JLL Says PH Can Compete with World’s Best Cities With Fast-Forward Urban Planning and Infrastructure

official press release.

October 27, 2017

The Philippines faces an uphill climb if it aspires to land in the list of well–established and most successful cities in the world​

So explains Claro Cordero Jr., Local Director and JLL's Head of Research, Consulting and Valuation as he cites the latest State of the Art of City indices by JLL and The Business of Cities which benchmark and rank cities on almost every aspect of urban life.

The report measured various indices, including Business and investor demand (17.6%) Brand, reputation and destination ((15.0%) Quality of life (13.0%) Growth and jobs performance (9.8%) Innovation and R&D (9.1%) Sustainability and resilience ((8.5%) Infrastructure ((5.9) All-round studies (
5.2%) Talent (5.2%) Costs
 (4.6%) Governance and smartness (3.3%) Culture and diversity (2.9%).

These indices have a bearing on how city dynamics works- consequently guiding investors, businesses and workers as they make location choices. The report points to cities which possess the ingredients for future success and help steer the real estate industry amid the changing urban landscape.

At present, London and New York lead the pack of cities in the Big 7, followed by Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. Rounding out the Top 7 is Seoul which has equipped itself for the 21st century through a combination of modern infrastructure, innovative global firms and exceptional digital connectivity. Other Asian cities which are considered strong contenders in the elite circle of the Big 7 are Beijing and Shanghai.

The 'Big Seven' and the majority of the 'Contenders' are also, simultaneously, regarded as among the world's largest real estate investment destinations. New York and London still get the top spots as investment hubs, along with Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris vying for the next positions. Other cities in Asia which have made it to the list are Shanghai, Seoul and Beijing.

Cordero reveals that many of the requirements to be included in the list are the very same stumbling blocks that the country has to hurdle. He says that, at present, there is a lack of urban planning designs, a relatively low pace of infrastructure development and there is little commitment to implement long-term plan towards sustainability and resiliency, given that most areas in the Philippines are prone to natural disasters. He says: "The new urban design of Philippine cities should incorporate advances in technology while preserving its heritage features to project a unique character and branding. He also stresses the need for the government to support creative infrastructure projects and future-proof urban designs.

On top of all those, the attractiveness of the Philippines to global businesses and investors and real estate players remain challenging due to foreign ownership limitations and lack of a level playing field.

But according to Cordero, there is still hope that cities in the Philippines will be included in the list of established cities. Looking at the list of imperatives to become a successful city is the availability of talent, which, according to Cordero, we have an abundance of.  He says: "With an altered mind set among our young population and strong political will and commitment, we can create the cities that will be able to respond to the ever-changing urban landscape".