Urban Transformation

These are the 30 cities best placed for long-term success

The skyline of San Diego is viewed from Balboa Park in San Diego, California April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

These cities are ready for the future. Image: REUTERS/Mike Blake

Jeff Desjardins
Founder and editor, Visual Capitalist
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Cities and Urbanization

Combine the rapid rate of technological change with a globalized economy, and it’s evident that our cities are transforming at an unprecedented pace.

But while these fast-moving currents are found in pretty much every urbanized setting, not every city is doing well to navigate them. In an increasingly digital and global economy, cities must be able to attract high-end talent, foster innovation, and maintain competitiveness – and failing to do so can have dire consequences.

Which cities are prepared to adapt, and which will get left behind in the dust?

The City Momentum Index

Today’s chart uses data from the City Momentum Index 2018 in a report produced by JLL.

Image: Visual Capitalist

The index tries to identify the cities that are at the forefront of the innovation economy, by looking at key factors such as the number of tech firms, education, environment, transparency, infrastructure, and international patents.

By investing in and leveraging their strengths in technology, physical and digital connectivity, quality of life and sustainability, [these cities] are positioned to maintain their performance into the future in this new competitive landscape.

The report identified the top 30 cities according to this criteria for long-term success – as well as 30 other cities that are destined to hold their momentum in the short term.

30 cities positioned for success

Here are the cities that top the list in the 2018 edition of the report:

Image: Visual Capitalist
Image: Visual Capitalist
Image: Visual Capitalist

The United States is represented by 12 cities, while the European continent holds 10. Meanwhile, Canada and Australia are home to five cities between them.

Interestingly, no cities from China, Latin America, Africa, or the Middle East make this first list.

30 cities with short-term momentum

The report also touches on short-term momentum, which JLL defines as the cities with urban economies and real estate markets currently undergoing the most rapid growth.

This resulting list is almost mutually exclusive with the one above, mainly because of the explosive growth happening right now in Chinese cities as well as in India and the Asia-Pacific.

Image: Visual Capitalist
Image: Visual Capitalist
Image: Visual Capitalist

On the short-term momentum side of the equation, we have 11 Chinese cities, seven from India, and only one located in the Western hemisphere (Seattle).

It’s worth noting that only two cities made both lists for short-term and long-term momentum: Seattle and Singapore.

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Related topics:
Urban TransformationEconomic GrowthGeo-Economics and Politics
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