HOW DIGITAL IS CHANGING THE FACE OF CITIES
The key trend this year is the continued rise of the tech industry in almost all of our world cities. The telecommunications, media and technology sector is so important to eight of our 12 cities that we have included them in our special Tech Cities research programme for 2015.
The disruption of conventional city economies by the digital economy is showing up in the changing geography of cities. The traditional financial and legal districts are no longer those experiencing the highest leasing activity, nor even the highest growth in rental levels.
Even those not featured in Tech Cities are seeing strong influence from digital technology occupiers, with the world city status of places like Paris and Chicago helping to attract the human talent so vital to their industry. As a result, demand for ‘creative space’ is rising and office rents are outstripping those for financial space in all our world cities, except Moscow.
THE RESURGENCE OF US CITIES
The American cities featured in this issue are experiencing high demand resulting from economic growth, but are singularly diverse in what they are offering occupiers. New York and San Francisco are fast-growing talent magnets and the most expensive American cities for occupiers, while Chicago continues to supply corporate headquarters for big hitters – even if they are digital companies.
Meanwhile, Miami has attracted the ‘eds and meds’: the research institutes and those at the forefront of medical and life sciences. It also draws in real estate investment from Latin America.
Los Angeles seems to be offering something else again: cheaper space for backroom and corporate America in an extensive and high-supply city. Whatever the story, office rental growth in 2014 was strong across all the major American cities featured here and, with continued GDP and jobs growth, is likely to continue (see fig. 6).