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|June 1st, 2005, 02:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Globalization and the hierarchy of cities
I hate to poke holes in the greatest blood sport on the skyscraper forum (that would be ranking cities), but truthfully:
Will continued globalization eliminate the hierarchial way in which we see cities?
Chances are, this thread will get totally ignored and not responded to due to the nature of this board to think in terms of cities being able to arrange themselves in some sort of divine rank order.
Personally I just don't see it that way in this era....and I'm seeing it less and less in the near future.
I believe the trend is not towards hierarchy but towards networking. For all that global cities are in competition with each other, they are also incredibly networked and dependent on each other.
Cities are vastly different today than in earlier times. When a city like Venice benefitted from trade with the far east, it benefitted Venetians far more than other Europeans. Cities at that time had people living in them for generations and it was the locals who ran the places.
Even when US cities developed, so much of that development (i.e. department stores, hotels, restaurants, newspapers, etc.) was locally owned. And a city had a great contgrol over its own destiny.
Today our cities are more influenced by sources outside their boundaries and by global corporations who want to see LA, Shanghai, Rio, and Frankfort all be successful.
Cities have fewer geographical advanatages in an age when air travel is the main means of long distance travel. The advantages they have are mainly proximity to their own hinterlands.
IN a time of rapid change, the advantages that cities have over each other are fleeting.
The world is just too large, too interconnected to create a paradigm of true hierarchial order. And whatever order there may be is being flattened.
I don't think any city (even NY, Tokyo, London) are immune from the dynamics of a world where all regions are headed for more of a equal and interconnected status.