HSC GEO World City Essay

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Urban Places | World Cities & Global Networks Essay

Examine the role of world cities and the operation of these cities within global networks

World cities maintain a central role in the operation of global networks and the flow of capital, information and goods and services, as well as providing distinct cultural authority. A world city is a city that is dominant at a national level and has outstripped its national identity to become a key player in global networks. Whilst their spatial articulation varies in size, world cities are mostly concentrated in that of the northern hemisphere in Western Europe and North America. Through the controlling and commanding nature of world cities it is possible for them to be economically dominant in fields such as world trade, finance and contain headquarters for NGO’s and TNC’s. Enhanced by distinct cultural aspects, a world cities role is also one of cultural dominance; hosting major sporting and entertainment events as well as providing historic and artistic attractions. The role of world cities is reliant upon its operation in global networks, thus transport, telecommunication and non-voice transfer systems are vital to the function of world cities

History and Globalisation
The authoritative role of world cities has been a long process, beginning with the Industrial revolution and the eventual advent of globalisation. The Industrial revolution of 1760-1840, significantly accelerated urbanisation and was a period of great economic and physical change, thereby initiating the dominance of world cities today. Globalisation is the breaking down of barriers between countries and individual economies, so in the 20th C, an increased flow of goods, services and information strengthened global networks of dominant cities. Through the technological advancements in telecommunications and transport as well as the emergence of ‘the new age economy’, TNC’s and the deregulation of financial markets; world cities emerged as control and command centres in transport, communication, services and finance. It is by their nature, that the most globalised cities are the most dominant and have the largest roles - economically and financially.

Economy 1
The principal role of world cities is their economic authority; they contain a full range of financial service and are global command points for national economies. Evident by the all of the major stock exchanges being located in world cities, New York, Tokyo and London, this factor and the number of TNC’s is a good indicator of the relative position the city holds .London’s Square Mile has a key role, with the largest turnover of foreign exchange in the world (30%) and directly employs 600000 (Kleeman) people to draw on business command and control functions. An extremely large presence of 539 world banks have a presence in London, more than that of Tokyo and New York combined. Headquarters of both TNC’s and large IGO’s are an element of World cities that enhance their role. For example, the headquarters for the World trade organisation are in New York, and with Tokyo holding 17 headquarters of the world’s top 100 corporations, the important role of these cities is made clear. Among the main currencies of World Cities, the British Pound and Yen are both in the top five currencies, with the US Dollar the most traded in the world. Thus the presence of headquarters of TNC’s as well as NGO’s and stock exchanges in world cities means that important financial matters that are decided upon may have not just national implications, but affect the finical status of other cities in the world.

Economy 2
World Cities are the key location of specialised service firms and the markets for an enormous amount of goods. A large number of service firms prefer to locate in World cities, such as law, accounting, marketing and advertising as well as gold trading. For example Ernst and Young and Price Waterhouse Coopers both possess a presence in