Summary of The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas

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The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas summary
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The Global Cities Initiative, a joint undertaking of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, conducted a worldwide survey to understand what makes a city “globally fluent.” The authors used historical and geographical evidence plus the survey’s results to capture the 10 attributes that these successful metropolitan areas share. The report’s findings clearly show city officials, urban planners and business communities the factors that shape their municipality’s performance in global markets so they can implement the changes necessary to keep pace with complex international commerce. getAbstract recommends this perceptive study to city officials, planners and students of urban history who want to know how cities evolve, prosper or decline.

About the Authors

Greg Clark is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. Tim Moonen is a postgraduate research student at the University of Bristol. This report is also “based on previous work by Brad McDearman, Greg Clark and Joseph Parilla.”



World Cities

A “globally fluent” city has reached a stage of worldwide “understanding, competence, practice and reach.” Every globally fluent city – including urban areas in developed countries, metropolitan centers organized as trade hubs and even cities emerging from longtime social or political unrest – shares specific traits with its peers around the world.

These cities have “inherited” characteristics that emerge and coalesce by happenstance over years. They also have “intentional” characteristics that develop from leaders’ deliberate actions. Achieving global fluency first requires becoming “globally aware” and then learning to be “globally oriented.” In this stage, business, academia, culture and the citizenry harmonize to draw international business. Today’s advances in technology and infrastructure help cities gain entry to the global market. Three underlying forces – “greater global integration,” the “rapid expansion of a global consumer class” and “rapid urbanization” – make global fluency a significant asset.

Globally fluent cities are never static. Certain negative forces are always in play, including increasing income inequality, inflation and ...

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