Heads Up: 10 Fastest Growing and Declining Cities

Heads Up: 10 Fastest Growing and Declining Cities
Photo by Flickr user Gord McKenna, licensed through Creative Commons.

According to Derek Thompson’s article for The Atlantic, the Brookings Institute recently published a ranking of the world’s 200 largest metropolitan economies. The Global MetroMonitor division of the Brookings Institute, published the report on January 2012. In this brief synopsis, he reveals the “10 Fastest-Growing (and Fastest-Declining) Cities in the World”. Among the fastest growing is Santiago, Chile, the only Latin American country in the top 10. The top 10 is primarily populated by Asian countries – China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all have multiple cities in on the list. Conversly, the tail end of the list is dominated by Western European countries most affected by the economic downturn, with just two cities from the US – Sacramento, California and Richmond, Virginia.

The survey primarily focuses on their economic development comparing income and job growth, to say nothing of the cultural, societal, and political circumstances which may or may not be contributing the dynamism of each city’s economy. Thompson points out, two of the fastest growing cities in the world, Izmir, Turkey and Santiago, Chile are also among the poorest. Developing countries have the most to gain as they join the global economy but it may still be sometime before the economic growth balances a comfortable standard of living. Watch the interview with Alan Berube from MetroMonitor.

With all of that in mind, follow us after the break for a look at the list.

The top 10 have a wide variety of architecture along with the flourishing economies.  Click the cities to see examples of cultural developments.

© The Brookings Institute - The Global MetroMonitor 2011

  • Shanghai, China tops the list with an economy the size of Finland, according to Thompson.
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia comes in second, growing fastest in the last two year due to oil exports that help fund economic development, infrastructural and commerce.
  • The second largest city in Saudi Arabia, Jiddah, comes in third.
  • Izmir, Turkey at number four, is among the most populous cities in Turkey and has an economy based on commodities; although it is listed as 181 of 200 in Highest to Lowest Per-Capita GDP. The report warns that this could lead to trouble if a slowdown occurs in manufacturing-based economies, such as those in Asia.
  • Hangzhou, China comes in at fifth on the list and was among the cities that carried China in its overall disappointing growth.
  • Ankara, Turkey is sixth and has grown more in the last year than between 1993 and 2007.
  • Istanbul, Turkey dropped from first on the list last year, but still comes in at seven for 2011.
  • Shenzhen, China another Chinese metropolis, had stayed in the top five throughout the recession and into the recovery.
  • Santiago, Chile, a commerce and finances based economy has been growing among other Latin American cities and reached number nine on the list. Its tourism industry contributes to the development of the economy, its third largest industry. It is the only Latin American country on the list for the top ten, although it comes in just behind Izmir at 182 for Per-capita GDP in 2011.
  • Shenyang, China, tenth on the list, has had the fastest income growth in 2011.
  • While North American cities are scattered among 100s in the list, Western European cities dominate the last 10 spots. And while the building industry usually suffers under recessions and declining economies, these cities still have fine examples of creative and cultural work, whether built or theoretical projects.  Click the cities for examples.

    © The Brookings Institute - The Global MetroMonitor 2011

  • Richmond, Virginia saw a small percentage of growth employment decline – still recovering from government cutbacks.
  • Valencia, Spain is one of four Spanish cities, relied on the construction industry until it failed, leaving behind a hard hit economy.
  • Barcelona, Spain economic decline stunted this capital cities growth and caused employment decline.
  • Naples, Italy experienced a full recession and caused decline in employment rates because many jobs are based in publicly funded services.
  • Madrid, Spain lost jobs but experience slight economic growth.
  • Sacramento, California was the worst-performing economy in the Americas due to a shrinking government and decline in the housing market.
  • Seville, Spain was the worst performing city in Spain and was also stunted by the construction boom that came to halt.
  • Dublin, Ireland is 197th on the list but is among the wealthiest cities, according to Brookings.
  • Lisbon, Portugal is still in a full recession of economy and employment growth.
  • Athens, Greece has had the largest decline in GDP and unemployment. It has seen the worst of the “European fiscal and financial crisis” according to Brookings.
  • In regards to The Brookings Institute’s report, the Global MetroMonitor singled out Santiago, Chile to report on its unique position in the global economy. Santiago, Chile is a great example of a city reborn out of a crisis. According to an article in the Santiago Times by Juan Francisco Veloso Olguin, which reported the city’s standing from The Global Metro Monitor, the reason that Santiago made it among the top 10 was its 2010 economic stimulus generated by a magnitude-8.8 earthquake that destroyed 200,000 homes. The earthquake was estimated at 30 billion USD which boosted construction and infrastructure investments and increased consumption spending by its citizens. The dramatic economic increased occurred in 2011, a year later, when the city’s economy grew by 6.3 percent.

    © The Brookings Institute - The Global MetroMonitor 2011

    With the economy booming, income and employment rates followed. The transport, tourism and trade industry have also been developing. Predictions for Santiago’s future are optimistic, as the city hopes to continue improving the standard of living with basic services and quality of life concerns. The report warns, however, that Chile is heavily reliant on it’s top export of copper and any major changes in the price or demand may have severe repercussions for its economy.

    Miele Gallery / Gonzalo Mardones Viviani © Nicolas Saieh

    Cultural developments, such as the Miele Gallery by Gonzalo Mardones Viviani and the Memory Museum by Estudio America, and innovative concepts, such as the Wall House by FAR frohn&rojas, are among the projects emerging out of Santiago, Chile today.

    Memory Museum / Estudio America © Nicolas Saieh

    Original Articles via The Atlantic by Derek Thompson, “The 10 Fastest-Growing (and Fastest-Declining) Cities in the World” and Santiago Times by Juan Francisco Veloso Oguin, “Santiago ranks as 9th fastest growing city in the world in 2011“.

    For a look at US Rankings, view this report by the Brooking Institute’s MetroMonitor.

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    Cite: Irina Vinnitskaya. "Heads Up: 10 Fastest Growing and Declining Cities" 15 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/207385/heads-up-10-fastest-growing-and-declining-cities> ISSN 0719-8884

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