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News release


Boston Remains Among the World’s Most Dynamic Cities

JLL’s Global City Momentum Index ranks Boston 3rd in the US and 9th in the world

BOSTON, Jan. 30, 2017 – The cities in JLL's (NYSE:JLL) fourth annual City Momentum Index (CMI) of the world's most dynamic cities share the ability to embrace technological change, absorb rapid population growth and strengthen global connectivity. It's no surprise then that for the third straight year Boston ranks among the top 10 cities globally, coming in at ninth in the world and third in the United States, behind only Silicon Valley and Austin.

Technology continues to be a major driver of momentum in the world's 30 fastest-changing cities. These cities provide fertile environments for innovation and successfully integrate into global networks, often outperforming their national economies.

"Our unique blend of talent, resources and entrepreneurial spirit continue to put Boston in the top 10 in JLL's City Momentum Index," said JLL Research Director Lisa Strope. "Much like other leading cities on the list, technology continues to help power our economy and, with the second largest tech work force in the U.S., Boston continues to incubate and attract new startups as well as growing global companies," she added.

"General Electric's announcement earlier this year that it is moving its headquarters to Boston's Seaport District is further validation that Boston will continue to be a leader in the tech ecosystem and will grow as one of the world's top innovation hubs," said Strope.

Highlights of the CMI Top 30 include:

  • Asia Pacific cities comprise half the top 30 fastest-changing cities. India has taken over from China as home to some of the world's most dynamic cities. Six Indian cities feature in the CMI Global Top 30, with the country's primary technology hub, Bangalore (1), moving into the top spot for the first time.
  • 'Established World Cities'1 integrate technology into their existing economies and leverage their established strengths to draw top talent. These cities include London (6), New York (14), Paris (17) and Los Angeles (27). While London has fallen from the top spot, (a position it held for the past two years), it has remained remarkably resilient following the Brexit vote, retaining a top 10 ranking.
  • High-tech excellence helped push 'New World Cities'2 further up the Top 30. These cities, which include Silicon Valley (3), Austin (7), Boston (9), Seattle (20), San Francisco (21) and Raleigh-Durham (24) in the U.S.; Melbourne (12) and Sydney (16) in Australia; and Dublin (28) and Stockholm (30) in Europe, are supported by robust infrastructure, a favorable quality of life and transparent business practices, which boost momentum and real estate market activity.
  • A shift into high-value activities helped drive momentum in 'Agile High-Value Emerging Cities.'3 Standouts include megacities such as Shanghai (4) and Beijing (15) and technology hubs such as India's Bangalore and Hyderabad (5) and China's Shenzhen (22).
  • Dynamic labor markets help fuel some 'Emerging Megacities,'4 such as Chennai (18), Manila (19), Delhi (23) and Mumbai (25). However, this group faces significant infrastructure and quality of life issues, with high levels of inequality, congestion and pollution hindered by weak city governance.
  • Low costs, rapid consumer market expansion and high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) characterize 'High Potential Cities',5 such as Ho Chi Minh City (2) and Hanoi (8) in Vietnam, as well as East African technology hub Nairobi (10) in Kenya.

"With more than half the world's population currently living in cities, a proportion that is expected to grow substantially over the next few decades, the success of our cities takes on great importance," noted Jeremy Kelly, JLL Director in Global Research. "The CMI highlights that, despite various political upheavals and ongoing economic uncertainties, many cities continue to show impressive dynamism. Keys to their success are the agility and openness that enable them to adapt quickly to each new wave of global change."

The 134 cities covered by the CMI were assessed using 42 variables including recent and projected changes in city GDP, population, corporate headquarter presence, commercial real estate construction and rents. Other factors included education, innovation and environment.

To learn more about JLL's CMI, please visit JLL's Cities Research Center.

1 'Established World Cities' are the world's most highly globalised and competitive economies with the deepest and most settled concentrations of companies, capital and talent.

2 'New World Cities' are small to mid-sized cities (typically 1-5 million population) that have robust infrastructure and attractive liveability platforms and deliberately focus on a limited number of global specialisms.

3 'Agile High-Value Emerging Cities' are high growth cities in emerging economies that are successfully transitioning to higher-value manufacturing and service-based activities.

4 'Emerging Megacities' are cities with populations over 10 million, where growth in domestic corporations and foreign direct investment (FDI) into areas such as business process outsourcing helps to fuel strong momentum.

5 'High Potential Cities' exhibit among the most robust demographic and economic growth in the CMI. They also drive significant levels of FDI and commercial real estate construction. 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with, as of December 31, 2015, revenue of $6.0 billion and fee revenue of $5.2 billion, more than 280 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 70,000. On behalf of its clients, the company provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. As of September 30, 2016, its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $59.7 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit ​