In new Global Cities Index, Chicago drops a spot to #7

The 2012 Global Cities Index was released this week and Chicago dropped one spot to #7, swapping with Los Angeles:

In the rivalry between the world’s biggest cities, put another feather in the cap of New York. It bests London and Tokyo on a new Global Cities Index by A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The ranking is based on five* key factors: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. It covers the 66 largest cities around the world.

Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong round out the top five. Los Angeles is 6th, Chicago 7th, Washington, D.C. 10th, Boston 15th, Toronto 16th, and San Francisco 17th.

This new list is consistent with a ranking of the World’s Most Economically Powerful Cities, with Tokyo, New York, London, Chicago and Paris in the top five spots, published last fall here on Cities. While the leading global cities remain stable, globalization is increasing the turbulence and churning faced by other large world cities, as the study notes…

Read the article and also look at the top 66 cities in a chart (which includes the 2010 and 2008 rankings) – there is quite a gap between the top cities and everyone else. Also, Saskia Sassen offers some interesting analysis of “urban vectors” including this bit: “Washington, New York, and Chicago. These cities are becoming more important geopolitically than the United States is as a country.”

I don’t think Chicago should be worried about dropping a spot – there has been some small movement in the top 10 in recent rankings. At the same time, there is always a chance that Chicagoans might read a lot into this in their interest in remaining relevant.

See the full AT Kearney report here.


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