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.

Evolution Framework: World City Network
Evolution framework: World city network

Traditional research on urban dynamics often focuses on city scale changes and uses the ‘core–periphery’ evolution model of the world city system to examine the way cities connect, such as star configuration, bilateral and multilateral circles and other dynamic changes. Global cities reach beyond national borders and connect through networks. Its significance lies in the recognition of transformation of spatial relations, and a challenge to the traditional dualistic geopolitical narrative; its dynamic evolution occurs inside the WCN and is mirrored by the status of other networks. Therefore, the research on the dynamic change of global cities should be measured by how nodes in the network change and be based on the evolution framework of the ...

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