Business Trends

Global Ascending Cities, by JLL

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: February 2014
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K Street, Washington, D.C.

Throughout the world, cities are being transformed – some more rapidly than others – by the ongoing forces of urbanization, modernization and globalization. Which cities are changing most quickly, in ways that offer the best opportunities for commercial real estate development and investment? Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) recently introduced the City Momentum Index, which tracks the speed of change in a city’s economic base and its commercial real estate market. JLL Cities Research Centre’s “Q1 2014 City Momentum Index” describes this new perspective and ranks what it considers to be the “global top 20” out of 111 cities it examined.

The index is designed to “capture evolution, to measure change and to identify which specific attributes will bring new visibility to some cities and reinforce the dynamism of others.” It is not a measure of pure economic growth and performance, so a number of successful cities (including Paris, Moscow and Seoul) do not appear in the top 20, while some lesser-known cities (such as Chengdu, Jakarta and Lima) do. One of JLL’s goals in producing this index is to “build bridges for the real estate market between those top real estate investment destinations that have an ease of attraction due to their many traditional strengths, and those cities with vision, hard work and energy that have the potential to rise to new heights."

At the top of the list are San Francisco; London; Dubai; Shanghai; Wuhan, China; New York; Austin, Texas; Hong Kong, San Jose, Calif.; and Singapore. For the rest of the global top 20, see the JLL report.