Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MIPIM 2010: What makes a city successful?

Wisconsin Real Estate MBAs report from MIPIM 2010:

Panel: Spotting the Trends: Shaping the Cities of the Future

City success is typically not predictable. There are too many variables to be able to predict the long-term financial viability of a city, and trends have led many to wrong conclusions pertaining to the futures of numerous cities. However, successful cities do have common characteristics. Location, connectivity and space, standard of living, distinctiveness, values, power, and environmental performance are all shared by cities viewed as being “world cities” or “smart cities.” Smaller scale cities which flourish ("smart cities") have a specific niche position in the market even though their place in the global markets are not as large as "world cities." Further, these two types of cities usually exhibit a depth of artistic, architecture, cultural endowment, openness to international population flow, and maintenance of effective leadership. Likewise, planning and continuing to deliver city infrastructure for sustainable growth is an overall theme when comparing successful cities.

London, Montreal, and Hong Kong illustrate the importance of these characteristics in the makeup of a successful and dynamic city. To maintain their status as world cities, London must revitalize its outer suburban areas, incorporate special events to attract people to less popular areas, further invest in public spaces, and maintain its commitment to the "green" transition. Montreal will need to work on its existing public transportation deficiencies, focus on sustainable development and the quality of neighborhood life, and recognize the importance of a cultural sector in order to position itself as a smart city. Lastly, Hong Kong must prioritize efficient land utilization, optimization of infrastructure, and revitalize portions of its existing urban area as it attempts to balance itself as a blend between a world and smart city.

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