Cities Research Center

Benchmarking the Future World of Cities

World Cities: Mapping the
Pathways to Success

JLL Typology of World Cities 2018

  • In our latest research in collaboration with The Business of Cities, we have identified 10 city groups each playing a distinct role on the global stage. Cities within each group share strengths and challenges and present different opportunities to real estate investors, developers and corporate occupiers.

    Hover over a category to find out more about real estate market dynamics in this group.

  • THE 'HYBRIDS' are typically mid-sized cities that compete in specialised markets. Most had high levels of foreign investor activity during the last cycle. Dubai is one of the world's top destinations for FDI while Warsaw leads on cross-border real estate investment.

  • EMERGING WORLD CITIES: The 'Enterprisers' are rapidly moving towards a high productivity, high innovation system. They are among the world's most dynamic real estate markets and have had more success than other 'Emerging World City' groups in attracting real estate investors.

  • EMERGING WORLD CITIES: The 'Powerhouses' are moving to a higher position in the value chain and are benefitting from strong national government support. They feature among the world's most dynamic cities and perform strongly for short-term growth in JLL's 2017 City Momentum Index.

  • EMERGING WORLD CITIES: The 'Megahubs' are exceptionally large cities in emerging economies that have become centres of business services and retail. They attract high levels of corporate demand, but are failing to match this with strong real estate investor activity.

  • THE 'NATIONAL GROWTH ENGINES' are cities in stable, developed economies that benefit from access to large domestic markets. Dallas, Houston and Atlanta regularly feature among the world's top investment destinations by offering a favourable blend of liquidity, transparency and market depth. These cities are dominated by domestic investors.

  • NEW WORLD CITIES: The 'Influencers' - their role is linked to hosting transnational institutions and trading functions. These cities are home to some of the world's most stable real estate markets, registering the lowest volatility in office rents since 2000 of any of the 10 city groups.

  • NEW WORLD CITIES: The 'Lifestyle' Cities, mid-sized cities in mature European, North American and Australasian economies, have registered the strongest rental growth for prime offices (since 2000) among the 'New World Cities' groups, led by Auckland, Helsinki and Vancouver.

  • NEW WORLD CITIES: The 'Innovators' boast world-class capabilities in science and technology with business climates that foster innovation and entrepreneurship. These cities attract among the greatest volume of real estate investment relative to their economic size. Boston is the top real estate investment destination among the 'Innovators'.

  • ESTABLISHED WORLD CITIES: The 'Contenders' are closest to joining the 'Big Seven' and have collectively recorded the fastest growth in real estate investment over the past decade. They have also registered among the highest office rental growth since 2000, second only to the 'Big Seven'.

  • ESTABLISHED WORLD CITIES: The 'Big Seven' are the world's most powerful and globally-connected cities, they account for around one-quarter of all capital invested in commercial real estate and have registered the strongest growth in prime office rents since 2000, but they are also among the most cyclical markets.

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How to spot the next generation of successful world cities

Jeremy Kelly and Tim Moonen discuss the key strengths of the world's most successful cities, the challenges these cities face in accommodating growth and reveal a new group of cities that are challenging the dominance of the world's most powerful and globally-connected - London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul.

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Jeremy Kelly

Jeremy is a Director in JLL's Global Research team and is one of the spearheads of JLL's Cities Research Center. A passionate advocate of the role of real estate in driving city success, Jeremy is the author of several of JLL's Global Research publications, including the City Momentum Index and the Global Real Estate Transparency Index.

Greg Clark

As Chairman of The Business of Cities group, Greg leads a team that advises global cities, firms and institutions and reports on global trends and changes in cities. Greg has worked with over 100 cities around the world and holds senior advisory roles at international bodies including the OECD, Brookings Institution and ULI. A prolific author, Greg has published ten books to date on cities and investment practices. In 2016, Greg was honoured by HM Queen Elizabeth II with a CBE for his services to city and regional economic development.

Tim Moonen

Director of Intelligence with the Business of Cities Group, Tim helps shape a unique set of optics designed to better understand urban dynamics and city competitiveness in the current cycle of globalisation.