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WGSN’s emerging cities to watch for creativity and innovation in 2024

Manila skyline
Jan 23, 2024 By WGSN Insider
City x City

Our Editorial Director, Bethan Ryder, is joined by Researcher Raessa Brey, Consumer Researcher Natacia Lim and Interiors Strategist Cassandra Gagnon to discuss the top three emerging cities to watch for 2024, from Bangalore’s tech influence to Manila’s creative hub and Maine’s deserved accolades.

Bangalore’s cutting-edge tech scene

“Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India and that's because they have lots of cutting-edge global tech leaders as well as local startups. You can see this within the city skyline which reflects the diversity within tech and entrepreneurship. Not only do they have the technical side, they're also one of the world's leading exporters of parts for tech. That makes the city tick.”
- Raeesa Brey, Researcher, WGSN

Keith Lobbo/Pexels

Creativity and innovation in Manila, Philippines

“What stood out was how tight-knit and well-connected the creative scene has become. There's lots of cross-collaboration between different creative industries. It's created a robust and resilient subculture. These communities are effectively creative enclaves.

For instance, I have a friend who lives in an apartment building and over the last few years, around five or six other friends moved in and they're all from the creative industry. This has led to this constant stream of creative projects and events just coming up from this group of people who are living in this building. They're making a film about people who live there. Some of them are fashion designers that have pop-up events. It's been really exciting to see.”
- Natacia Lim, Consumer Researcher, WGSN

Ferdie Balean/Pexels

Cultural revitalisation in Portland, Maine

“It's been a long time coming for Portland to get the accolades that it deserved and now it's gotten to a point where there are just a lot of exciting new things going on where there's a very clear meeting of the old historical port city element and a lot of native Mainers and historical context. There‘s all this freshness coming in and people embracing it, where they aren't just discovering the beauty of Portland because it's been quite commonly known, but they can work remotely or relocate.

“People are moving up north from places like New York and Massachusetts and now can come and see what it’s really about. There's this revitalisation of some of the creative scenes as well as the historical context, which just makes a really beautiful mix.”
- Cassandra Gagnon, Interiors Strategist, WGSN

Maine Portland
Alexander Isreb/Pexels

Listen to our latest podcast to find out more about the rise of Bangalore, Maine and Manila and what to expect from them in 2024.

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Create Tomorrow podcast episode, Pack Your Totes – WGSN's Top Three Cities to Watch in 2024.

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