The Urban EastJul 19th, 2012 | By Mike Sitkowski
Mike Hales, Andres Mendoza Pena
A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.. 2012.
It’s good to be on top. It’s also good to be in China for that matter, according to the 2012 Global Cities Index and Emerging Cities Outlook developed by A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
The Global Cities Index, a ranking of cities’ “global engagement,” showed stability among top metropolises, as New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo who had maintained the top four positions held in previous years. The Global Cities Index measures “global engagement” based on five dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. The 2012 edition placed Hong Kong fifth for the third straight time, with Los Angeles, Chicago, Seoul, Brussels, and Washington D.C. rounding out the top ten.
In each edition of the Global Cities Index, Asian cities have held three of the top ten spots, evidence of the economic staying power of the East. Results also showed that other cities in Brazil, Russia, and India have made gains in the rankings due to strength in business activity. The authors of the report suggest that this strength will lead to improvements in other facets of the study, propelling Brazilian, Russian, Indian, and Chinese cities to greater prominence.
Of course, size isn’t everything. The Emerging Cities Outlook, a global influence projector for emerging-market cities, grades Beijing and Shanghai as cities poised for major growth, with three other Chinese cities – Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen – close behind.
The Emerging Cities Outlook measures the potential for growth among developing cities by measuring rates of change in business activity and human capital. Based on these measurements, the study ranks emerging cities by their strengths and vulnerabilities. Aside from remarkably high growth potential for Chinese cities, the Outlook suggests that Indian cities – Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi – are well-situated for growth, albeit at a less rapid pace. Indicators for African cities are less optimistic, with lagging economic vitality and greater vulnerabilities.
Latin American cities, alternatively, show no consistent trend. Bogota’s measurements indicate growth potential similar to its Asian counterparts. Brazilian cities have demonstrated global stability, while Caracas, plagued by economic instability and political troubles, occupies a considerably more vulnerable status.
As the global economy recovers from its recent woes, trends among top global cities and their rapidly emerging counterparts will redefine the cross-continental scope of political, social, and economic interactions. And while the traditional powers won’t be fading any time soon, it appears some new players are here to stay.
Feature photo: cc/Stuck in Customs