“Trendy” is a word you often hear associated with certain neighborhoods, but the term can be misleading. Trends come and go, whereas a truly great neighborhood—one dotted with shops and cafés, museums and markets, parks and public squares, restaurants and residences—remains a timeless and fulfilling place to call home.
As social, cultural, and economic capital shifts, different neighborhoods capture the world’s attention. Here are five communities that are commanding the global spotlight.
South Florida’s glittering glass financial district has never fallen out of fashion. It has, however, recently invested in the revitalization of its public spaces. The Underline is a large-scale project that, once complete, will add a 10-mile stretch of park to the famously dense urban neighborhood, and there’s already been a boom of outdoor activity, artwork, and green initiatives as the “Brickell Backyard” develops.
The spacious balcony and scenic roof deck of this chic penthouse give you a glamorous perch to watch this ever-evolving neighborhood—the roof’s pool, spa, and sauna offer spectacular city views, as do the wall-sized windows within the stylish condo. But you won’t be content just to look out at Brickell when its legendary shopping streets and vibrant nightlife are within walking distance.
El Arrayán, Santiago
Neighborhoods tend to be nestled within cities. That’s not quite the case with El Arrayán, the stunning mountainside community that overlooks the Chilean capital from an altitude of almost 3,300 feet. This neighborhood takes “living on the edge” to new heights with its breathtaking hiking trails, while still playing host to restaurants, bars, and cafés that let you enjoy Santiago living at its finest.
It doesn’t get any finer than this ultra-high-end residence that stands near the base of El Arrayán, close enough to the rest of the urban center to grant easy access to downtown, but far enough away to guarantee a sense of secluded, uninterrupted peace. The terraced gardens consist of golf and tennis courts, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, and sloping groves of native trees. In the home, heated marble floors connect the four bedrooms with amenities worthy of a five-star hotel.
Surry Hills, Sydney
Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, the social hubs bordering the Sydney Central Business District, are known to be premium places to register a personal address. Their desirability has surged in recent years; Darlinghurst is the creative capital of the city, while the popular restaurants of Surry Hills have substantially grown their al fresco footprints and made the streets of this dynamic neighborhood even livelier.
Both areas are notable for their Victorian terraced houses, and this four-bedroom Darlinghurst home is a prime example. Though it retains the neighborhood’s signature style, this property has been fully refitted from top to bottom to emphasize space and light throughout, with features from some of Australia’s top design firms.
Centro, Mexico City
The middle of Mexico City is marked by the iconic Zócalo, a place that can hold almost 100,000 people; it’s therefore no surprise that Centro is a sizable neighborhood. But there’s always something happening in this energetic locale, where the old—over 1,500 buildings of historic importance—stands in harmony with the new. That newness includes innovative businesses, restaurants, and diverse community groups.
Located adjacent to all the action, this urban oasis provides immediate access to Centro’s culture while being situated in the quieter, upscale business district of Santa Fe. The natural wood and marble of the luminous interiors are complemented by the sweeping views of the nearby treetops, distant volcanoes, and of course, the vivacious city.
Saúde, Rio de Janeiro
With a slightly slower pace than the main downtown core—but just as much sparkling waterfront—it makes sense that Saúde is making itself known as one of Rio de Janeiro’s premier neighborhoods. Official cultural attractions such as the Pedra do Sal, the MAR, and the Museum of Tomorrow share the streets with open-air murals and concerts, so that even a simple stroll is a deeply enriching experience.
After drinking in the sights of Saúde, venture up the coast to this exceptional seven-bedroom house. The west-facing floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the ocean, offering sunset views that will turn every evening into gold. And with a backdrop of tropical mountains, it’s a perfect retreat after a day spent meandering down Rio’s busy streets.
Every city has so much to offer, and the best way to take it all in is to situate yourself in a neighborhood that never fails to surprise, delight, and fascinate. Has an exciting new destination caught your eye? A sleepy district suddenly caught the zeitgeist? Place yourself in the action by choosing a home in a neighborhood on the rise.
Like these up-and-coming neighborhoods, technology is also evolving. Check out the top listings located in four of the world’s venture hub capitals.