In August this year, the biennial classification of world cities was released by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC). This classification system rates cities from Sufficient to Alpha ++ on their importance in the world city network. Five Australian cities regularly feature on the list, with Sydney typically ranking among the likes of Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Paris. Although Sydney, Melbourne and Perth found themselves in lower categories than where they were in 2018, Brisbane managed to level up for the first time since 2012. This now places Brisbane among the likes of Vancouver, Washington DC, Berlin and Tel Aviv.
Brisbane’s heavily reported growth in infrastructure and population have no doubt contributed to the city’s rise in global prominence. A month before the 2020 GaWC classifications, Brisbane’s $1.1 billion second runway was opened. Prior to the pandemic, the runway was expected to inject an additional $5 billion into the regional economy each year. With air traffic numbers reduced to near-zero as Australia waits out the coronavirus pandemic, we will have to wait a little longer for this economic benefit to come to fruition.