The 20 Most Innovative Cities In The Nation

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Are you having a mental block? Maybe it’s not you, it’s the city you’re in.

Innovation analysts at 2thinknow released a list of the most innovative cities in the world. They evaluated 289 cities based on three factors: cultural assets, human infrastructure, and networked markets. 

Cities were ranked on a one to 10 scale in each category for a total possible index score of 30. Once index numbers were determined, cities were given the label of “node,” “nexus,” or “hub.”

Christopher Hire, executive director of 2thinknow, explains the process:

“Cities that have a high index score are nexus cities, followed by hub then node cities. A node city is a globally “competitive” score, so all cities should aim to be node cities. Node means they are hooked into global networks and connected to the backbone of the global innovation economy.

“Nexus and hub cities are the critical junctures of the innovation economy across multiple segments. We divide the urban economy into a pie, and assess the slices. A nexus city scores well in multiple segments of the urban innovation economy.”

How does your city rank?

2thinknow Innovation Cities™ Program: www.innovation-cities.com

20. Portland, OR

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 82

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 55

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

19. Pittsburgh, PA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 79

2009 Global Innovation Rank: not ranked

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

18. Springfield, MA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 78

2009 Global Innovation Rank: not ranked

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

17. Vancouver, BC

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 75

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 48

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

16. Québec

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 74

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 71

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow


15. Raleigh-Durham, NC

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 72

2009 Global Innovation Rank: not ranked

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

14. Calgary, AB

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 71

2009 Global Innovation Rank: not ranked

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow


13. Los Angeles, CA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 69

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 60

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

12. Ann Arbor, MI

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 63

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 56

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

11. Chicago, IL

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 47

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 61

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

10. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 45

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 33

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

9. Austin, TX

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 44

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 64

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow

8. Seattle, WA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 35

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 54

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow


7. Montréal, QC

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 34

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 49

Classification: Hub

Source: 2thinknow


6. Philadelphia, PA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 30

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 32

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow

5. Washington, DC

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 23

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 15

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow

4. Toronto, ON

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 12

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 19

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow



3. San Francisco, CA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 7

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 5

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow


2. New York, NY

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 5

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 8

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow

1. Boston, MA

2010 Global Innovation Rank: 1

2009 Global Innovation Rank: 1

Classification: Nexus

Source: 2thinknow

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