NEW YORK CITY—Cushman & Wakefield has released a new reportthat explores the consequences of rapid population growth in 10major North American cities. Entitled “Urban Development:Faster Greener Commutes Key to Sustained CityGrowth,” the report discusses the impact of intensifiedgridlock and slow commutes that impact work productivity andquality of life, along with the transit-oriented real estatedevelopments helping to relieve congestion and support growth.

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The cities covered in the report are Atlanta,Boston, Chicago, LosAngeles,MexicoCity, Miami, NewYork, San Francisco, Torontoand Washington D.C.

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“The report seeks to shed light on the issues shared by allcities undergoing explosive urban growth and how commercial realestate developers are stepping up to the plate to ensure theirproperties are accessible to workforces of tenants who want tolocate in these exciting markets,” says Paula Munger, Americasresearch director for Cushman & Wakefield.

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The report notes that the majority of new commercialdevelopment, as well as residential development, in metro areastoday is transit oriented.

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For occupiers, the value lies in their ability to attracttalent, efficiently reach their client base, and achieve theirsustainable objectives as good corporate citizens. However, thechallenges of aging or insufficient infrastructure, NIMBYism, ("NotIn My Back Yard"), and lack of funding and cooperation between thepublic and private sectors are common themes.

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“Developers and governments must find ways to work together toovercome challenges and support continued growth,” Munger adds.

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Key report findings across the ten cities explored include: InAtlanta, $61 billion is earmarked for transit oriented projects—70%of this will go toward improving existing transportationfacilities; Boston's firms are taking note of the influx ofnew tenants from suburban locations to the revitalized Seaportdistrict—and taking advantage of the 24/7 transit-orientedlocations; Chicago is a public transportation-friendly citywith an extensive transit system, which has mainly benefitted thedowntown area to date. Initiatives are underway to update the aginginfrastructure, remove barriers to Transit Oriented Development,and provide greater connectivity for the area's suburbs; In LosAngeles, the Downtown area is the logical place fortransit-oriented development.

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Mexico City carries the title of the most congested city inNorth America, the report continues. Public investment ininfrastructure is at record high levels and developers are aligningtheir plans with these improvements. In Miami, the 5.4million-square-foot mixed-use Brickell City Centre as well as the750,000-square foot Miami World Center due to deliver in 2015 and2016, respectively, are game changers for the CBD. NewYork City is experiencing its highest level of new officeconstruction in 25 years, with eight million square feet in theworks in Manhattan.

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San Francisco (and the surrounding Bay Area, includingSilicon Valley and Oakland), experienced more than 365,000 new jobssince the economic recovery began in 2010; yet, adequateresidential and commercial real estate, transportation andinfrastructure support continues to fall behind demand;Toronto is attracting both the younger generation and emptynesters to its urban core. Businesses are following the talent,leading to a near-record boom in office construction but investmentin transit and transportation infrastructure has not kept pace.

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Washington, D.C.'s projects in the downtown core, or alongtransit hubs in the suburbs, which offer the live/work/playlifestyle, are attracting businesses and residents alike.

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Rayna Katz

Rayna Katz is a seasoned business journalist whose extensive experience includes coverage of the lodging sector, travel and the culinary space. She was most recently content director for a business-to-business publisher, overseeing four publications. While at Meeting News, a travel trade publication, she received a Best Reporting award for a story on meeting cancellations in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.