- A report from real estate brokerage firm Savills found New York City ranks first in a global index of top tech cities, ahead of San Francisco in second and London in third.
- The company said New York took the top spot based on the large amount of venture capital available to invest in technology companies, a large pool of workers both from locally and elsewhere, and the myriad opportunities available. The report also factored in mobility options and the cost of both commercial and residential real estate.
- The report also found Chinese cities are rising fast in the rankings, thanks in large part to the massive amounts of venture capital being made available and the mobility services offered. Savills found Beijing recorded an average of $34 billion in venture capital per year in the last three years — more than New York and San Francisco.
Savills said it added the mobility category this year to explore “how effective our cities are at getting people from A to B." New York City certainly has plenty of options for residents and visitors to get around town, including public transit as well as the growth of dockless bikes and the possible legalization of dockless scooters coming soon.
To stay atop this ranking, city leaders will likely have to continue to address the backlog of problems that face its subway system, which remains a headache. The city also remains mired in controversy over its new rules governing ride-hailing like Uber and Lyft, and Savills warned that given the rise in urban populations, residents must have options to get around.
"Rising populations are putting ever greater pressure on existing infrastructure, posing a risk to city competitiveness,” the company wrote in an article on mobility and infrastructure. "From mobility as a service to investment in ridesharing and autonomous vehicles, our Tech Cities are at the forefront of addressing this.”
The ability to attract talent is another key part of New York City’s elevation to the top spot in the rankings, and comes just months after it was awarded one of Amazon’s next headquarter locations (HQ2), alongside Arlington County in Northern Virginia. At the time, Amazon said access to an educated workforce was key in its decision, and Savills said it was “no coincidence” Amazon made the choice it did.
Traditionally, Silicon Valley cities such as San Francisco were regarded as powerhouses for attracting and retaining tech talent, but have seen their supremacy slip recently as other new tech hubs climb the ranks. Apple recently chose Austin, TX for its new campus, while the company added that it wishes to expand into Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, CO in the near future. The U.S. Army announced last summer it would build a technology development center in Austin, which is seen as a major challenger to West Coast dominance.
Leaders will likely continue to bolster their reputations as tech-friendly cities, albeit some warn against chasing big companies’ new campuses and getting involved in major bidding wars.