The Most Innovative Cities in America

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6. Philadelphia, Penn.
>Innovation index: 25
>Cultural assets: 7/10
>Human infrastructure: 9/10
>Networked markets: 9/10
>Patents granted: 2,102 (14th most in U.S.)

The city of brotherly love has improved its scores in each of the past two years in human infrastructure and networked markets, now scoring 9 out of 10 in both. The high score in human infrastructure is due to the city’s large biotechnology and financial sectors, as well as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Philadelphia is also a sizable port city, which raises its levels of connectivity with the rest of the world.  this was the first year, Philadelphia made the list.

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5. Los Angeles, Calif.
>Innovation index: 25
>Cultural assets: 8/10
>Human infrastructure: 8/10
>Networked markets: 9/10
>Patents granted: 4,992 (4th most)

More than any other city on this list, Los Angeles has gone from having only average levels of innovation to being the fifth most innovative in the U.S. LA also rose from being ranked 69th in the world last year; it is now ranked 25th. The number of patents originated in the city have increased by nearly 50% since 2008. As for being networked, Los Angeles has the biggest container port in the U.S. LA is also listed by 2ThinkNow as one of the cities on the cusp of improving next year in at least one major category.

4. Seattle, Wa.
>Innovation index: 25
>Cultural assets: 8/10
>Human infrastructure: 9/10
>Networked markets: 8/10
>Patents granted: 4,052 (6th most)

Size is often a determining factor for a major city to become a nexus of innovation. Cities with the largest populations have an easier time creating new ideas simply because they have more people. However, some cities, including Seattle, manage to overcome their smaller size by having a high level of innovation-generating infrastructure. The Seattle metropolitan area is just the 13th largest in the U.S., yet it is the fourth most innovative in the country. More than 4,000 patents originated in Seattle last year — 6th most in the country — thanks to the presence of major tech-heavy companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).

3. New York, N.Y.
>Innovation index: 29
>Cultural assets: 10/10
>Human infrastructure: 9/10
>Networked markets: 10/10
>Patents granted: 6,383 (2nd most)

New York is the biggest city in the country, and so has an advantage in innovation over the others because of its sheer size. The city is truly a pinnacle of culture, according to the report. New York is just one of three cities awarded the highest score for cultural assets, joining Paris and Vienna. 2ThinkNow states: “[T]his is largely due to the sheer numbers of museums, arts, cultural, architecture, designers, food options and other destination assets.” The city also received the highest score for networked markets because of its world leading financial exchanges and global connectivity.