Global city

Last updated
Global city at Brain Bar Spice of Europe.jpg
Global city at Brain Bar

A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city which is a primary node in the global economic network. The concept comes from geography and urban studies, and the idea that globalization is 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.

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.

In telecommunications networks, a node is either a redistribution point or a communication endpoint. The definition of a node depends on the network and protocol layer referred to. A physical network node is an active electronic device that is attached to a network, and is capable of creating, receiving, or transmitting information over a communications channel. A passive distribution point such as a distribution frame or patch panel is consequently not a node.

World economy conjunto de economías nacionales de todos los países del mundo

The world economy or global economy is the economy of the humans of the world, considered as the international exchange of goods and services that is expressed in monetary units of account. In some contexts, the two terms are distinct "international" or "global economy" being measured separately and distinguished from national economies while the "world economy" is simply an aggregate of the separate countries' measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use and exchange the definitions, representations, models and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth.


The most complex node is the "global city", with links binding it to other cities having a direct and tangible effect on global socio-economic affairs. [1] The term "megacity" entered common use in the late 19th or early 20th centuries; one of the earliest documented uses of the term was by the University of Texas in 1904. [2] Initially, the United Nations used the term to describe cities of 8 million or more inhabitants, but now uses the threshold of 10 million. [3] The term "global city", rather than "megacity", was popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. [4] "World city", meaning a city heavily involved in global trade, appeared in the May 1886 description of Liverpool, by The Illustrated London News . [5] Patrick Geddes later used the term "world city" in 1915. [6] More recently, the term has focused on a city's financial power and high technology infrastructure, with other factors becoming less relevant. [7] [8]

Socioeconomics is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy. Societies are divided into 3 groups: social, cultural and economic.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

Megacity metropolitan area with a total population in excess of ten million people

A megacity is a very large city metropolitan area, typically with a population of more than 10 million people. Precise definitions vary: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in its 2014 "World Urbanization Prospects" report counted urban agglomerations having over 10 million inhabitants. A University of Bonn report held that they are "usually defined as metropolitan areas with a total population of 10 million or more people". Others list cities satisfying criteria of either 5 or 8 million and also have a population density of 2,000 per square kilometre. A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge due to close proximity. The terms conurbation, metropolis, and metroplex are also applied to the latter.


Global city status is considered beneficial and desirable. Competing groups have developed multiple alternative methods to classify and rank world cities and to distinguish them from non-world cities. [6] Although there is a consensus upon leading world cities, [9] the chosen criteria affect which other cities are included. [6] Selection criteria may be based on a yardstick value (e.g., if the producer-service sector is the largest sector then city X is a world city) [6] or on an imminent determination (if the producer-service sector of city X is greater than the combined producer-service sectors of N other cities then city X is a world city.) [6]

Cities can fall from ranking, as in the case of cities that have become less cosmopolitan and less internationally renowned in the current era.

Multiculturalism Existence of multiple cultural traditions within a single country

The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, of political philosophy, and of colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "ethnic pluralism", with the two terms often used interchangeably, for example, a cultural pluralism in which various ethnic groups collaborate and enter into a dialogue with one another without having to sacrifice their particular identities. It can describe a mixed ethnic community area where multiple cultural traditions exist or a single country within which they do. Groups associated with an aboriginal or autochthonous ethnic group and foreigner ethnic groups are often the focus.


Although criteria are variable and fluid, typical characteristics of world cities are: [10]

A FIRE economy is any economy based primarily on the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors. Finance, insurance, and real estate are United States Census Bureau classifications. Barry Popik describes some early uses as far back as 1982. Since 2008, the term has been commonly used by Michael Hudson and Eric Janszen. It is New York City's largest industry and a prominent part of the service industry in the United States overall economy and other Western developed countries.

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. With its focus on the customer, marketing is one of the premier components of business management.

Stock exchange organization that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade securities

A stock exchange, securities exchange or bourse, is a facility where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as shares of stock and bonds and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may also provide for facilities the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include stock issued by listed companies, unit trusts, derivatives, pooled investment products and bonds. Stock exchanges often function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions via open outcry at a central location such as the floor of the exchange or by using an electronic trading platform.


Global Economic Power Index

In 2015, the second Global Economic Power Index, a meta list compiled by Richard Florida, was published by The Atlantic (distinct from a namesake list [13] published by the Martin Prosperity Institute), with city composite rank based on five other lists. [13] [14]

Global Power City Index

The Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation in Tokyo issued a comprehensive study of global cities in 2018. They are ranked based on six categories: economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, and accessibility, with 70 individual indicators among them. The top ten world cities are also ranked by subjective categories including manager, researcher, artist, visitor and resident. [15]

GaWC study

A map showing the distribution of GaWC-ranked world cities (2010 data) GaWC World Cities.png
A map showing the distribution of GaWC-ranked world cities (2010 data)

Jon Beaverstock, Richard G. Smith and Peter J. Taylor established the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC). A roster of world cities in the GaWC Research Bulletin 5 is ranked by their connectivity through four "advanced producer services": accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, and law. [9] The GaWC inventory identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks, [16] although the authors caution that "concern for city rankings operates against the spirit of the GaWC project" [17] (emphasis in original).

The 2004 rankings added several new indicators while continuing to rank city economics more heavily than political or cultural factors. The 2008 roster, similar to the 1998 version, is sorted into categories of Alpha world cities (with four sub-categories), Beta world cities (three sub-categories), Gamma world cities (three sub-categories) and additional cities with High sufficiency or Sufficiency presence. The cities in the top two classifications in the 2018 edition are: [18]

Alpha ++

Alpha +

Global Cities Index

In 2008, the American journal Foreign Policy , in conjunction with the consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, published a ranking of global cities, based on consultation with Saskia Sassen, Witold Rybczynski, and others. [19] Foreign Policy noted that "the world’s biggest, most interconnected cities help set global agendas, weather transnational dangers, and serve as the hubs of global integration. They are the engines of growth for their countries and the gateways to the resources of their regions." [20] The ranking is based on 27 metrics across five dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement and was updated in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Since 2015 it has been published together with a separate index called the Global Cities Outlook: a projection of a city’s potential based on rate of change in 13 indicators across four dimensions: personal well-being, economics, innovation, and governance. [21]

The Wealth Report

"The Wealth Report" (a global perspective on prime property and wealth) is made by the London-based estate agent Knight Frank LLP together with the Citi Private Bank. The report includes a "Global Cities Survey", evaluating which cities are considered the most important to the world’s HNWIs (high-net-worth individuals, having over $25 million of investable assets). For the Global Cities Survey, Citi Private Bank’s wealth advisors, and Knight Frank’s luxury property specialists were asked to name the cities that they felt were the most important to HNWIs, in regard to: "economic activity", "political power", "knowledge and influence" and "quality of life". [22] [23]

Global City Competitiveness Index

In 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit (The Economist Group) ranked the competitiveness of global cities according to their demonstrated ability to attract capital, businesses, talent and visitors. [24]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tokyo Capital of Japan

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

University of Tokyo national research university in Tokyo, Japan

The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877 as the first imperial university, it is one of Japan's most prestigious universities.

Queensland University of Technology university in Australia

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a public research university located in the urban coastal city of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. QUT is located on two campuses in the Brisbane area: Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove. The university in its current form was founded in 1989, when the then Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) was granted university status by the 'Queensland University of Technology Act' passed in 1988 and also by the subsequent merger of Brisbane College of Advanced Education with QUT in 1990. QUT was a member of the Australian Technology Network of universities and had withdrawn participation since 28 September 2018 onwards.

Millionaire individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency

A millionaire is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency. It can also be a person who owns one million units of currency in a bank account or savings account. Depending on the currency, a certain level of prestige is associated with being a millionaire, which makes that amount of wealth a goal for some and almost unattainable for others. In countries that use the short scale number naming system, a billionaire is someone who has at least a thousand times a million dollars, euros or the currency of the given country.

Tokyo Institute of Technology national top-tier research university located in Greater Tokyo Area, Japan

Tokyo Institute of Technology is a national research university located in Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Tokyo Tech is the largest institution for higher education in Japan dedicated to science and technology, and is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Japan.

College and university rankings are rankings of institutions in higher education which have been ranked on the basis of various combinations of various factors. None of the rankings give a comprehensive overview of the strengths of the institutions ranked because all select a range of easily quantifiable characteristics to base their results on. Rankings have most often been conducted by magazines, newspapers, websites, governments, or academics. In addition to ranking entire institutions, organizations perform rankings of specific programs, departments, and schools. Various rankings consider combinations of measures of funding and endowment, research excellence and/or influence, specialization expertise, admissions, student options, award numbers, internationalization, graduate employment, industrial linkage, historical reputation and other criteria. Various rankings mostly evaluating on institutional output by research. Some rankings evaluate institutions within a single country, while others assess institutions worldwide. The subject has produced much debate about rankings' usefulness and accuracy. The expanding diversity in rating methodologies and accompanying criticisms of each indicate the lack of consensus in the field. Further, it seems possible to game the ranking systems through excessive self-citations or by researchers supporting each other in surveys. UNESCO has questioned whether rankings "do more harm than good", while acknowledging that "Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived as a measure of quality and so create intense competition between universities all over the world".

Quaid-i-Azam University public research university located in Islamabad, Pakistan

Quaid-i-Azam University is a public research university in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Saskia Sassen sociologist

Saskia Sassen is a Dutch-American sociologist noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration. She is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Sassen coined the term global city.

High-net-worth individual (HNWI) is a term used by some segments of the financial services industry to designate persons whose investible assets exceed a given amount. Typically, these individuals are defined as holding financial assets with a value greater than US$1 million.

Birmingham Business School (University of Birmingham) business school of the University of Birmingham in England

Birmingham Business School(BBS) is the business school of the University of Birmingham in England. Originally established as the School of Commerce in 1902, Birmingham Business School is the oldest business school in the United Kingdom.

Wealth management is an investment-advisory discipline which incorporates financial planning, investment portfolio management and a number of aggregated financial services offered by a complex mix of asset managers, custodial banks, retail banks, financial planners and others. There is no equivalent of a stock exchange to consolidate the allocation of investments and promulgate fund pricing and as such it is considered a fragmented and decentralised industry. High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), small-business owners and families who desire the assistance of a credentialed financial advisory specialist call upon wealth managers to coordinate retail banking, estate planning, legal resources, tax professionals and investment management. Wealth managers can have backgrounds as independent Chartered Financial Consultants, Certified Financial Planners or Chartered Financial Analysts, Chartered Strategic Wealth Professionals, Chartered Financial Planners, or any credentialed professional money managers who work to enhance the income, growth and tax-favored treatment of long-term investors.

The following are the international rankings of Jordan.

Leeds University Business School faculty at the University of Leeds

Leeds University Business School is a business school in the University of Leeds, in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The school is accredited with the AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.

The following are international rankings of Turkey.

Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to the construction and assigned usage of houses or buildings collectively, for the purpose of sheltering people — the planning or provision delivered by an authority, with related meanings. The social issue is of ensuring that members of society have a home in which to live, whether this is a house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. Many governments have one or more housing authorities, sometimes also called a housing ministry, or housing department.

The following are international rankings of Egypt.

The following are international rankings of India

QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Previously known as Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings, the publisher had collaborated with Times Higher Education (THE) magazine to publish its international league tables from 2004 to 2009 before both started to announce their own versions. QS then chose to continue using the pre-existing methodology while Times Higher Education adopted a new methodology to create their rankings.

The Globalization and World Cities Research Network, commonly abbreviated to GaWC, is a think tank that studies the relationships between world cities in the context of globalization. It is based in the geography department of Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom. GaWC was founded by Peter J. Taylor in 1998, Together with Jon Beaverstock and Richard G. Smith, they create the GaWC's bi-annual categorization of world cities into "Alpha", "Beta" and "Gamma" tiers, based upon their international connectedness.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes an annual Global Liveability Ranking, which ranks 140 cities for their urban quality of life based on assessments of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. For the first time in this survey's history, Austria's capital, Vienna, ranks as the most liveable of the 140 cities surveyed by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2018. Melbourne, Australia, had been ranked by the EIU as the world's most liveable city for seven years in a row, from 2011 to 2017. Improvements in Vienna's score, relating to the stability category in the ranking, helped by the city's low crime rate, helped nudge Vienna into first place. Vienna scores a near-ideal 99.1, separating it from the Australian city by 0.7 points.


  1. Sassen, Saskia - The global city: strategic site/new frontier Archived 18 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Hemisfile: perspectives on political and economic trends in the Americas". 5–8. Institute of the Americas. 1904: 12. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  3. "Population Reports: Special topics" (15–19). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. 1981: 38.
  4. Sassen, Saskia - The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Archived 16 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine (1991) - Princeton University Press. ISBN   0-691-07063-6
  5. "UK History". 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Doel, M. & Hubbard, P., (2002), "Taking World Cities Literally: Marketing the City in a Global Space of flows", City, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 351–68. Subscription required
  7. "Asian Cities Pay Hidden Price for Global Status". The Diplomat. 15 February 2015. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  8. "The World's Most Influential Cities". Forbes. 14 August 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  9. 1 2 GaWC Research Bulletin 5 Archived 25 August 2011 at WebCite , GaWC, Loughborough University, 28 July 1999
  10. Pashley, Rosemary. "HSC Geography". Pascal Press, 2000, p.164
  11. J.V. Beaverstock, World City Networks 'From Below' Archived 8 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine , GaWC, Loughborough University, 29 September 2010
  12. K. O'Connor, International Students and Global Cities Archived 5 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine , GaWC, Loughborough University, 17 February 2005
  13. 1 2 Richard Florida (3 March 2015). "Sorry, London: New York Is the World's Most Economically Powerful City". The Atlantic Monthly Group. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015. Our new ranking puts the Big Apple firmly on top.
  14. "The Top 10 most powerful cities in the world". Yahoo! India Finance. 11 May 2012. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  15. "Global Power City Index 2018". Tokyo, Japan: Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation. 18 October 2018. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018.
  16. "The World According to GaWC Archived 30 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine ". GaWC. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  17. Taylor, P.J. "Measuring the World City Network: New Results and Developments". Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  18. "The World According to GaWC 2018". GaWC. 13 November 2018. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  19. "2012 Global Cities Index and Emerging Cities Outlook". Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  20. The main parameters are "Business activity" (30%), "Human capital" (30%), "Information exchange" (15%), "Cultural experience" (15%) and "Political engagement" (10%). "The 2008 Global Cities Index". Foreign Policy (November/December 2008). 21 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
  21. "A.T. Kearney: Global Cities 2017". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  22. "The Wealth Report 2015". Knight Frank LLP. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  23. "Global Cities Survey" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  24. "Benchmarking global city competitiveness" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. Economist Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2014.