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Saigon, Hanoi Among 10 Most Dynamic Cities in the World

For those Saigoneers stuck in traffic this week as they head to the airport on Tet holiday, just remember this while you're trapped in the gridlock: Saigon is the second most dynamic city in the world, behind only India's Bangalore. 

JLL, a financial and professional services firm, released its City Momentum Index just in time for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Considered "high-potential" cities, both Saigon and Hanoi landed in the top 10, with the capital ranking eighth, in between Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts. 

According to the WEF, the rankings reflect a city's "capacity to embrace rapid change" in order "to compete in the world – today and in the future" and demonstrate the most dynamic cities "are becoming more tightly networked and most are outperforming their national economies". As a sign of Asia's continued economic rise, over half of the 30 most dynamic cities are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

India alone is home to six of these cities, with its southern city Hyderabad also landing in the top 10, while China has five in the top 30.

Meanwhile The Atlantic'sCityLab also reports on a new study on urbanization in Southeast Asia by the Martin Prosperity Institute. According to the study, the region's urban population will hit roughly 375 million people by 2030, up from 280 million today. 

The study also looked at major Southeast Asian cities and their relationship to the countries in which they are located. For example, Saigon's economic output is US$71 billion per year, slightly smaller than Oslo's, accounting for more than 35% of Vietnam's total economy. The figures suggest Vietnam's uneven regional development, which is similar to its neighbors.

Despite concerns of a global phase of urbanization without growth, the study found a generally positive relationship between level of urbanization and economic development across world cities, especially in Southeast Asia.

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