Closely associated with the process of globalisation is the notion of ‘World cities’. World cities are those such as London, New York and Tokyo where urban function has moved beyond the national scale to become a part of the international and global system. They are centres of culture, economics, employment, tourism, transport and communications and have been referred to as the command centres of the World’s borderless economy.
Nature and Character of World Cities
The nature of World cities is one of dominance and influence rather than just size. They are powerful centres of economic and cultural authority within their region and on the global stage. They are at the top of a world hierarchy of cities that reaches down through international regional centres down to national cities and below.
World cities are centres of political power. World cities contain the headquarters of many international government and non-government organisations such as the European Union (Brussels), the WHO and Red Cross (Geneva), United Nations (NY) and Greenpeace (Amsterdam). Major world decisions are taken in these locations. London as a world city is home to over 400 IGO’s and NGO’s including the head office of Amnesty International.
World centres are centres of the global economy and are where all-important financial decisions are made. The three dominant world cities in terms of the global financial market are New York, London and Tokyo. Los Angeles and Frankfurt also have a major importance for their regions. London is famous for its stock exchange; it has the world’s largest wholesale finance market, the largest foreign currency market and is home to many financial institutions. The largest banks in the world have their headquarters located in world cities. For example: New York, Citigroup and Chase Manhattan; London, HSBC and Barclays and Tokyo, Bank of Tokyo, Mitsubishi and Dai-Ichi Bank....