The Most Important Cities In The World


London is the most important city in the world for the rich, according to the latest Wealth Report from real estate consulting firm Knight Frank. But it won’t hold onto its title for long. 

According to the report, New York is set to overtake London as the top city for the wealthy in the next decade. And Asian cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai will also become more important over the next 10 years.

Knight Frank determined its eighth-annual “global cities” ranking based on four factors: economic activity, political power, quality of life, and influence and power. It also took into account each city’s population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with $30 million or more in net assets, excluding their primary residence), and responses from an attitude survey of wealth advisors around the world.

“Our results suggest that by 2024 New York should surpass London as its share of the world’s UHNWIs rises and the city becomes increasingly important to Chinese, Russian and even European UHNWIs,” the Knight Frank report concludes.

The chart below shows which cities were most important last year and this year, and the forecasted ranking for 2024.


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Knight Frank



The report also notes an impending “power struggle” among Asia’s top cities. “One of the key differences, however, between Asia and Europe and North America is Asia’s lack of a single dominant city,” the report says. “This is why we are now seeing the power struggle … with Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and even Beijing all contenders for the title of future leading Asian city.”

Hong Kong will eventually overtake Singapore because “the dominance of China is unavoidable and Hong Kong’s unofficial role as the portal between its big brother and the rest of the world will ensure the growing dominance of the city over the next decade,” Knight Frank concludes.

Knight Frank also identified the five most important cities in each region of the globe, as well as five future “hotspots.” Sao Paulo leads the “hotspot” ranking, as its population of ultra-wealthy individuals is set to rise in the next decade.

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Knight Frank

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15 Gorgeous Retro-Future Photos From The 1964 World’s Fair



Anthony Conti/Flickr


Fifty years ago yesterday, the World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, N.Y. The event was a watershed moment for 1960s America, which was still putting the assassination of President Kennedy in the past. Though the Vietnam War and resulting social upheaval were only just getting underway, the fair exhibited the nation’s postwar optimism of a bright, technological future. 

Spanning two six-month seasons from April 1964 to October 1965, the fair was full of space-age futurism, newfangled technologies, and more than its share of controversy.

In honor of the anniversary, we’ve collected these photos from the fair:

The 1964-1965 fair was the third major World’s Fair to be held in New York City. The theme of the ’64 fair was Peace Through Understanding and was symbolized by a 12-story stainless-steel model of the Earth called the Unisphere. It was built by U.S. Steel. 


AP Photo


Admission to the fair was $2 for adults (those 13 and older), equivalent to about $15 in today’s dollars. Les Poupées de Paris was a wildly popular puppet show at the fair. After a review complained about the risqué nature of the show, tickets sold out for weeks.


Anthony Conti/Flickr


By the time the fair closed in 1965, 51 million people had attended the exposition. It was well below the projected attendance of 71 million. The New York State Pavilion, designed by Philip Johnson, was a key attraction. Pictured here are the flying-saucer-like observation towers, designed to evoke the Space Age.


AP Photo


The fair was the only World’s Fair not to be sanctioned by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE). Despite the fact that New York had hosted the World’s Fair 25 years earlier, a group of New York businessmen led by master urban planner Robert Moses spearheaded the effort for a new fair in the hopes that it would create an economic boom in the city.


AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler


Moses attempted to gain the approval of the BIE in Paris but was rebuffed because of a number of unorthodox requests that he determined were necessary to make the fair profitable. Moses wanted to charge nations rent for exhibiting at the fair, and wanted the fair to run for two six-month seasons, despite BIE stipulations that only one season was allowed. 

After Moses blasted the BIE in the French press, the agency asked that member nations not participate in the New York fair. As a result, many major countries, such as England and France, opted out. Smaller countries took advantage with large exhibits.

This recreation of a Belgian village became one of the highlights after fairgoers went crazy over a couple selling Belgian waffles.


Roger Wollstadt/Wikipedia


The Swiss Sky Ride gave riders panoramic views of the fairgrounds and Manhattan. In the foreground, from left, are the pavilions of the United Arab Republic (a short-lived union between Egypt and Syria), Lebanon, and China. In the background are the anthill-shaped pavilion of Jordan and the multi-arched Moroccan pavilion on the right.


AP Photo


Corporations ended up hosting some of the largest and most elaborate exhibits. At the Futurama II exhibit by General Motors, visitors took a ride into the future on individual seats on a track, accompanied by narration. The GM ride included numerous scenes of the near future including a weather station underneath the Antarctic ice shelf where technicians live and predict the weather.


AP Photo


Other scenes included a laser-assisted demolition of a jungle to create a superhighway, and a trip to the moon with lunar crawlers and commuter space ships, shown here.


AP Photo


The city-of-the-future scene shows airports in Midtown, high-speed “bus trains,” moving sidewalks, and “super-skyscrapers.”


AP Photo/Ruben Goldberg


The General Motors pavilion was massive. In addition to the Futurama ride, the pavilion included exhibitions that showed the variety of research conducted by GM, including home appliances and this experimental car.


AP Photo


Chrysler attempted to compete by unveiling what at the time was groundbreaking technology — a turbine-powered car. The Chrysler Turbine Car was called the “jet car” because the engine was similar to one used in a jet. Other parts of the Chrysler exhibition included a massive turbine engine that fairgoers could walk through and a simulated assembly line. 




Forty years before the advent of Skype, AT&T’s Bell Labs premiered the Picturephone at the fair. Attendees were invited to video-chat with a caller in a special exhibit at Disneyland in California. The product never ended up catching on because of the high price tag and small size of the picture. 


AP Photo/AT&T


Nuclear energy was still a crowning achievement of the U.S. at the time. The Atomic Energy Commission’s Atomsville, U.S.A., exhibit touted the benefits of nuclear-produced electricity. As the children pedal the bicycles, lights on the panel in front are activated by a generator. The exhibit indicated how long they would have to pedal to equal the energy in 1 pound of uranium fuel: 30 years of nonstop pedaling. 


AP Photo/DP


The U.S. pavilion was designed with the theme Challenge to Greatness to show what a “free people can compete in a free society.” Exhibits included “The Voyage to America,” a film tribute to immigrants’ journeys to America, “The Great Society,” showing U.S. advances in science, the arts, and world peace, and “American Journey,” a moving grandstand showing 472 years of American history. 


AP Photo


The fair closed on Oct. 21, 1965. It was considered a failure, after it failed to meet attendance projections or repay its financial backers their investment. Most of the fair was completely demolished within six months, and the remaining pavilions have slowly succumbed to neglect. Here, the fair is lighted at night.


AP Photo

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