Where are the Europeans in JLL’s City Momentum Index?

JLL recently launched a new City Momentum Index (CMI) which tracks the speed of change of a city’s economic base and its commercial real estate market. Covering 111 major established and emerging business hubs across the globe, the Index measures a city’s short-term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum. Crucially, it also combines measures of ‘future-proofing’ – in other words, whether a city has the essential ingredients to ensure longer-term sustainable momentum in the smart, digitally-enabled world.

In our first paper we identify the 20 cities that appear at the top of the Index. Interestingly, the Global Top 20 list is dominated by cities in the U.S. and China, which between them account for two-thirds of the world’s most dynamic cities. But, notable by their absence from the Global Top 20 are European cities – with London being the only representative, sitting in second position just behind San Francisco.

Given the level of maturity of Europe’s cities, combined with the structural challenges that the continent is currently facing, it is perhaps unsurprising that few of its cities are positioned at the very top of a global index that is measuring ‘speed of change’. Nevertheless, a closer investigation of the top performers in Europe (those that sit just outside the Global Top 20) reveals several powerful and successful cities that possess the attributes for longer-term success – relating to education, innovation, sustainability and transparency – that puts them in good stead. This is demonstrated by the continued high capital inflows into commercial real estate in many European cities.

The Europe Top 12 list, which is set out below, includes all four of the continent’s megacities – namely London, Paris, Moscow and Istanbul. Significantly, the list has a strong representation of technology-rich cities and research hubs like Munich, Stockholm, Berlin and Amsterdam, echoing the ‘urban technology’ theme in North America. Frankfurt also features as one of Europe’s top commercial and financial hubs, while Dublin’s appearance in the Top 12 marks the return of dynamism to some of Europe’s peripheral cities … will Madrid be next? The Northern European cities of Edinburgh and Oslo complete the Europe Top 12.

Our plan is to update and enhance the CMI on an annual basis, and with signs that momentum is now building in Europe, we anticipate that its cities will, in general, score more strongly in the next Index which will be published in early 2015 … several European cities are likely to appear in the Global Top 20 for the first time and there will no doubt be a few surprises.

City Momentum Index, 2014 – Europe Top 12

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