Sydney could become one of the Established World Cities

Today we are embracing modern-day living more and more and this can be seen within our cities which are constantly changing and evolving to cater for our needs. An increasing number of people are flocking to our major cities to live and work, but there are six cities which stand out from the crowd.

These are referred to as the ‘Big Six’ and are our Established World Cities which act as our business centres, financial centres and home to some of our most prestigious universities. The ‘Big Six’ currently include London, New York, Paris and Tokyo, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. These latter two have recently joined the quartet to become the ‘Big Six’, but could risk being outshone.

According to new research from JLL, a global real estate consultancy in conjunction with The Business of Cities, Sydney, Seoul and Toronto could become future challengers to the ‘Big Six’.

What is an Established World City?

So what does a city need to become an Established World City? Firstly these cities are already successful in attracting a large amount of real estate capital and the ‘Big Six’ already account for one-fifth of total global activity. However, with real estate becoming less and less affordable in these cities, new residential property is required to remain competitive as well as execute urban transformation plans to stay at the top of the table.

There are numerous factors according to the report, Globalisation and Competition: The New World of Cities as to why ‘The Big Six’ stand out. These include:
  • The ‘Big Six’ are among the world’s most attractive investment destinations
  • London and New York dominate commercial real estate investment
  • High proportions of university-educated workforces and a strong mix of internationally recognised universities and R&D institutes
  • Adapting rapidly to the innovation age
  • The ‘Big Six’ have not historically been leaders for quality of life
Rosemary Feenan, director of Global Research Programmes at JLL, says: “In order for the ‘Big Six’ cities to maintain their dominance, they will need to execute bold and ambitious urban transformation projects to accommodate growth and stay globally competitive.”

However, in spite of this, the ‘Big Six’ is not closed off. With younger cities propelling forward, the ‘Big Six’ could become the ‘Big Eight’ or even the ‘Big Ten’ in years to come.

According to the report which is based on index results since 2013, the three main cities that are high contenders to join the ‘Big Six’ include Seoul, Toronto and Sydney. These cities are in their fourth cycle of global engagement and adjustment and have also acquired a proportion of the financial, headquarter and institutional critical mass.

JLL Australia CEO, Stephen Conry said, “Sydney’s international reach is growing and its stature compelling.  It is a strong contender to the ‘Big Six’ established world cities.

Mr Conry also commented that “Sydney is a beneficiary of the entry and expansion of NASDAQ and S&P 500 listed companies. A number of these companies are seeking geographical diversification in future revenue and increased exposure to the Asia Pacific region. Sydney offers a high quality of life and is an attractive destination for US headquartered companies to send highly skilled knowledge workers to run the Australian and potentially Asian operations of these companies.”

As well as Sydney potentially becoming a World City, the report also highlights both Brisbane and Melbourne as ‘New World Cities’. This is mainly because they have been identified as some of the world’s most liveable cities, and Melbourne has actually been named as the world’s most liveable city for the fifth year running according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) liveability survey.

What is a New World City?

A ‘New World City’ is a city that is small or medium in size that has a favourable infrastructure and liveability platform as well as deliberately specialising in a limited number of global markets. These ‘New World Cities’ are also becoming attractive, particularly for real estate investors who are taking note of liveability, sustainability and technological prowess in their strategic decision-making.

Other ‘New World Cities’ besides Brisbane and Melbourne include Boston, Vienna, Munich; Barcelona, Berlin and Vancouver.
Published on 17th of November 2015 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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