Housing Complex

Report: D.C. Losing Ground With the Wealthy

Global property services company Knight Frank is out with its 2011 Wealth Report, and although it's beautifully designed, it comes bearing bad news for the D.C.-as-global-city crowd. Washington D.C. is ranked number 12 in the Global Cities Index, the same as last year. But based on an "attitudes survey," analysts expect D.C. to slip to 15th place by 2020, as cities like Sao Paolo, Mumbai, and Shanghai rise in the ranks.

If you're an American declinist type, most of that slippage will come in the "political power" category, where D.C. still ranks number one. If you're an optimist, it might not be so bad, if D.C. manages to get its economic act together and raise its ranking in that category from 31st place to something more respectable.

One might argue that Washington's popularity with the wealthy shouldn't matter as much as livability and affordability for all classes, but I'd counter that a city with excellent quality of life, global political reach, world-class educational institutions, and economic girth offers more opportunities for everybody.

Anyhow, the whole thing is worth a read.

  • W Jordan

    DC's current budget debate is proof that the trickle-down theory you favor is seriously flawed. Even for those with good incomes which differs from wealth. The wealthy down necessarily contribute to the overall quality of life in a city. They may only contribute to bigger gates and fences. More is not always better.

  • RobShaw

    Uhhh. how does "excellent quality of life, global political reach, world-class educational institutions, and economic girth" provide opportunities for the economically poor, socially marginalized, under educated, and under utilized? Isn't it well known at this point that economic resources translate into a better quality of life, educational opportunity, political weight, and future economic security?

    Sure the odd minotirty business program, scholarship, or other attempt at inclusion can affect a few lives - but do these things really alter the fundamental disparity in the District?

    Nope.

    I doubt D.C. will slip by 2020. By then a lot of the people in the groups I just mentioned will have been pushed to the poor suburbs and D.C. will be "revitalized" (not that it was lacking in vitality in the first place).

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