"The top cities on the index-which also include Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles-aren't surprising, given their financial markets and sophisticated business climates. But their positions as global leaders also are bolstered by the presence of top-quality universities, world-class museums, international cuisine, and culturally diverse populations. New York, for instance, has the world's largest foreign-born citizenry and Tokyo boasts the largest number of inhabitants with university degrees.
[Paul Laudicina, managing officer and chairman of A.T. Kearney] says the index also helps to explain why businesses choose headquarters in places that can present considerable cost disadvantages. A good example is the San Francisco Bay Area, ranked 15th, where real estate prices and taxes are among the highest in the U.S. The region is made more appealing, Laudicina says, by high quality of life, the prevalence of multidisciplinary academic and scientific research, and other cultural dimensions.
The index reveals another trend, too. Cities in emerging economies, such as Beijing, Moscow, Shanghai, and Dubai, eventually may dislodge the old guard. China's industrial explosion and Russia's recent oil and gas boom have pulled in tourists, foreign investment, and internal migrants looking for the fruits of prosperity."