What Makes a “Global City?”

With all of the emphasis placed on the need for regions to compete globally, little attention has been placed on how citiesmetros or regions gain access to the global marketplace.  The Brookings Institution recently published a report by Brad McDearman, Greg Clark and Joseph Parilla that identifies ten traits of “globally fluent” cities:

In this report we specifically isolate the 10 key traits associated with cities that have achieved global success. Many of these traits align with the key inputs to economic competitiveness: distinct specializations, infrastructure, human capital and innovation, capital investment, and good governance to name a few.

The 10 traits . . . have proven to be particularly strong determinants of a metro area’s ability to succeed in global markets, manage the negative consequences of globalization, and better secure its desired economic future.  The most successful cities are those that have a long-term outlook and achieve some level of integration between many of the traits. . . .

McDearman et al. argue that failure to become “globally fluent” can leave major metro areas at risk of becoming economic backwaters.  You can read about their study and the ten traits they identified for achieving global competitiveness here.



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