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  • <p>What makes a city fast? It starts with opportunity -- a culture that nurtures creative action and game-changing enterprise. It's where the number of patents filed is high, or where the high-tech sector is expanding. These cities invest in physical, cultural, and intellectual infrastructure that will sustain growth. Finally, fast cities are full of highly creative people. Here are the 30 fastest cities that are shaping the future of the world.</p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 14.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> In the last decade, foreign investors have sunk $73 billion into Shanghai-based projects<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> China Display; China East Airlines</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-shanghai.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 18.8 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Nation's highest per capita income in the urban core<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Viacom; Jet Blue Airways, Goldman Sachs</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-newyork.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 4.2 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> No. 1 in the world in scientist citations<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Lucasfilm; Wild Brain; and nearby, the whole Silicon Valley crowd</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-sanfrancisco.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 12.6 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Named UNESCO's first-ever City of Design; more than 14,000 students are enrolled in the University of Buenos Aires's design and architecture programs<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Pol-ka Producciones</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-buenosaires.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 5.1 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The city counts 100 different ethnic communities; 44 percent of residents are foreign-born<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Nortel; Four Seasons Hotels; TAXI, the brand builder behind Mini and Viagra</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-toronto.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 3.3 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Foreign visitors to South Africa have more than doubled since 1994<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Dimension Data; MTN; Investec</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities- johannesburg.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 3.4 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> 14 percent of Berlin's population are immigrants, from 180 nations<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> MTV Europe; IKV+ + Technologies; Ronen Kadushin's Open Design</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities- berlin.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 276,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Generating patents at the rate of 11.45 a year per 100,000 people, nearly four times the U.S. city average<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> LSI; Advanced Energy Industries</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-fortcollins.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 9.6 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> No.4 patent generator in the world<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Samsung Electronics; LG Electronics</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-seoul.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 1.6 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Highest percentage of college grads aged 25 to 34 in the U.S<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Red Hat; SAS Institute</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-raleighdurham.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 9.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Since 1999, the city has planted 2.5 million square feet of heat-reducing rooftop gardens, more than all other U.S. cities combined<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> CDW; W.W. Grainger; Chicago Board of Trade </p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-chicago.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 1.7 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Europe's least-polluted major city, says Cushman & Wakefield<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Ericsson; H&M; clean techies Envac and Fortnum</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-stockholm.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 2.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> With 125 projects and counting, Portland has the most structures certified by the U.S. Green Building Council<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Nike; Tektronix; Adidas USA; ad firm Wieden + Kennedy</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-portland.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 2.1 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The world's most livable city, according to a Mercer survey<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Electronics Arts; Relic Entertainment; 1-800-GOT-JUNK?</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-vancouver.html">Read more</a></p>
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  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 5.1 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> More than 98 percent of children complete secondary education<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Jabil Circuit; YTL Holdings</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-hochiminhcity.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 928,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The city's technology exports have quadrupled since 2002<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Nectar Lifesciences</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-chandigarh.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 568,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Second-highest tech GDP growth in the United States, says the Milken Institute<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Micron; ClickBank</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-boise.html">Read more</a></p>
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  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 2.9 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> 45 percent of residents use extensive bus system<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> América Latina Logística</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-curitiba.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 1.1 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Youngest urban citizenry in the United States<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Alzheimer's drugmaker Myriad Genetics</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-saltlakecity.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 399,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> 58 percent of residents use the Internet, with the cheapest connection rates in Europe<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> MicroLink; Skype; Delfi</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-tallinn.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 4.8 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Home to 1,500 design studios, among them outposts of Hewlett-Packard, Volvo, and Audi, as well as 18 design schools<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> B01 Arquitectes; Morillas Brand Design; Smart Design</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-barcelona.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 5.5. million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Five years ago, Miami's Wynwood Art District didn't exist; today, it boasts nearly 70 galleries and art spaces<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Crispin Porter + Bogusky; Bacardi U.S.A.; "tropical modernist" architects Arquitectonica</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-miami.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 2.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> International Fashion Week, created in 1997 by local couturepreneur Oumou Sy, has become as annual ritual for European fashionistas<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Sonatel; Pictoon Animation</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-dakar.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 1.3 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> One-fifth of the world's construction cranes are at work in Dubai<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Dubai Holding; Emaar Properties; many, many foreign technology and media outfits</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-dubai.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 9.7 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Moody's recently upgraded its credit rating from speculative<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Dogan Holding</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-istanbul.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 4.3 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The world's third favorite city after London and Paris, according to Anholt GMI City Brands Index<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Lend Lease; Telstra</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-sydney.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 1.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Highest number by far of Wi-Fi hot spots per capita in the United States<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Dell Computer; Whole Foods Market</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-austin.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 543,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The University of Wisconsin at Madison spends more on R&D than Stanford, MIT, or Harvard<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Promega; Third Wave Technologies; EMD Biosciences</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-madison.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 946,000<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> Among the top 10 in the United States for job growth and high-tech-industry concentration<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> Raytheon Missile Systems; UniSource Energy; Universal Avionics</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-tucson.html">Read more</a></p>
  • <p><strong>Population:</strong> 8.5 million<br /><strong>Leading Indicators:</strong> The London Stock Exchange had the most initial public offerings in the world in 2006<br /><strong>Fast Companies:</strong> New-media startups OTP Media; MX Telecom; Jobpartners</p><p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-fast-cities-london.html">Read more</a></p>
  • 01 /40

    What makes a city fast? It starts with opportunity -- a culture that nurtures creative action and game-changing enterprise. It's where the number of patents filed is high, or where the high-tech sector is expanding. These cities invest in physical, cultural, and intellectual infrastructure that will sustain growth. Finally, fast cities are full of highly creative people. Here are the 30 fastest cities that are shaping the future of the world.

  • 02 /40

  • 03 /40

    Population: 14.5 million
    Leading Indicators: In the last decade, foreign investors have sunk $73 billion into Shanghai-based projects
    Fast Companies: China Display; China East Airlines

    Read more

  • 04 /40

    Population: 18.8 million
    Leading Indicators: Nation's highest per capita income in the urban core
    Fast Companies: Viacom; Jet Blue Airways, Goldman Sachs

    Read more

  • 05 /40

    Population: 4.2 million
    Leading Indicators: No. 1 in the world in scientist citations
    Fast Companies: Lucasfilm; Wild Brain; and nearby, the whole Silicon Valley crowd

    Read more

  • 06 /40

    Population: 12.6 million
    Leading Indicators: Named UNESCO's first-ever City of Design; more than 14,000 students are enrolled in the University of Buenos Aires's design and architecture programs
    Fast Companies: Pol-ka Producciones

    Read more

  • 07 /40

  • 08 /40

    Population: 5.1 million
    Leading Indicators: The city counts 100 different ethnic communities; 44 percent of residents are foreign-born
    Fast Companies: Nortel; Four Seasons Hotels; TAXI, the brand builder behind Mini and Viagra

    Read more

  • 09 /40

    Population: 3.3 million
    Leading Indicators: Foreign visitors to South Africa have more than doubled since 1994
    Fast Companies: Dimension Data; MTN; Investec

    Read more

  • 10 /40

    Population: 3.4 million
    Leading Indicators: 14 percent of Berlin's population are immigrants, from 180 nations
    Fast Companies: MTV Europe; IKV+ + Technologies; Ronen Kadushin's Open Design

    Read more

  • 11 /40

  • 12 /40

    Population: 276,000
    Leading Indicators: Generating patents at the rate of 11.45 a year per 100,000 people, nearly four times the U.S. city average
    Fast Companies: LSI; Advanced Energy Industries

    Read more

  • 13 /40

    Population: 9.6 million
    Leading Indicators: No.4 patent generator in the world
    Fast Companies: Samsung Electronics; LG Electronics

    Read more

  • 14 /40

    Population: 1.6 million
    Leading Indicators: Highest percentage of college grads aged 25 to 34 in the U.S
    Fast Companies: Red Hat; SAS Institute

    Read more

  • 15 /40

  • 16 /40

    Population: 9.5 million
    Leading Indicators: Since 1999, the city has planted 2.5 million square feet of heat-reducing rooftop gardens, more than all other U.S. cities combined
    Fast Companies: CDW; W.W. Grainger; Chicago Board of Trade

    Read more

  • 17 /40

    Population: 1.7 million
    Leading Indicators: Europe's least-polluted major city, says Cushman & Wakefield
    Fast Companies: Ericsson; H&M; clean techies Envac and Fortnum

    Read more

  • 18 /40

    Population: 2.5 million
    Leading Indicators: With 125 projects and counting, Portland has the most structures certified by the U.S. Green Building Council
    Fast Companies: Nike; Tektronix; Adidas USA; ad firm Wieden + Kennedy

    Read more

  • 19 /40

    Population: 2.1 million
    Leading Indicators: The world's most livable city, according to a Mercer survey
    Fast Companies: Electronics Arts; Relic Entertainment; 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

    Read more

  • 20 /40

  • 21 /40

    Population: 5.1 million
    Leading Indicators: More than 98 percent of children complete secondary education
    Fast Companies: Jabil Circuit; YTL Holdings

    Read more

  • 22 /40

    Population: 928,000
    Leading Indicators: The city's technology exports have quadrupled since 2002
    Fast Companies: Nectar Lifesciences

    Read more

  • 23 /40

    Population: 568,000
    Leading Indicators: Second-highest tech GDP growth in the United States, says the Milken Institute
    Fast Companies: Micron; ClickBank

    Read more

  • 24 /40

  • 25 /40

    Population: 2.9 million
    Leading Indicators: 45 percent of residents use extensive bus system
    Fast Companies: América Latina Logística

    Read more

  • 26 /40

    Population: 1.1 million
    Leading Indicators: Youngest urban citizenry in the United States
    Fast Companies: Alzheimer's drugmaker Myriad Genetics

    Read more

  • 27 /40

    Population: 399,000
    Leading Indicators: 58 percent of residents use the Internet, with the cheapest connection rates in Europe
    Fast Companies: MicroLink; Skype; Delfi

    Read more

  • 28 /40

  • 29 /40

    Population: 4.8 million
    Leading Indicators: Home to 1,500 design studios, among them outposts of Hewlett-Packard, Volvo, and Audi, as well as 18 design schools
    Fast Companies: B01 Arquitectes; Morillas Brand Design; Smart Design

    Read more

  • 30 /40

    Population: 5.5. million
    Leading Indicators: Five years ago, Miami's Wynwood Art District didn't exist; today, it boasts nearly 70 galleries and art spaces
    Fast Companies: Crispin Porter + Bogusky; Bacardi U.S.A.; "tropical modernist" architects Arquitectonica

    Read more

  • 31 /40

    Population: 2.5 million
    Leading Indicators: International Fashion Week, created in 1997 by local couturepreneur Oumou Sy, has become as annual ritual for European fashionistas
    Fast Companies: Sonatel; Pictoon Animation

    Read more

  • 32 /40

  • 33 /40

    Population: 1.3 million
    Leading Indicators: One-fifth of the world's construction cranes are at work in Dubai
    Fast Companies: Dubai Holding; Emaar Properties; many, many foreign technology and media outfits

    Read more

  • 34 /40

    Population: 9.7 million
    Leading Indicators: Moody's recently upgraded its credit rating from speculative
    Fast Companies: Dogan Holding

    Read more

  • 35 /40

    Population: 4.3 million
    Leading Indicators: The world's third favorite city after London and Paris, according to Anholt GMI City Brands Index
    Fast Companies: Lend Lease; Telstra

    Read more

  • 36 /40

  • 37 /40

    Population: 1.5 million
    Leading Indicators: Highest number by far of Wi-Fi hot spots per capita in the United States
    Fast Companies: Dell Computer; Whole Foods Market

    Read more

  • 38 /40

    Population: 543,000
    Leading Indicators: The University of Wisconsin at Madison spends more on R&D than Stanford, MIT, or Harvard
    Fast Companies: Promega; Third Wave Technologies; EMD Biosciences

    Read more

  • 39 /40

    Population: 946,000
    Leading Indicators: Among the top 10 in the United States for job growth and high-tech-industry concentration
    Fast Companies: Raytheon Missile Systems; UniSource Energy; Universal Avionics

    Read more

  • 40 /40

    Population: 8.5 million
    Leading Indicators: The London Stock Exchange had the most initial public offerings in the world in 2006
    Fast Companies: New-media startups OTP Media; MX Telecom; Jobpartners

    Read more

What makes a city fast? It starts with opportunity — a culture that nurtures creative action and game-changing enterprise. It's where the number of patents filed is high, or where the high-tech sector is expanding. These cities invest in physical, cultural, and intellectual infrastructure that will sustain growth. Finally, fast cities are full of highly creative people. Here are the 30 fastest cities that are shaping the future of the world.

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