Global city

Global city

A global city (also called world city) is a city deemed to be an important node point in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade. The most complex of these entities is the "global city," whereby the linkages binding a city have a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socio-economic means.Sassen, Saskia - " [ The global city: strategic site/new frontier] "] The terminology of "global city", as opposed to megacity, is thought to have been first coined by Saskia Sassen in reference to London, New York and Tokyo in her 1991 work "The Global City", [Sassen, Saskia - " [ The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo.] " (1991) - Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07063-6] though the term "world city" to describe cities which control a disproportionate amount of global business dates to at least Patrick Geddes' use of the term in 1915. Doel,M. & Hubbard, P., (2002), "Taking World Cities Literally: Marketing the City in a Global Space of flows",City, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 351-368. Subscription required ]



Global City or world city status is seen as beneficial, and because of this many groups have tried to classify and rank which cities are seen as 'world cities' or 'non-world cities'. ] Although there is a general consensus upon leading world cities, [ GaWC Research Bulletin 5] , GaWC, Loughborough University, 28 July 1999] the criteria upon which a classification is made can affect which other cities are included. The criteria for identification tend either to be based on a "yardstick value" ("e.g. if the producer-service sector is the largestsector, then city X is a world city") ] or on an "imminent determination" ("if the producer-service sector of city X is greater than the producer-service sector of N other cities, then city X is a world city"). ]

The characteristics sometimes chosen include

* International, first-name familiarity; whereby a city is recognized without the need for a political subdivision. For example, although there are numerous cities and other political entities with the name London or variations on it, one would say "London", not "London, United Kingdom".
* Active influence on and participation in international events and world affairs; for example, Washington, Berlin, Brussels are major capitals of influential nations or unions.
* A fairly large population (the centre of a metropolitan area with a population of at least one million, typically several million).
* A major international airport that serves as an established hub for several international airlines.
* An advanced transportation system that includes several highways and/or a large mass transit network offering multiple modes of transportation (rapid transit, light rail, regional rail, ferry, or bus).
* In the West, several international cultures and communities (such as a Chinatown, a Little Italy, a Tehrangeles or other immigrant communities); for example, New York City, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, São Paulo and Vancouver. In other parts of the world, cities which attract large foreign businesses and related expatriate communities; for example, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Moscow.
* International financial institutions, law firms, corporate headquarters, international conglomerates, and stock exchanges (for example the World Bank, or the New York Stock Exchange) that have influence over the world economy.
* An advanced communications infrastructure on which modern trans-national corporations rely, such as fiberoptics, Wi-Fi networks, cellular phone services, and other high-speed lines of communications.
* World-renowned cultural institutions, such as museums and universities.
* A lively cultural scene, including film festivals (such as the Berlinale or the Toronto International Film Festival), premieres, a thriving music or theatre scene (for example, West End theatre and Broadway); an orchestra, an opera company, art galleries, and street performers.
* Several powerful and influential media outlets with an international reach, such as the BBC, Reuters, "The New York Times", or "Agence France-Presse".
* A strong sporting community, including major sports facilities, home teams in major league sports, and the ability and historical experience to host international sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Football World Cup, or Grand Slam tennis events.


One attempt to define, categorize, and rank global cities was made in 1999 by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) based at the geography department of Loughborough University. The roster was outlined in the GaWC Research Bulletin 5 and ranked cities based on their provision of "advanced producer services" such as accountancy, advertising, finance, and law. ] The GaWC inventory identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks. This roster generally denotes cities in which there are offices of certain multinational corporations providing financial and consulting services rather than denoting other cultural, political, and economic centres.

An attempt to redefine and re-categorise leading global cities was made by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) in 2004. This new roster acknowledged several new indicators but still retained a stark focus on economics rather than on political or cultural importance. The roster is reproduced below:

Global Cities [ [ Leading World Cities] , GaWC, Loughborough University]

:"Well rounded global cities" :#Very large contribution: London and New York City.:#:Smaller contribution and with cultural bias: Los Angeles, Paris, and San Francisco:#Incipient global cities: Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Toronto.

:"Global niche cities - specialised global contributions" :#Financial: Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.:#Political and social: Brussels, Geneva and Washington, D.C.

World Cities :"Subnet articulator cities" :#Cultural: Berlin, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Munich, Oslo, Rome, Stockholm.
:#Political: Bangkok, Beijing, Vienna.:#Social: Manila, Nairobi, Ottawa.

:"Worldwide leading cities" :#Primarily economic global contributions: Frankfurt, Miami, Munich, Osaka, Singapore, Sydney, Zurich:#Primarily non-economic global contributions: Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Atlanta, Basel, Barcelona, Cairo, Denver, Harare, Lyon, Manila, Mexico City, Mumbai, New Delhi, Shanghai.

Other criteria

The GaWC list is based on specific criteria and, thus, may not include other cities of global significance or elsewhere on the spectrum. For example, cities with the following:

*Large populations, proper and agglomerated
*Diverse demographic constituenciesPDFlink| [ Chapter 5: Globalization and cultural choice] |352 KB, "2004 Human Development Report" (page 99), "UNDP", 2004]
*Based on various indicators: [PDFlink| [ Chapter 9: Urban Data] |196 KB, "World Resources 1998-99", "WRI", 1998]
**Population, habitat, [ [ City Profiles] , "UN"] mobility, [PDFlink| [ Mobility 2001] |1.59 MB, "WBCSD"] and urbanisation [PDFlink| [ WORLD URBANIZATION PROSPECTS: THE 2003 REVISION] |3.73 MB, "UN", 2004]
*Significant financial capacity/output:
**city/regional [PDFlink| [ Urban Characteristics,City Level, 1993] |61.6 KB, "World Resources 1998-99", "WRI", 1998.] GDP [" [ Global Urban Indicators Database 2 (1998 data)] "(data sets in .ZIP)", UN-HABITAT]
**Stock market indices [ [ World Indices] , "Bloomberg"] /market capitalisation
**Headquarters for multinational corporations
**Financial service provision; [J.V. Beaverstock, [ World City Networks 'From Below'] , GaWC, Loughborough University, 29 September 2005] e.g., banks, accountancy
*Based on quality of life [ [ World-wide quality of living survey] , "Mercer", 10 April 2006] or city development [PDFlink| [ The city development index] , "THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S CITIES REPORT 2001", "UN-HABITAT", 21 June 2006]
*Based on costs of living [ 2006 worldwide cost of living survey results released] , "Mercer", 26 June 2006]
**Based on personal wealth; e.g., number of billionaires [ [ The World's Billionaires] , "Forbes", 2008]
*Significant transport infrastructure:
**Airports with significant passenger traffic [ [ Mapping the Global Network Economy on the Basis of Air Passenger Transport Flows] , GaWC, Loughborough University, 8 December 2004] or cargo movements
**Extensive and popular [ [ Estimated Ridership of the World’s Largest Public Transit Systems, 1998] ] mass transit systems
**Road vehicle usage [ [ Traffic Intensity by International Urban Area: 1990] ]
**Major seaports [ [ Largest seaports of the world] ]
*Significant technological capabilities/infrastructure:
**Prominent skylines/skyscrapers [ [ The World's Best Skylines] ]

*Significant institutions:
**Educational institutions; e.g., universities, [PDFlink| [] (registration required)] international student attendance [K. O'Connor, [ International Students and Global Cities] , GaWC, Loughborough University, 17 February 2005]
**Research facilities
**Health facilities; e.g. hospitals, medical laboratories
*Sites of pilgrimage for world religions
*Hosting headquarters for international organizations
*Cities containing World Heritage Sites of historical and cultural significance [ [ World Heritage List] , "UNESCO"]
*High endowments of cultural facilities:
**Notable museums and galleries
**Notable opera
**Notable orchestras
**Notable film centres and film festivals
**Notable theatre centres
**Sites of major international sports events; e.g., Olympic Games sites [P. De Groote, [ Economic and Tourism Aspects of the Olympic Games] , GaWC, Loughborough University, 21 September 2005]
*Tourism throughput:
*Site or subject in Arts and Media
** TV, Film, Video Games, Music
** Literature, Magazines, Articles, Documentary
** Historic Reference, Showcase

Selected criteria

ee also

*Financial Centre
*List of most expensive cities for expatriate employees
*Primate city


External links

* [ Repository of Links Relating to Urban Places]
* [ World Cities] article by Jennifer Curtis of Charles Sturt University
* [ The World-System’s City System: A Research Agenda] by Jeffrey Kentor and Michael Timberlake of the University of Utah and David Smith of University of California, Irvine
* [ "The State of the World's Cities, 2001"] , UN Human Settlements Programme
* [ "U.S. Cities in the 'World City Network'"] , by Peter J. Taylor and Robert E. Lang, February 2005 ( [ Full Report in PDF] )

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