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New York is world’s most influential city, says Knight Frank survey

KUALA LUMPUR: New York has dethroned London to become the world’s most influential city, while Asian cities continue to gain ground.

The “Big Apple” moved into first place of the latest Knight Frank World Cities Survey, pushing London off the top-spot it held last year.

“Our latest results confirm that New York took the No 1 spot from last year’s leader – London. The UK’s capital has suffered more than many financial centres during the recent financial downturn and there is growing concern among the footloose international elite over threats to the city’s previously relatively stable tax environment,” said Knight Frank LLP’s head of residential research Liam Bailey in a statement on March 25.

The Knight Frank World Cities Survey assesses 40 of the world’s leading major cities based on four criteria – economic activity, political power, knowledge and influence and quality of life – to determine their overall position within the hierarchy of global cities. It was released with The Wealth Report 2010 produced by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank.

Liam said the gap between the top four cities in the survey – New York, London, Paris and Tokyo – and the rest of the field is substantial, and it would take some time before the emerging contenders would pose a serious threat to the top grouping.

“One of the key themes this year is the strengthening power of the emerging centres, with big gains experienced by the likes of Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai.

“Driven by their improvements in political power and influence, but also by economic drivers – in particular, the astonishing rate of growth of financial sector activity in Shanghai and Beijing,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore retained their 34th and seventh positions respectively, from last year, while Beijing leapt three spots up to the ninth position. 
Beijing rose to fourth place on the ranking of “political power”, leaping ahead of London, Paris and Tokyo while Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing all saw improved rankings for “economic power”.

“Where the emerging centres still fall short is on the softer issues of quality of life and knowledge and intellectual influence. These are strong cards for many cities in the developed world – especially in the US, northern Europe and Japan. Berlin, Paris, Zurich and Tokyo all saw improved rankings on the survey’s “quality of life measure”, he added.

Knight Frank LLP is a leading independent global property consultancy with headquarters in London and New York, while Citi Private Bank is the world’s leading global financial services company.
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