Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata Lag Behind in Global Cities' List

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Aug 17 (IANS) New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata barely make the grade of global cities as the culture and market influence moves from nations to cities and from the West to the East, according to a new report.

"The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India but by the city," said the report released by Foreign Policy magazine in collaboration with management consulting firm AT Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Size alone does not make a "Global City", it said noting many of the world's largest megalopolises such as Karachi (60), Lagos (59) and Kolkata (63), barely make the list of 65 top cities with over one million population. New Delhi and Mumbai are placed at the 45th and 46th places.

"Instead, the index aims to measure how much sway a city has over what happens beyond its own borders - its influence on and integration with global markets, culture, and innovation," it said.

"We are at a global inflection point. Half the world's population is now urban and half the world's most global cities are Asian."

In 2010, five of the world's 10 most global cities are in Asia and the Pacific: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Seoul. Three - New York, Chicago and Los Angeles - are American cities.

"Only two - London and Paris - are European. And there's no question which way the momentum is headed," it said.

"Just as more people will continue to migrate from farms to cities, more global clout will move from West to East.

"And yet, even as we see the dramatic effects of globalisation at work in the rise of up-and-coming cities like Bangalore, Sao Paulo and Shanghai, what's also remarkable is just how dominant the great capitals of old-school commerce remain," the report said.

"New York, London, Tokyo and Paris are the top four, as they were in the first Global Cities Index two years ago, and they are ahead in most of the criteria that make a truly global city.

"Influential networks boost global impact, and having a giant head start - as New York does in market capitalisation, Tokyo in Fortune Global 500 companies, and London in international travellers - will only amplify those advantages in the future. Success breeds success," the report said.

The seats of traditional political power aren't necessarily the most global, it said. "Only four of the top 10 cities are national capitals. Washington comes in at No. 13. Beijing (15) edges out Berlin (16), which trounces Moscow (25)."

Two of the top 10 global cities - Hong Kong and Singapore - are laws unto themselves, operating outside the jurisdiction of a separate national government, it noted.


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