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The Paris and Rome of tomorrow will probably be cities other than Paris and Rome. That's because the digital economy is fundamentally transforming urban regions around the world, and it will all move huge amounts of data as it does so. The size of a city no longer matters like it once did—in fact, smaller cities can more easily pivot if they make the right decisions at the right time. Chattanooga, Tennessee did just that, emerging from its own ashes to become one of the tech-friendliest hubs in the US.

Meanwhile, Adelaide has been a second-tier manufacturing city in decline for a few decades, so why does it suddenly have Elon Musk's attention? Because Adelaide is transforming to meet the future by focusing on its knowledge base and digital infrastructure. Adelaide reached its 2025 renewable-energy targets in 2016, while leapfrogging other Australian cities to join Chattanooga in the GigCity program. With Adelaide as its nexus, South Australia too, can become a gateway to innovation.