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Which are the real "world cities"?

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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Which are the real "world cities"?
    Posted: 13-Feb-2006 at 21:47

Do you agree with the following GaWC Inventory of World Cities?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_City

GaWC Inventory of World Cities

An influential attempt to define and categorise world cities, was made by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC), based primarily at Loughborough University in England. The roster was outlined in the GaWC Research Bulletin 5 [1] and ranked cities based on their provision of "advanced producer services" such as accountancy, advertising, finance and law. The Inventory identifies three levels of world cities and several sub-ranks.

Note that this roster is weighted toward financial criteria and generally denotes cities in which there are offices of certain multinational companies providing financial and consulting services rather than other cultural, political and economic centres.

There is a schematic map of the GaWC cities at their website, [2].

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/citymap.html

GaWC World City Map

Alpha world cities

Beta world cities

Gamma world cities

Evidence of world city formation

Strong evidence

Some evidence

Minimal evidence

Table of the cities of the world

for selected criteria

Rank Population of city (proper) Population of metropolitan area Percentage foreign born [3] Cost of living [4] Rail systems by annual passenger ridership Airports by annual passenger traffic Number of skyscrapers [5] Number of billionaires [6]
1 Shanghai Tokyo Miami Tokyo Moscow Atlanta Hong Kong London
2 Bombay Mexico City Toronto Osaka Tokyo Chicago New York City New York City
3 Karachi New York City Los Angeles London Paris London Singapore Moscow
4 Buenos Aires Mumbai Vancouver Moscow Mumbai Tokyo Sao Paulo Geneva
5 Delhi Sao Paulo New York City Seoul Seoul Los Angeles Seoul Los Angeles
6 Manila Delhi Singapore Geneva Mexico City Dallas Tokyo Hong Kong
7 Moscow Calcutta Sydney Zurich New York City Paris Istanbul San Francisco
8 Seoul Buenos Aires Abidjan Copenhagen Osaka Frankfurt Rio de Janeiro Paris
9 Sao Paulo Jakarta London Hong Kong London Amsterdam Toronto Tokyo
10 Istanbul Shanghai Paris Oslo Hong Kong Las Vegas Buenos Aires  ----

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  Quote Mila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Feb-2006 at 22:14
Economically, it seems to make sense to me.
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Feb-2006 at 22:18
Meh, there are several such ranking systems.
London-New York-Tokyo-Paris virtualy always come out on top, the only diffrence is how what comes after that work.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Feb-2006 at 22:24

This doesn't take into account the cultural, political and social organisation etc. as you mentioned. Anyone going to Sydney will see it is bigger and has more commercial activity than Melbourne, but it is less successful in integrating foreign cultures and being cosmopolitan. Cost of living in Sydney is higher, but Melbourne outdoes Sydney commercially in many areas if we apply PPP adjustment.

Or maybe im just being bitter.......



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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Feb-2006 at 23:40

You are right. There's definitely an economic bias here.

I also find it extremely intriguing that the two Chinese megacities, Beijing and Shanghai, are only "gamma cities", with Beijing being in the same league as Montreal (!!!!) and Shanghai in the same league as Manila?!?!? Surely they are not alpha cities - yet. But I think they should at least be treated as beta cities.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 00:14
Originally posted by Constantine XI

Or maybe im just being bitter.......


Ahh the old sydney-melbourne rivalry which is life and death in the east and faint amusement for the rational people of the west. 

I wonder if there are polls which take culture and quality of life into account as well. Hard to measure i guess though.

I would have though Osaka, beijing and Shanghai would be higher though. Number of skyscrapers also seems a dubious statistic to measure a world city by, just look at London.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 00:41

Originally posted by Aloeverate

Originally posted by Constantine XI

Or maybe im just being bitter.......


Ahh the old sydney-melbourne rivalry which is life and death in the east and faint amusement for the rational people of the west. 

I wonder if there are polls which take culture and quality of life into account as well. Hard to measure i guess though.

I would have though Osaka, beijing and Shanghai would be higher though. Number of skyscrapers also seems a dubious statistic to measure a world city by, just look at London.

Interesting that you mention happiness and quality of life. Victoria is considered the happiest state in the country, according to an article I read on ninemsn yesterday. Sydney was the most unhappy city, while Western Australia was the most unhappy state. Some poor backwater in Queensland was the happiest community.

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  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 00:56
Nice to see California comming through with an alpha and a beta.
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 02:31
Originally posted by flyingzone

You are right. There's definitely an economic bias here.

I also find it extremely intriguing that the two Chinese megacities, Beijing and Shanghai, are only "gamma cities", with Beijing being in the same league as Montreal (!!!!) and Shanghai in the same league as Manila?!?!? Surely they are not alpha cities - yet. But I think they should at least be treated as beta cities.



Its not just purely economics, otherwise Frankfurt and Singapore would be higher than Paris, bah, the buzzword was flows, and about how power settles and about how cities form netowrks with each other globaly and such, i have text books on this, but forgot most of it (its terribly dull), i could have a look later for more on this.
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 08:12
Originally posted by flyingzone

GaWC Inventory of World Cities

I hereby disclaim anything to do with this, despite the acronym.

Graham Albert William Cleverley.

 

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 10:17
I think the classification is mediocre. Chicago is a provincial city, while other Nordamerican cities, like the Texan megapolis, San Francisco or even Miami have a much larger world projection.

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 11:10
Chicago is an important regional hub, its basicly the gateway for the Mid West. Its bigger than the other three you mentioned (third largest in the US AFAIK), and has a longer history as an important city.
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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 12:21

Originally posted by Maju

I think the classification is mediocre. Chicago is a provincial city, while other Nordamerican cities, like the Texan megapolis, San Francisco or even Miami have a much larger world projection.

Maju you are wrong!!!! (I am so glad I am finally able to say this with such confidence   .) Chicago is NOT just a provincial city. As Cywr mentioned, thanks to its central location (it's almost located in the very center of the North American continent), Chicago (which used to be America's second largest city) is still one of America's most important financial, commercial, transportation, political, and cultural centres. Its population is no less cosmopolitan than that of San Francisco or Miami's. Anything that happens in Chicago can still potentially affect the entire world, an indication of its importance in the international scene. And anyone who has been to Chicago's downtown region can really FEEL what a world-class city is like.

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  Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 12:34
I agree with the map, althoug i think that need a few changes:

New World: Sao Paulo to Alpha and Minneapolis out of the map and Seattle inside like Gamma.

Europe and frica: Berln to Beta, Cophenaghen out and Cairo inside like Beta (is the most important city of the arab world )

The map say here bye bye to India Bombay and Calcuta like Beta (Bombay alfa?).

Orient: Shangai to Beta (this map must be of 90's)
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  Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2006 at 21:48

Originally posted by Maju

I think the classification is mediocre. Chicago is a provincial city, while other Nordamerican cities, like the Texan megapolis, San Francisco or even Miami have a much larger world projection.

In an earlier post of mine, I disputed Maju's description of Chicago. However, I came across an article entitled "Urban Hinterworlds: Geographies of Corporate Service Provision under Conditions of Contemporary Globalization" by P.J. Taylor and he has something very interesting to say about Chicago (and Los Angeles) that seems to be in agreement with Maju's point.

Chicago and Los Angeles. Chicago has by far the least intensive of all alpha city hinterworlds. Its only area of strengths are other US cities and western European cities. Other alpha cities are conspicuously low in this hinterworld. Chicago seems to be the major victim of the New York shadow effect (Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor, 2000a) and suspicions of its high level world city status (Abu-Lughod, 1995) seem to be justified on this evidence. Although having a more intense hinterworld, Los Angeles shares many of Chicago's characteristics notably the low levels for eastern European cities and even relatively low levels for Latin American cities. Los Angeles has higher intensity of services with other alpha cities but its main difference with Chicago is the greater coverage of Pacific Asia cities.

The article is extremely interesting. So for anyone who's interested in urban geography, it's definitely worth checking out.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/rb/rb17.html

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2006 at 23:11
I'm glad to be somehow right after all 

Why isn't Koln in the Map of Europe, why isn't there Marseilles, Bourdeaux or Bilbao? Theya aren't even mentioned as developing world cities!

Guess that we can close down the airports, the harbour, the ferry to England and the stupid Guggenheim museum. Let Madrid, export and import via nowhere...

Who gave Madrid "beta" cathegory and ignored Kln and Marseilles? Don't you think that Barcelona is a lot more important than Madrid?

Why isn't Rio even mentioned, when it's a lot more cosmopolitan than Sao Paulo (despite its smaller size)?

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 06:14
Don't understimate Chicago, it's the world busiest airport and if it's less seen in movies than SF. It's definately more powerful on the world scene than SF.

I've been to SF. Seriously, it's rich but is it a world class city to rank along NY and Chicago? Definately no. And it's not exactly a quite powerful economy.

Paris and London come out in the top in Europe. In asia, definately Tokyo and Singapore, but I would also back Hong Kong. and in North America only NY, LA and Chi-Town.


Marseille, has a big problem sort of similar to SF. It's not the geographic center of its metroarea, basicly it's hard to tell of its Marseille who's part of a greater urban area or if it's only part of it despite being the largest city.

Same can be said about BCN, despite the fact they say it's 4,5 milion of people in the metroarea you can still debate that Barcelona is just part of it and not the central part. And we can also say the same thing for SF, is it part of Oackland metroarea or is Oackland part of the SF metroarea?

Madrid, Paris but also London, Tokyo others are different in the urbanisation. The city of Madrid can clearly be defined as the center of its metro area, the transportations are all organised around it and the suburban towns are all organised around it. Neither Marseille and Barcelona can boast that. I've been to both Madrid and Barcelona BTW before you ask.

Despite being coastal cities, NY and London also emerged as the center of their metroarea.

Despite not being coastal, Koln didn't emerge as the center of its metroarea (which is the Europe largest BTW) for the simple reason you can see not one center but several centers.

If you like to argue on urbanism we had this debate again and again on SSC. It's clear the ranking is fair and makes sense.


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  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 06:25

It definitely should have a different perception of skyscrapers, considering that it had put Istanbul onto that list...Istanbul has some but,in order get into top ten, they should have considered 15-floor buildings as skyscrapers eiter

Well, there are some logical stuff inside it, but I don't really agree with the table, which gives 10 points to a city like Milan and 4 to Berlin/Munich, 3 to Athens/Delhi/Vienna...Strange criteria..

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  Quote merced12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 06:44

my rank in europe

1-london

2-rome

3-budapeste

in usa

1-san fransisco

2-new york

3-seattle

in asia

1-hon kong

2-sydney

3-dubai

 

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 09:09
Why isn't Rio even mentioned, when it's a lot more cosmopolitan than Sao Paulo (despite its smaller size)?


Sao Paulo is more of a centre of finance/business and industry than Rio is. Its effectivly the economic and industrial capital of Brazil.
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