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New technology

Seven rising tech-savvy strongholds

We’ve identified cities that are on the ascendant thanks to their success in the tech sector

Paul Tostevin
Director, Savills World Research

Access to talent is everything in the digital age. Enterprises need to locate where young creatives want to live and work. We have identified seven cities on the ascendant, thanks to their success in the tech sector.


1.  Boston, US

Both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg began their student lives in the Boston area. Top-ranking universities MIT and Harvard produce a lot of tech talent. Entrepreneurial graduates are increasingly sticking around to set up companies instead of heading West. Office space is in high demand from users ranging from biotech to finance.


2.  Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands’ famously creative, bohemian capital is also home to a thriving tech scene. The cycle-friendly city is vibrant, diverse and liveable. Employers benefit from bilingual staff – around 90% of the population speak English as well as Dutch. Global players such as Uber, Netflix and Amazon are driving office demand, so workspace supply is beginning to dry up.


3.  Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen offers a high quality of life. The Danes took top spot on the United Nation’s World Happiness Report in 2013, 2014 and 2016. With more than 20% of the population living in Denmark’s capital, the city makes everyday living extraordinary. Tech success stories include Just Eat, which began in a Danish basement. Rents are highest in city-centre spots where it is easiest to attract young, skilled staff.


4.  Berlin, Germany

A European capital of art and nightlife, in recent years Berlin’s relatively low real-estate prices, reasonable cost of living and wealth of technological talent have positioned it as a centre for young start-ups and entrepreneurs. Berlin has had the strongest growth in office employment among the largest German cities.


5.  Cape Town, South Africa

One of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations is now also one of its hottest tech environments, aided by initiatives such as French Tech’s incubator in new mixed-use suburb, Century City. Known as the ‘digital gateway to Africa’, the Western Cape is home to four top universities, and some 59% of South Africa’s start-ups are born here.


6.  Bengaluru, India

Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) has enjoyed a status as India’s leading tech city since the 1970s, when a 330-acre industrial park was created to house the city’s electronics factories. Today, around two-fifths of India’s IT and software exports come from Bengaluru, supported by low labour costs and a wealth of technical talent.


7.  Tokyo, Japan

Perhaps the world’s first truly high-tech city, Tokyo remains a formidable player in electronics and software. Open Network Lab, which provides a seed accelerator programme for Tokyo’s start-ups, has fostered a number of Japanese success stories, including Dreampass and AnyPerk (now called Fond). International co-working space providers are now entering the Tokyo market.



* Additional sources: Visit Berlin; Savills Spotlight report August 2017 – Tokyo coworking: Separating fact from fad