Today more than ever, global cities need to run just to stand still. Urban leaders who wish to provide their citizens with the benefits of becoming a global powerhouse must fire on all cylinders, all the time. Globally integrated cities are intimately linked to economic and human development. By creating an environment that spawns, attracts, and retains top talent, businesses, ideas, and capital, a global city can generate benefits that extend far beyond municipal boundaries.
From the report:
From a bird’s-eye perspective, we have observed the following trends:
- Cities are becoming more global. The scores for cities tracked since 2008 have increased by 8 percent on average. Furthermore, the lower-ranked cities are slowly but steadily closing in on the leaders.1 Improving scores on the different metrics, then, is no longer enough to keep up. Cities have to work hard to get better more quickly than their peers.
- The top positions are stable and difficult to break into, while volatility in rankings is greater farther down. Since the index was launched in 2008, just 23 cities have occupied the top 20 positions. The next 20 positions (from 21 through 40) have been filled by 28 different cities, and 33 cities have cycled through positions 41 through 60.
- Human capital is becoming more evenly distributed among global cities, even as information exchange scores diverge. Human capital scores are converging, especially in the number of inhabitants with tertiary degrees and the size of the foreign-born population. In information exchange, scores have drifted apart, as freedom of press and broadband subscriber metrics become more polarized.
- Politics are powerful, particularly when coupled with strong business. The four highest-ranking cities in the GCI are among the top 10 in business activity and political engagement. Beijing also exemplifies the strength of this combination.
- Low- and middle-income cities generally fall into one of four groupings: those that have improved considerably and seem likely to continue to do so (for example, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, and Mumbai), those that have fared less well but appear likely to improve (such as Manila and Bogotá), those that have progressed significantly but may be running out of steam (for example, Buenos Aires and Ho Chi Minh City), and those that need to step up their game (such as Cairo).
The full report can be found here.