Metropolis Now

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Where does your city rank? This year teamed up with management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to produce our second ranking of Global Cities. The 2010 Global Cities Index looks at 65 metropolises worldwide, measuring how much sway a city has beyond its borders -- its influence and integration with global markets, culture, and innovation (for more about methodology and a complete listing, click here). If you don't have time to visit all 65 cities, take the FP whirlwind photo tour.


1. New York

In recent months, plans to construct a mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center have attracted public controversy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded on Aug. 3 with a passionate defense of his city's diverse culture. Above, commuters wait for their train in the Union Square subway station on March 9.


2. London

London, a commercial center since the Roman Empire, is now in the midst of another building project: preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics and an estimated half-million visitors. Here, a man walks past a puddle with the reflection of Big Ben's clock tower on July 14.


3. Tokyo

Tokyo is the world's most populous city, home to some 36.7 million people. But today more than one-fifth of its population is over age 65, leading to increased strain on health-care system and other facilities. Above, shoppers walk along Takeshita Street in the city's Harajuku area on May 25.


4. Paris

A pedestrian shelters from the sun under an umbrella on the Pont des Arts bridge on July 8. Paris is celebrated for its art and architecture, but traffic and pollution problems threaten its image and lucrative tourism industry. Now, Paris is vying to create the world's largest public rental system for electric cars, dubbed Autolib and due to launch in September 2011.


5. Hong Kong

A British colony until 1997, Hong Kong retains much of its Western character despite now being controlled by China under an arrangement known as "one country, two systems." Above, a bird's-eye view of residential and commercial property in Hong Kong July 8.


6. Chicago

Chicago is a global city in the heartland of America. More than one-third of Chicago's population speaks a language other than English at home, and every year the city recognizes as an official holiday the birthday of a Polish brigadier. Here, visitors walk out on The Ledge, a new glass cube that juts out from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), on July 1.


7. Los Angeles

Passengers ride a Metro Link train at a station near high-rise loft buildings under construction on Dec. 14, 2006. Hollywood, the city's signature industry, last year earned a record $29.9 billion in box-office revenue -- about equal to Kenya's entire GDP.


8. Singapore

One-fifth of the world's cargo passes through Singapore's port. This makes the crowded Singapore Strait a highly strategic passageway, and sometime bottleneck, for global trade. Pictured above, a view of the Marina Bay Sands hotel development June 21.


9. Sydney

A third of all Sydney residents are immigrants to Australia; after British nationals, Chinese make up Sydney's largest minority community. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd earned plaudits for his fluency in Mandarin. Above, a light artwork illuminates the Sydney Opera House on May 27.


10. Seoul

South Korea leads the world in household broadband penetration. In Seoul, plans are under way to provide all residents with a wired network fast enough to download a full-length feature film in 12 seconds -- that's about 200 times speedier than the average Internet connection in the United States. Above, people stand in front of the photo wall at city hall on July 18.


11. Brussels

Even though it's the seat of the European Union, language and cultural differences remain sources of friction in Brussels. Formally, the city recognizes both Dutch and French as official languages; however, Brussels is largely a Francophone municipality in the Dutch-speaking Belgian north. Here, spectators hold Flemish flags at Brussels's Grand Palace on Flemish Community Day, on July 11.


12. San Francisco

San Francisco has been called the gay capital of the world, with 15.4 percent of the city's population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. When San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing same-sex marriage licenses in 2004, nearly 3,200 couples lined up to get hitched. Continuing domestic political battles about gay marriage have kept the city in the global spotlight. Above, a cable car makes its way down a hill on March 3, 2005.


13. Washington

The global headquarters of magazine, the greater Washington area is also home to U.S. President Barack Obama, the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery. Above, a Segway tour stops near the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 2.

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images


14. Toronto

About half of Toronto's citizens are foreign-born. As the city ages -- about one-fifth of locals are 60 or older -- Toronto is likely to become more dependent on its immigrant community to revitalize its workforce. Above, the sun sets over the Toronto skyline.


15. Beijing

The 2008 Summer Olympics marked Beijing's breakout moment on the world stage. In preparation for the event, officials spent $40 billion to update the city's infrastructure. Above, a pedestrian rides his motorcycle past a construction site on July 12.


16. Berlin

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city has turned Cold War history into a tourist attraction. At Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known crossing point between the former East and West Germany, visitors can now pose for pictures with uniformed actors and have their passports stamped as they cross from one side to the other. Here, people walk with their umbrellas during a rainstorm on Aug. 3.


17. Madrid

The bullfighting capital of the world, Madrid is home to Spain's largest bullfighting ring, known as Las Ventas. Bullfighting revenues make up some 1.5 percent of the country's GDP, even though the region of Catalonia recently banned the sport. A person walks past graffiti reading in Spanish "No to the labor reform" on June 29.


18. Vienna

Vienna's city center, once home to such celebrated composers as Mozart and Haydn, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001 for its historic role as Europe's music capital. Above, a man rests in his horse carriage in front of the city hall* on Feb. 23.



19. Boston

The greater Boston area houses more college students per capita than anywhere in the United States. In 2009, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern University, and Boston University together enrolled more than 14,000 foreign students. Here, a lone pedestrian braves snowy conditions Jan. 14, 2008.


20. Frankfurt

A young skateboarder practices outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank on April 29. Perhaps best known as Germany's financial hub, Frankfurt is also home to dozens of museums. Nearly three million people will descend on the city in August for its annual Museums Riverbank Festival, a three-day gala celebrating the end of summer.


21. Shanghai

China's most populous city is also its most technologically advanced. Shanghai became the world's first city to open a commercial high-speed maglev train in 2003. The rail line can reach top speeds of 267 miles per hour. Above, people stand next to traffic lights on the Bund area on Aug. 10.


22. Buenos Aires

Known to some visitors as the "Paris of the South," Buenos Aires shares a longstanding cultural affinity with Europe. More socially progressive than its neighbors, Argentina in July became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage. Here, a tourist looks at Caminito Street from a window on Aug. 18.


23. Stockholm

Tourists wait for the changing of the guard at the Royal Castle on May 24. Stockholm's tranquil image has recently come under fire. In July, local Internet service provider PRQ drew attention when one of its clients, the controversial whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks, released more than 75,000 U.S. military documents online, many of them classified.


24. Zurich

Zurich's residents boast the world's greatest earning power, according to Forbes magazine. On average, the city's workers make $22.60 an hour after taxes. That's 73 percent more than what a Berliner makes, and 50 percent more than a Chicago resident. Here, people walk on Bahnhofstrasse on Dec. 2, 2009.


25. Moscow

Moscow summers are generally mild, with average temperatures hovering near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, however, a record-setting heat wave has left the city scorching, and nearby wildfires have destroyed a fifth of Russia's grain crop. Above, a woman watches supporters of the Russian Communist Party march on May 1, 2009.


26. Barcelona

Barcelona is emerging as an international hub for medicine: This year, more than 1,000 people from 30 countries will descend on the newly opened Barcelona Biomedical Research Park to conduct studies in human genetics, epidemiology, and clinical pharmacology. Above, solar panels adorn the top of graves in a municipal cemetery on March 19.


27. Dubai

Dubai's reputation as a millionaire's paradise took a hit following the worldwide economic downturn that caused credit to dry up in the Arabian emirate. Despite its troubles, however, Dubai is expected to make some $8 billion this year in tourism and energy revenues. Here, Emirati competitors sail in the gulf during the Al-Gaffal sailing race on May 29.


28. Rome

The Cross is alighted in front of Rome's Colosseum on Good Friday, April 2. All roads, it seems, are crumbling in Rome. Showing its age, Rome is not only literally falling apart but the city is quickly sliding down the world GDP rankings.


29. Amsterdam

Despite the city's reputation for religious and racial tolerance, tensions have increased in Amsterdam in recent years. An influx of Muslim immigrants has The 2004 murder of controversial Dutch film director Theo van Gogh is the most notable example. Here, bikes are chained along a canal on May 9, 2009.


30. Mexico City

Mexicans dance at the "Monumento a la Revolución" on Oct. 26, 2008. Most recent news out of Mexico has been grim -- drug violence, earthquakes, murdered political candidates -- but there is at least one bright spot. Thanks to concerted government efforts, air pollution in Mexico City has decreased dramatically, allowing city dwellers to regularly enjoy views of surrounding volcanoes rarely visible even a few years ago.


31. Montreal

A horse carriage is shown going through the streets in old downtown Montreal on March 8, 2005. Before Vegas stole the nickname "Sin City," that title went to Montreal, once the destination for Americans journeying north to enjoy the vices outlawed in the Prohibition-era United States. Montreal now has another claim to fame: The city has become headquarters for many of the world's leading video-game developers.


32. Geneva

Geneva attracts international businesses and NGOs, as well as vacationers, to its famous scenic lake. Above, cafe culture in the old town.


33. Miami

More than half of Miami's population was born outside the United States, and more than two-thirds speak a language other than English at home. The human links between Miami and Cuba are a source of cultural vibrancy, and sometimes political friction. Here, a vintage Buick sits on the curb on Sept. 26, 2009.


33. Munich

Once a small Bavarian outpost, Germany's southern manufacturing powerhouse is home to Siemens, BMW, and four other Fortune Global 500 companies. Above, a woman walks along a striped pedestrian area between terminals of the Franz Josef Strauss airport on June 12.


35. Sao Paulo

A giant sign made of plants lays beside an Indy 300 race track March 12. Brazil's most diverse city has prospered as the nation's economy has taken off, but Sao Paulo still suffers from high crime, widespread corruption, and a low per capita GDP.


36. Bangkok

Long a beacon of relative prosperity in Southeast Asia, Bangkok's economy flatlined this year when anti-government "red shirt" protestors decamped in the city center, leading to violence and at least 90 deaths. Above, a Thai labourer pushes a cart through rows of temporary stalls while setting up a night market, Aug. 4.


37. Copenhagen

Already recognized as the greenest city in Europe, Copenhagen's has pledged to become the first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. Pictured above are boats and colorfol houses in the Nyhavn district, Aug. 12.


38. Houston

Long famous for its energy companies, Houston is now striving to also be a leader in medicine. The Texas Medical Center in Houston, renowned as a top-flight research center, reportedly conducts more heart surgeries than anywhere else in the world. Here, a man walks through driving wind and rain after Hurricane Ike, Sept. 13, 2008.


39. Taipei

With the second-largest per capita GDP in Asia, Taipei's wealthy residents have helped underpin the city's transformation into a major regional shopping mecca. Shopping malls and high-end restaurants now dot maps of Taipei. Here, a worker walks past a wall made of recycled plastic bottles at the Flora Expo construction site on April 13.


40. Atlanta

Atlanta's airport has been the busiest in the world for 11 consecutive years, with more than 90 million passengers passing through in 2008. Home Depot, Coca-Cola, UPS, and Delta Airlines are all headquartered in Atlanta. Above, traffic crawls through downtown on May 9, 2005.


41. Istanbul

A Turkish boy jumps into the Bosphorus on July 23, 2007. Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, has for centuries been a meeting place between East and West. Today it has another distinction -- the largest share of billionaire residents of any city in the Muslim world (13), according to Forbes.


42. Milan

Long the fashion capital of a country known for its love of luxury, Milan is currently one of the world's most expensive cities to live in. Hoping to outdo Shanghai's performance this year, Milan is now preparing to host the 2015 World Expo. Here, people walk past sales displays on Jan. 4.


43. Cairo

Cairo, a historic center of literature and ideas, is today one of the most densely populated cities in the world and also the largest publishing center in the Middle East. Above, the minaret of the Sayyidna al-Husayn mosque looks down on the Khan al-Khalili bazaar on Feb. 24, 2009.


44. Dublin

A man walks past a sign outside a pub in the Temple Bar area of the city on Oct. 15, 2009. Dublin's fate has risen and fallen with Ireland's economic boom and bust over the last decade. Once largely homogenous and better known for sending its citizens abroad, Dublin now is home to a large immigrant population from all over the world.


45. New Delhi

India's capital of New Delhi is getting richer and more often in the global spotlight, but the dilapidated infrastructure in much of the city is still a hurdle for many of the foreign companies doing business there. Above, an Indian Muslim man and child break their fast on the first day of Ramadan at Jama Masjid, New Delhi's historic mosque on Aug. 12.


46. Mumbai

Indian commuters wait to board a train on Feb. 23. Mumbai, once primarily known for its low-tech textile industry and large seaport, is now home to India's two major stock exchanges, as well as Bollywood, the world's most prolific film industry.


47. Osaka

Renowned for its local cuisine, Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan. Once Japan's largest commercial center, Osaka is now overshadowed by Tokyo's larger population and economy. Here, an elderly woman has lunch at a noodle shop in Nishinari ward on March 17, 2009.


48. Kuala Lumpur

A motorcyclist rides past portraits of Malaysia's former prime ministers on July 29. Islam meets modernity in Kuala Lumpur, and sometimes sparks fly. One of Malaysia's hit TV shows filmed in the capital, Imam Muda, is a reality show similar to American Idol, but the contestants strive to become a Muslim cleric.


49. Rio de Janeiro

Beloved for its beaches and food, Rio de Janeiro is the happiest city in the world, according to a 2009 issue of Forbes. But city leaders are also struggling to combat crime as they prepare to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Pictured above is the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado hill on June 30.


50. Tel Aviv

Locals relax on a beach on Aug. 5, 2006. Tel Aviv may not be the official capital of Israel, but its economic clout in the country is unmatched. Tel Aviv has become a center for cutting-edge technology research and a major entrepreneurial hub.


51. Manila

In today's Manila, those who can, leave. Remittances from the 9 million Filipinos working overseas amounted to approximately $15.8 billion last year -- 11 percent of the country's GDP. Above, shoppers rush to do their Christmas shopping on Carriedo Street on Dec. 21, 2009.


52. Johannesburg

A skyline view from Ellis Park Stadium on June 12. Johannesburg is sub-Saharan Africa's wealthiest city. As the host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup's opening and closing games, Johannesburg showcased the South Africa's recent relative prosperity.


53. Jakarta

This densely populated capital city is also the financial and commercial center of Indonesia -- the largest economy in Southeast Asia. It also suffers from some of the worst traffic in the world, and a 2007 study found that the ubiquitous traffic costs the booming city $3.5 billion a year in lost productivity and wasted fuel. Here, a street vendor prepares fish for customers on March 1.


54. Bogotá

A populous neighborhood seen June 16. Colombia turned 200 this year. To mark the bicentennial, the Bogotá Archive will be opening a hundred-year time capsule on Oct. 30. Nobody knows what the chest contains, as it was sealed by the Honorable Council of Bogotá in 1911, but once the contents have been made public, another time capsule will be created.


55. Caracas

A man stands in the stairwell in the pro-opposition neighborhood of Altamira on Dec. 6, 2007, after opposition supporters defeated a referendum on changes to the Constitution proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Facing one of the highest murder rates in South America, Caracas's desperate city council in 2007 bought three zeppelins to monitor criminal activity from the skies. Printed in bright red on the side were the words, "We watch over you for your security."


56. Nairobi

Nairobi city leaders are supporting plans to build a major highway to ease traffic congestion. But their biggest opponents come from a gated community for the rich that opposes the construction. The deadlock with government officials -- who say the land had been earmarked for public use even before it was developed -- is the latest sign of growing public-private tensions in Kenya. Above, a supporter of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki waves from a tree during a rally in downtown Nairobi on Dec. 24, 2007.


57. Guangzhou

In recent months, Guangzhou has become a battlefield in a brewing culture war. Half of Guangzhou's population of 14 million speaks Cantonese as a first language -- but when a local official last month proposed forcing the city's TV stations to broadcast only in Mandarin, China's official dialect, more than 1,000 people took to the streets in protest. Here, trolleymen wait for business on June 12, 2003.


58. Bangalore

Nicknamed "the Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore is still no high-tech paradise for most of its residents. Providing adequate electricity, water, and housing to the city's 5.4 million inhabitants remains an immense challenge for local officials. According to the Indian Institute of Science, the city's water supply could be nearly depleted within the next five years.


59. Lagos

People struggle for space between public transport buses and trucks at the bustling Oshodi bus stop, on Feb. 6, 2006. The seventh fastest growing city in the world and the financial heart of the most populous country in Africa, this densely populated city continues to see a flood of people arriving from all over the continent, looking for work. Lagos is booming, but it still lacks the basic infrastructure needed to adequately integrate this influx.


60. Karachi

Pashtun migrants from the North-West Frontier Province -- many of whom share links to the Afghan Taliban -- have been known to battle violently in Karachi with the city's majority ethnic group, the Mohajir. Pakistani men ride on a wood-laden donkey cart in the British-era Lea Market on Jan. 28.


61. Ho Chi Minh City

A fruit vendor walks past a wall of TV sets and refrigerators on display outside a shopping center in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on April 26, 2005. International investors think highly of Ho Chi Minh City: In the last seven months alone, the municipal government attracted nearly $1.2 billion in foreign direct investment. The figure marks a 15 percent increase over the same period last year, according to state officials -- evidence of Vietnam's ongoing (if somewhat wobbly) experiment with capitalism.


62. Shenzhen

Shenzhen, a major factory hub just north of Hong Kong, is experiencing growing pains. The city made headlines this summer when at least 10 people leapt to their deaths from atop a local factory owned by Taiwanese tech contractor Foxconn. Here, a lone house stands in the middle of a construction site in Shenzhen on April 14, 2007.


63. Kolkata

Kolkata, once known to the West as Calcutta, was the home of Mother Teresa and the seat of British power during the time of the Raj; it is now the commercial center of eastern India. Above, an Indian porter carries clay pots that have been brought into the city from rural villages and offloaded on the banks of the river Ganges River on Aug. 4. 


64. Dhaka

In this photo, Bangladeshi Muslims offer Friday prayers on the street in Dhaka on June 26, 2009. More than three million factory workers in Bangladesh churn out shirts and other products for Western retailers such as Walmart, JCPenney, and H&M. This summer, the capital city of Dhaka saw violent protests as textile laborers destroyed equipment to protest an insufficient increase in the minimum wage.


65. Chongqing

Above, workers weld on the roof of a building on the Guanyinqiao Pedestrian Street on May 6, 2008. Nestled in the mountains of southwest China, Chongqing was the Nationalist capital during World War II. Since then, the former backwater has struggled to catch up to its fast-growing coastal brethren -- but now Chongqing is making up for lost time, its GDP growing at nearly twice China's national average.

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