Why These Cities Are the Most Dynamic in the World

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — San Francisco, Austin, San Jose, Boston and Seattle are among the most technology rich cities in the world, according to a new index.

"The most successful markets share characteristics like transparency, good governance, strong education systems and innovative city planning," said Colin Dyer, CEO with Jones Lang LaSalle.

The City Momentum Index (CMI) by Jones Lang LaSalle found that these cities took early advantage of technology trends and have provided fertile environments for innovation.

"The true foundation of highly dynamic cities emerges from such factors as speed of innovation and creation of cutting-edge businesses along with new building construction, property price movement and investment in real estate from cross-border investors and corporations," said Jeremy Kelly, director of global research for Jones Lang LaSalle.

Categories include the most rapidly urbanizing cities, growth hotspots, innovation-friendly cities, resurgent and elite cities.

"By taking a unique look at the combination of short-term variables and sustainable long-term characteristics, the CMI provides a look into underlying city dynamics, adaptability and real estate market characteristics," Kelly said.

Boston made the list of most technology driven cities while Austin is among the smaller, innovation-friendly cities that gained rapid momentum to achieve global position.

"Austin and Boston have the world's most concentrated sources of technological richness and development," Kelly told MainStreet. "They have world-class higher education infrastructures, they are magnets for young, fearless entrepreneurs and are willing to fund innovation."

Abroad, Jakarta and Lima made the list of growth hotspots driven by urban consumerism.

"Drivers are rapid urbanization, the emergence of sizeable middle classes with a propensity to spend and improving business operating environments that are encouraging inward investment by multi national corporations," Kelly said.

In Asia, China has a corner on rapidly urbanizing cities with massive city-building programs, which attracts American companies.

"Despite a slowing economy in Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Beijing, Chengdu and Tianjin, U.S. businesses use cities, such as Wuhan and Chengdu, as locations with lower operating and labor costs," Kelly explained.

Considered resurgent cities, Tokyo and Dubai are gearing up for world events in 2020 with renewed vigor.

"These cities will be starting to put in place the infrastructure required to hold the events but perhaps more significantly over the short term, securing such major events provides a city renewed sense of confidence and energy," Kelly noted. "We witnessed this phenomena in London."

Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Dubai is hosting Expo 2020.

Finally, among the most elite cities in the world are San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles. They account for one-quarter of the world's direct commercial real estate investment activity from 2012 to 2013.

"We have defined elite cities in terms of a combination of factors including corporate presence, connectivity and foreign direct investment," Kelly concluded.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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