Boston is a rising alpha city existing in an urban fourth dimension.
So suggested Rosemary Feenan, the international director of global research programs at Jones Lang LaSalle at an event that the commercial real estate services firm held Wednesday night at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The event’s title: “Real Answers on Boston’s Future.”
Jones Lang LaSalle made some excerpts available from the presentations made by Feenan and several of her colleagues at the event.
Boston “operates in a multi-layered existence,” Feenan said, “where its deep history and personalities are integrated with a modern present. In the past, Boston’s agility in reinventing itself has led to its economic success and creative edge. But the rules are changing.”
By Feenan’s lights, there are 300 major cities around the world that will play a major role in shaping the future.
“If you think of each of these cities as bubbles, Boston sits comfortably in this elite category among the world’s top 30 cities,” Feenan said. “It’s in the company of super cities and holding its own globally. A strong position no doubt, but our sense of normal commerce, process, and opportunity is being tested by structural changes in the way cities are built, used and funded.”
Feenan added: “By 2030, Boston will be competing not only with new entrants to the alpha city list like Mexico City, Jakarta and Johannesburg, but also with a new wave of light, agile cities like Santiago, Taipei, and Shenzhen. You can be sure that the $30 trillion dollars of real estate investment we estimate to be available by 2030 will be fiercely fought for, as cities work tirelessly to attract the capital that will allow them to deliver on their aspirations and visions.”
Boston has been on a steady growth trajectory, added Jones Lang LaSalle managing director Frank Petz.
“We’re led by companies that are the most innovative and by institutions that manufacture the brightest minds,” he said.
He noted that “Boston is at the forefront of the urbanization trend.”
Courtesy of Chris Reidy at Bostonglobe.com