credit: buzzke

There are cities, and then there are world class cities. The latter stands out and some cities can hold their own against entire economies, but that’s for a reason. According to a 2017 JLL  report, Decoding City Performance, there are 7 common features associated with established world class cities.

Corporate Presence

World-class cities boast a critical mass of corporate HQs, including a strong presence in the most globalised sectors of finance, professional services and media. Established cities are magnets for multi-nationals because they provide strategic advantage and operational efficiencies.

Gateway Functions

Established cities act as centre-points, interlinking people, investment, trade, tourism and information from different sources. These cities have the capacity to handle the high frequency back-and-forth movements in people, resources and information.

Soft Power

These cities have an established identity or brand which is a reflection of city’s core values or culture making it attractive. This is the way of doing things, which is ingrained in the DNA of any world-class city.

Infrastructure Platform

Such cities have a robust infrastructural backbone that promotes connectivity between workers, firms and visitors. Infrastructure is the physical engine which runs a city and determines its efficiency. Whether roads, commuter rails, electricity or internet connectivity, these cities have the best.

Scale and Market Site

Global cities are known for the sheer scale of population and market size that support agglomeration and provide diverse opportunities for companies, capital and people. This provides a good social and economic environment for firms and people to thrive.

Specialization and Innovation

World cities are an ecosystem of specialised knowledge and innovative energies which are utilized to produce game changing innovations in products and services. This is because high levels of competition require high levels of specialization and knowledge.


The magnitude of diversity in established world cities means they are a breeding ground for a variety of skills. There is usually no shortage of skills in any area of competency in such cities because they attract the best skilled people.