Nairobi has been ranked one of the most dynamic cities in the world. According to the 2020 City Momentum index by international real estate firm JLL, Nairobi is ranked the 4th most dynamic city on the planet and top on the continent.
In 2019, the index ranked Nairobi sixth among the most dynamic cities.
Two Indian cities; Hyderabad and Bengaluru, and one Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh were ranked the top three respectively. Nairobi also ranked third in the index’s list of top 10 cities for office net absorption in 2019.
Nairobi has made the Top 20 list in the index for each of the past six years, reflecting its position as one of Africa’s most dynamic city economies.
According to the report, Nairobi’s momentum is supported by favourable demographics (it is predicted to show the fastest growth in ‘engine room’ population of the 130 cities covered by the Index), infrastructure investment, technology, tourism and retail.
Engine room population refers to those aged between 20-40 years as a proportion of total population.
“Poor urban planning and unchecked construction have led to haphazard and uneven development in many of the Top 20 cities. Several are now looking to rebalance their spatial inequalities through ambitious plans to build new districts and create mechanisms to refocus development,” says the report.
The index is constructed using 18 variables that assess socio-economic momentum (50%) and commercial real estate momentum (50%).
Much of the real estate and infrastructure in high-growth emerging cities have yet to be built. This offers a significant opportunity for these cities to combine urban planning, place-making and digitalization to create new sustainable transport-oriented locations that are new engines of economic growth and community engagement.