The pivotal nodes in the world city network are global cities—cities of supreme strategic value in global economy and politics, science and technology, culture, and society. Global Cities: Past, Present and Future explores the evolution of global cities—their formation, rise, development and tendencies. This book summarizes and interprets global tendencies and also puts forward a theoretical framework that will help researchers understand these cities better. It also makes a compelling case for understanding every city in terms of evolutionary dynamics. The first eight chapters of the book discuss the ontology of global city evolution and patterns, forms and trends of development. The last two chapters study the case of Shanghai, which aims to build itself into an important global city by 2050. This case study illustrates the shaping of a new type of global city that demonstrates new characteristics of the globalized space.

Definition of Global Cities

Definition of Global Cities
Definition of global cities

Global cities as the units of selection in the process of urban evolution are supposed to possess selected characteristics that remain sufficiently stable over time, so that they could share identical definition. The basic definition of global cities is the prerequisite for analysis of urban evolution. Though the term ‘global cities’ is commonly seen in academic works and mass media and increasingly accepted by the public, its meaning is generally unclear and even ambiguous. It is, therefore, necessary to define and conceptualize global cities being the subject of this research and analyse related concepts in the first place.

Methodology of Conceptualization

The methodology applied in conceptualization or defining a term constitutes its major tool. The fundamental reason there ...

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