When deciding where to move abroad many expats try to find out as much as they can about their potential new home country and now a report can help then choose the most dynamic cities.

San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Wuhan are named as the most successful cities that have a combination of strong short term socio economic and commercial momentum and longer term foundations for success.

dubai city

The new City Momentum Index from Jones Lang LaSalle goes beyond traditional, static economic rankings to delve into the underlying drivers that are the hallmark of highly dynamic cities.

According to Jeremy Kelly, director of global research at the firm, city momentum is about far more than just raw GDP growth. ‘The true foundation of highly dynamic cities emerges from such factors as speed of innovation and creation of cutting edge businesses along with new building construction, property price movement and investment in real estate from cross border investors and corporations,’ he explained.

‘The new City Momentum Index offers a fresh and uniquely comprehensive perspective that identifies the signals of change and characteristics of city momentum. By focusing on the features of a city that are likely to underpin future performance, the CMI stands apart from the standard historic performance upon which most indices are based,’ he said.

‘It is such measures of dynamism in infrastructure, connectivity and innovation that we believe will be steering many investment and location decisions in the future, though investors and corporates should note that high momentum can pose both risk and opportunity,’ he added.

New York comes in sixth place followed by Austin, Hong Kong, San Jose, Singapore, Shenzhen, Jakarta, Beijing, Chengdu, Los Angeles, Tianjin, Boston, Seattle, Tokyo and Lima.

The cities are also rated according to certain dynamics. San Francisco tops the elite cities table, followed by London, Dubai, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and Tokyo. It also tips the technology rich city leader board followed by Austin, San Jose, Boston and Seattle.

Austin is also singled out as being a small yet innovation friendly city and all the rapidly urbanising cities named in the report are in China. Also, Jakarta and Lima are named as the top growth hotspots.

While European cities are under represented at the very top of the list and show lower momentum in comparison with emerging cities, several powerful and successful European cities possess the attributes for longer term success, the report points out.

Those demonstrating success factors relating to education, innovation, sustainability and transparency, include Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam, and are distinguished by their strengths in talent and new technologies, while Copenhagen is described as having some of the strongest green credentials.

‘While most indices provide only a static picture of city competitiveness, by taking a unique look at the combination of short term variables and sustainable long term characteristics the CMI provides a look into underlying city dynamics and adaptability,’ added Kelly.