Knight Frank released a new report on Global cities, a briefing on the real estates of 34 leading business hubs all over the world.
According to the report, whether a city is driven by finance, aerospace, commodities, defense, or manufacturing, the most important asset is a large pool of educated and creative workers. Consequently, real estate is increasingly a business that seeks to build an environment that attracts and retains such people. The message that is clearly coming out from the 2017 Global Cities report is that the urban economy is increasingly people-centric.
The 2017 Global Cities report indicates that the digital revolution that has already transformed property markets in places like New York, San Francisco and London and has continued to migrate to other leading business centers. It is present in cities like Shanghai, that a few years ago was thought of as a manufacturing city but now has a vibrant start-up scene; as well as places like Austin, Texas and now firms like Apple and Google are looking far beyond established tech cities in their search for talent.
The result of this shift towards a tech and creative economy is that cities have to adapt to match the lifestyles of the knowledge workers, who in turn draw in major companies seeking to recruit the best staff. This is resulting in more mixed-use development, as demand increases for shops, homes and leisure near to places of work. This is particularly true in bohemian, trendy districts that are popular with millennials. With the infrastructure in place for sustained long-term tech growth, developers and landlords are adapting strategies to respond to the new geography of demand. The creative model of office space – open floor plates, efficient layouts, and high ceilings – has become commonplace in many new developments, with developers adding amenities and outdoor spaces.