Nairobi ranked most successful city in Africa with London top worldwide

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Nairobi skyline
Nairobi Skyline ©Jorge Lascar

London has topped a list of 2016’s most successful cities, with Nairobi the highest placed African city at 11th overall.

The 120 cities shortlisted by the City Momentum Index (CMI) were chosen for their population, GDP, corporate presence, air connectivity, real estate investment activity and commercial real estate stock.

According to the report, “Nairobi … is pushing to become Africa’s technology center with development projects like Konza Technology City, an innovation district that will include space for educational institutions and technology firms.”

“The Green City in the Sun has proved a magnet for international companies and organizations. From global banks to the United Nations, our city is chosen by the world for a reason – the culture, lifestyle and location is unmatched anywhere in East Africa.” – Dr Evans Kidero

The report noted that many of the top 20 cities are home to vibrant mixed-use districts which create and maximise opportunities to conceive and commercialise new ideas. This reinforces the idea that city momentum involves much more than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

The report highlighted the need that an increasing population required new infrastructure, with real estate noted as the driving momentum a factor Nairobi has already embraced.

“As a result, the role of commercial real estate is changing from housing businesses to envisioning and developing built environments that attract companies and talented people.”

– The City Momentum Index (CMI)

London was placed first for the second year in a row for its economic growth and real estate structure. It was also praised for initiatives that are transforming transport in the city, such as the research centre currently being developed at White City.

London Skyline Panorama from New Zealand High Commission
London Skyline Panorama from New Zealand High Commission. Photo © Christine Matthews (licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence).

London and Dublin were the only European cities to make it into the CMI top 20.

Dublin scored high on the ranking due to its high concentration of tech start-ups, which generate demand for commercial property. It has cemented its position as one of Europe’s most dynamic cities with projects such as the regeneration of the Docklands, where up to 350,000 sq metres of commercial space is set to be built.

The 20 most successful cities in 2016 are:

  1. London
  2. Silicon Valley
  3. Dublin
  4. Bangalore
  5. Boston
  6. Shanghai
  7. New York
  8. Sydney
  9. Beijing
  10. San Francisco
  11. Nairobi
  12. Shenzhen
  13. Seattle
  14. Tokyo
  15. Nanjing
  16. Austin
  17. Hyderabad
  18. Melbourne
  19. Seoul
  20. Auckland
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