It is the world’s cities that are today the hub of human activity. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities now and this number is only surging further. So, how our cities grow under this tremendous pressure is a concern that affects us all.

It is no wonder then that cities were a topic of discussion at the World Economic Forum that saw business and political leaders congregate. The consultancy firm, James Lang Laselle (JLL) released the much awaited City Momentum Index Report that identified the most dynamic cities in the world at the WEF in Davos.

Bengaluru or Bangalore, known as India’s Silicon Valley, was named the most dynamic city in the world. It beat top contenders including London, New York, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Dublin, Stockholm and Melbourne among other places. The south Indian city is where India’s IT boom kicked off two decades ago and is today home to 40% of the IT industry in India. Its entrepreneurial climate has meant it has the largest number of technology start-ups in the country. While it has always been known for world-class research organisations and educational institutions, Bangalore is also known for its people, who are among some of the early technology adaptors throughout the nation. This makes Bangalore an apt city for business expansion in India. Arsha Consulting, based in the heart of Bangalore city, helps foreign companies to pursue profitable business initiatives in the most dynamic city and across the high-potential Indian market.

A noticeable trend in the 2017 list is the dominance of Asia-Pacific that comprises of half of the top cities in the rankings. India, this year, has overtaken China with more number of dynamic cities. Cities from Vietnam and the US also found spots in the rankings. Apart from Bangalore, five other cities from India found places on the list. Hyderabad, another one of India’s IT hubs was named the fifth most dynamic city in the world, while Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune found places on the list as well.

The ranking analysed 134 cities against 42 factors. Socio-economic factors that accounted for 40% of the overall ranking include GDP, population, air passengers, corporate headquarters and foreign direct investment. While 30% of the ranking considered the commercial real estate momentum and associated changes such as construction, rents, investment and transparency in the office, retail and hotel sectors.

The parameters that make a city ‘dynamic’ also included its adaptability to technology and innovation. According to JLL, these are “cities that best absorb, adapt and leverage these drivers come out on top.”

The rankings didn’t project just the current status of cities but are rather a sign of where these cities are headed and the potential they hold. This is one of the reasons why the report aimed to look at how livable a city is and how it accommodates and attracts talent. The report pointed that “For example, affordability and space constraints in San Francisco (No. 21) contributed to knocking that city out of the top 20 for the first time and Hong Kong out of the top 30. The environment is also becoming a more critically determining factor in the index. Although in the top 30, Delhi (No. 23) and Beijing (No. 15) were hindered by poor environmental scores.

The other Asian cities that made it to the top ten list include Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Shanghai and Hyderabad.

Elizabeth Raj | Blogger - Arsha Consulting

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