The 2010 top 100 city rankings for cities in the urban innovation economy

Innovation NewsMELBOURNE, 2THINKNOW — Boston was again ranked the top nexus city of the global innovation economy in volatile economic conditions, according to Australian consulting innovation analysts, 2thinknow.

According to the analysts, top-ranked nexus cities have better economic opportunities for all of us, due to their innovation economics building future industries for employment and community services.

Paris and Amsterdam contested the top spot with Boston, being ranked second and third, respectively, in the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Top 100 Index. Since 2009 Vienna has moved to fourth place and New York to fifth place. The cities of Frankfurt, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Lyon and Hamburg, rounded out the top ten places.

In Asia, Hong Kong was first in 18th place overall. Japan has two cities in the top index, with Tokyo (20) and Kyoto (22) both ahead of Chinese city Shanghai (24) in the current year. Australia’s strong relative economy was represented by Melbourne and Sydney, placed 19th and 28th respectively.

In Europe, German and French cities out-scored United Kingdom cities across all classifications of the Index. In southern Europe, capitals of Milan (16), Rome (20) and Barcelona (26) placed well followed by and Madrid (60), despite the economic and social concerns of the region.

Scored cities were classified in five groupings for their importance to the innovation economy. Nexus cities dominate the globally innovation economy across many sectors, followed by hub cities.

Node and influencer cities have regional industry influence on innovation, so whether these were ideal places to live and work was based more on choice of industry.

2thinknow commenced the index in 2007 to help start-up businesses, creative class and communities determine their cities relative performance in the global innovation economy.  In 2010 of 289 cities scored, compared with 256 cities last year. Of these 282 were categorized, with 30 hub cities, 65 nexus cities, 162 node cities, 20 influencer cities and 5 upstarts.

The index was scored based on measuring 31 common industry and community segments of the urban economy, with 162 indicators weighted against global trends. This was reduced to a 3 factor score out of 10 measuring the cultural assets, human infrastructure and networked markets of an innovation economy.

The final complex process of a top 100 ranking focussed on assessment of cities ‘market confidence’.

Entrants that rose since 2009 to become nexus cities included Hong Kong (now 18), Shanghai (24) and Munich (15).These cities represented innovation performance at a global level and across many sectors of the innovation economy. Prominent hub cities included Singapore (31), Seattle (35), Chicago (47) and Manchester (58) in England.

The index relied on measuring cultural assets, and infrastructure as conditions for innovation, rather than counting patents or research spending.

The index can be viewed at

The index is designed to evolve over time, with global economic and social conditions.

2thinknow are a private network of consulting innovation analysts, based in Melbourne, Australia.
— ENDS —
Christopher Hire, Executive Director
2thinknow ICP
+6138678 0319

RELEASED: 2THINKNOW, Level 27, Rialto South Tower, 525 Collins St Melbourne VIC 3001 AUSTRALIA Phone: +6138678 0319

A longer variation of this release including regional & global top tables

There is also an extensive FAQ and more resources on the index rankings.