San Francisco is still the best city in the world for innovation — here are the 6 cities that threaten to usurp its position of power

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  • A new report from business-consulting firm AT Kearney gave San Francisco the top spot in a ranking that measures the hottest cities of the future.
  • New York leads when it comes to economic metrics, while emerging tech hubs Singapore and Amsterdam rocketed up the ranking in 2018.
  • The concentration of wealth and power in San Francisco has its downsides.


Despite its out-of-control housing prices and cost of living, San Francisco continues to attract the best companies, the top talent, and the most investment dollars.

There are reasons for it. San Francisco is the best city in the world for innovation.

AT Kearney, a global business-consulting firm, just released this year’s Global Cities Report and gave San Francisco the top spot on the Global Cities Outlook ranking. The firm ranks 135 cities based on global standing and influence, as well as their potential for importance in the future. San Francisco won out — for the third year in a row — on a ranking that specifically measures projected levels of influence and innovation.

But San Francisco faces significant competition from the most established global cities, such as New York, London, and Paris, as well as emerging tech hubs.

Here are the top 10 cities for innovation:

10. Melbourne, the second biggest city in Australia, fell four spots in the ranking this year. It’s considered the best city for personal well-being, and has the largest international student population.

9. Down one spot in the ranking, Houston has a healthy economy. It has the highest GDP per capita of any city considered for this list.

8. Boston slid three spots in the ranking, but its top universities, including Harvard and MIT, continue to score big points for innovation.

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