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Half of world’s top global cities Asian

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Some big cities just have a lot of clout
when it comes to doing business. Big corporations, key decision makers, technology, transportation. This month Foreign Policy magazine rated the 65 biggest global cities. Three of the top 10 are in the United States. New York is number one, along with Chicago and Los Angeles. Five of the cities are in Asia. Christina Larson is contributing editor at Foreign Policy, welcome to Marketplace.

LARSON: Good morning Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: What makes a city global?

LARSON: In order to be a global city, you need to have size, complexity and diversity. So all of these cities are tied to people, places and ideas outside of the cities themselves.

CHIOTAKIS: Your report highlights a lot of people, in the future, migrating from rural areas to more urban areas. Why is this happening?

LARSON: Cities are where people and ideas mix, where innovation and change happens, where the jobs are. And from India to China to just about anywhere in the world, people are drawn to places where there’s more opportunity. This isn’t a new trend in history, I think what’s new now is just how fast it’s happening. And also how aware people are of it happening halfway around the world.

CHIOTAKIS: I was just mesmerized by this one little nugget that I found from this index. And that New York are London represent just about half, under half of the global market capitalization. And I thought that was just amazing. Two cities. Two super, global cities. Why should the West be concerned, then, about what’s happening in China or in India, in these other places?

LARSON: It’s important to remember that while Asian cities are rising and five of the top 10 cities in this year’s Global Cities Index are from the Asia-Pacific region. While Asian cities are rising, they’re still comparatively poor. I think it’s important to point out that economic clout and market capitalization aren’t the only measures of global influence. There are new political axes, trade networks, cultural norms, experience and technology, and sustainable living are happening all over the world, including of course in the East. And so we have to pay attention. We might even learn something that’s worth trying back home.

CHIOTAKIS: Christina Larson, contributing editor at Foreign Policy, thanks for the time.

LARSON: Thanks, Steve.

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