It hasn’t quite reached the top tier, but Atlanta is scoring among the upper echelons of “global cities” in recently released international indices, giving some credence to the swagger the city’s boosters claim as they span the world to bring business home.
Many of those rankings are based on Atlanta’s lofty future potential.
One example is the fact that Atlanta is nowhere to be found on the top 25 of A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities Index, which ranks cities’ current performance on 27 metrics, but it jumped 10 spots to reach No. 6 on the 2016 Global Cities Outlook, which measures rate of change on many indicators.
Meanwhile, U.K.-based Schroders asset management just put Atlanta at No. 13 internationally in an its index released this week, which measures economic vibrancy on a blend of factors like working age population, population growth and disposable income. That’s ahead of Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and even San Francisco, but trailing other perennial powerhouses like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, even Houston.
Atlanta is nipping at Houston’s heels in the fDi Intelligence Global Cities of the Future rankings, released by the British magazine Dec. 12. The Georgia capital is No. 15 in the world, just one spot behind the Texas boomtown. In 2015, Atlanta was the top major city in the U.S. in terms of strategy for recruiting foreign investment.
As part of the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative, the metro area is currently refining its investment strategy, following a two-year initiative to create and promote a regionwide export plan. The Metro Atlanta Chamber is leading both.
Mayor Kasim Reed said at the chamber’s recent annual meeting that these ambitions were a “rightful path for the city of Atlanta.”
“We are worthy as having a position as one of the leading cities of the world. We are on a path to achieve that objective,” Mr. Reed said, after having earlier noted that the city’s citizens had voiced their desire to be “in the future business” by voting for transit sales taxes.
But the city shouldn’t rest on its laurels, as rankings can be highly dependent on the selective vision of the researcher.
Brookings placed Atlanta at 100 out of 300 on its 2014 Global Metro Monitor, which measures growth rate of GDP and employment. Knight Frank, another U.K. property firm, doesn’t list Atlanta at all in its September report on Global Cities, which does point out new trends in Seattle, Austin, Boston and other American urban areas.