Introduction to Global Cities Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 April 2017

Introduction to Global Cities

A global city is one “that has a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socioeconomic, cultural, and/or political means” (Wikipedia, 2006). For a city to go global, it has to outstrip the level of development of other cities in the nation and attain global significance. The making of a global city is associated with high costs. Over the long term, however, this strategy of development has numerous advantages compared to other possible options.

A global, or world city, will be at the forefront of globalization, being adequately positioned to enjoy its benefits. Because of their important position, they become concentrations of political power, centers of “world trade and communications, leaders in banking and finance” (Curtis, 1999). Their prominence and fame help them attract numerous stage events, festivals, other entertainment venues and sporting events. Tourists also flood global cities because of their importance and plenty of opportunities for sight seeing.

All these activities enable global cities to derive economic benefit and promote the development of infrastructure. This is why among typical features of a global city are a “major international airport (for example, London Heathrow Airport) that serves as an established hub for several international airlines” and “an advanced transportation system that includes several freeways and/or a large mass transit network offering multiple modes of transportation” (Wikipedia, 2006).

Inevitably, within a global city a system of international hotels and other types of accommodation will develop to support business travel and tourism. Communication systems including Wi-Fi networks, fiberoptics, and cell phone services are an inalienable feature of the global city’s life. Global cities are able to benefit from serving as a seat to major international organizations and business institutions. For example, New York is seat to the United Nations’ headquarters, and its Wall Street section is home to a host of internationally recognized financial institutions.

Global cities will also host large stock exchanges that make them centers of economic activity. Going global will make the city a hub of business and political activity throughout the region. Most ambitious individuals will move there to look for better career prospects, international venues will concentrate there, and a lot of corporate decision-making will also take place there. It is this role in decision-making that will also assist global cities in sharing a larger part of resources than other settlements in the area.

Accumulation of economic and political power within these cities will help their residents increase their scope of opportunities. World cities tend to rise to the top of the world hierarchy, rapidly increasing their dominance over others. In contrast, less prominent urban centers are bound to global cities by relationships of dependence that indicate their reliance on global cities. This control over less powerful cities also gives global cities opportunities for development.

The dependent places will rely on their global neighbors for sale of their goods and services, access to goods and services they need, information, employment opportunities, etc. (Curtis, 1999). In this way, global cities can also gain access to their resources, using them for their development. Overall, becoming a global city opens many opportunities. An urban center receives tremendous momentum for the development of its infrastructure and economic basis.

An influx of people from all over the world spearheads cultural development and enhances diversity, in its turn contributing to the fame of the city over the world. It is important to use these opportunities to strengthen control of the area and leverage this control for the development of other cities.


Curtis, J. (1999).World Cities. Retrieved July 27, 2006, from http://hsc. csu. edu. au/geography/urban/cities/worldcities/World_Cities. html Wikipedia. (2006). Global City. Retrieved July 27, 2006, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Global_city

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