City of Atlanta Named a Top City of the Future

The City of Atlanta has announced that it has been named among the top 25 cities of the future by A.T. Kearney, a global business consulting firm. The firm recently published its Global Cities 2017 Index and Outlook; the Index examines the current performance of cities, and the Outlook evaluates a city’s potential based on the rate of change for 13 metrics across four dimensions: personal well-being, economics, innovation and governance, according to the firm.

“I am pleased that Atlanta is again recognized in the top 25 cities of the future by A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities Outlook,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Because of the tough decisions we have made over the past seven and a half years, the City of Atlanta is better run, and is more financially secure now than in more than two decades. It's because of our success that Atlanta is increasingly being recognized as one of the world's leading cities."

The 13 metrics are chosen to evaluate long-term investments and success to identify growing cities that are likely to become the world’s most prominent cities over the next several decades. Each of the four dimensions were weighted equally, representing 25 percent of the total score. Personal well-being focused on safety, healthcare, inequality and environmental performance; economics weighted long-term investments and GDP; innovation evaluated entrepreneurship through patents, private investments and incubators; governance considered long-term stability through transparency, quality of bureaucracy and ease of doing business.
Since the beginning of Mayor Reed’s administration, overall crime rates have dropped by 36 percent. In 2017, homicides rates are down, even as numbers increase for America’s biggest cities, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com.

The City of Atlanta operates the world’s busiest and most efficient passenger airport, and is home to a world-class business community that anchors the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Over the past six years, 13 companies have chosen Atlanta to establish new global or regional headquarters; three companies have expanded their business with additional jobs and investment; and more than 10,000 jobs have been added to the workforce. Many of these jobs have been in the high-tech or financial technology industries. Atlanta is now home to 26 startup incubators and business accelerators, including the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, the only city-supported program for women entrepreneurs in the country.

Mayor Reed added, “Atlanta is already the economic and cultural capital of the Southeast, but because of the strong partnerships between the City, the State, colleges and universities and the private sector, Atlanta is emerging is emerging as the undisputed innovation leader of the region. We are building the future we want to see.”

Additional major accomplishments include the successful and unanimous passage of public pension reform, which will save the City more than $150 million over the next thirty years; all three major credit ratings agencies have increased the City’s credit to Double A plus (AA+), the second-highest rating a city can receive; and through Mayor Reed’s leadership, the City’s cash reserves have grown from $7.4 million to $175 million, the largest in city history.

Atlanta voters have authorized back-to-back referenda to fund sewer and water infrastructure improvements through a dedicated sales tax; issue $250 million in bonds to address the City’s infrastructure backlog; and this past November, voters overwhelmingly approved a historic referendum to expand the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) system within city limits through a forty-year, half penny sales tax. The sales tax is expected to generate $2.6 billion over the next forty years. Voter also approved a five-year, $300 million TSPLOST to purchase the remaining right of way for the Atlanta BeltLine and expand trails and greenways throughout the city.

Atlanta is one of only nine cities in the United States included in the A.T. Kearney study, and the only city in the Southeast region. Atlanta ranked 38 on the Global Cities Index, a one-step improvement from 2016.

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