparing their economies for the future by executing bold urban transformations, according to report authors. Although not cited in the report’s summary, cities like Singapore have some of the most advanced traffic infrastructure and traffic technology in the world, in part because they were able to build from scratch rather than retrofitting old highways.

“Real estate is a major factor in city momentum, as it can enable productivity, creativity and entrepreneurship while creating a sense of community for its citizens in a sustainable urban model,” said Jeremy Kelly, director of global research for JLL. “Real estate no longer simply houses businesses – it attracts corporations and talent, and cities need to ensure their built environment provides the smart, productive commercial buildings that corporations, capital and talent now demand.”

Other highlights of the CMI Top 20 include increasing momentum in U.S. cities that are home to major technology companies and research centers, and proactively seek to use real estate to foster sustainability and livability. Then there are what JLL calls “Agile Higher-Value Emerging Cities,” that are making efforts to increase value and improve global connectivity. Smaller cities that are achieving global reach such as Dublin and Austin are “among the most dynamic city economies globally” and “rapidly gaining momentum and competing in highly-contested global market,” JLL researchers say.

JLL is finding Asia Pacific cities significantlly showing increasing strength, with India expanding its presence in the top 20 of global dynamic cities. The report also notes that China’s cities of Shanghai (6), Beijing (9), Shenzhen (12) and Nanjing (15) are building the foundations for new forms of economic activity in terms of innovation, infrastructure and connectivity. Finally, Australian cities continue to exhibit strong momentum with Sydney (8), Melbourne (18) and Auckland (20) in the top 20.