GaWC Project 71

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Cities Globalization Index

Funded by: Global Urban Competitiveness Project (GUCP) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing) and GaWC at Loughborough and Ghent Universities


In Beijing : Professor NI Peng-Fei (CASS), Dr LU Feng-Yong, SHEN Zhi-Qun, HUANG, Jin, CHAI Hua

In Ghent: Frank WITLOX, Ben DERUDDER

In Loughborough: Peter TAYLOR, Michael HOYLER, Kathy PAIN, SHEN Wei



The inter-locking network model of city relations (Taylor 2001, 2004) was calibrated in two previous projects for 2000 (Project 10) and 2004 (Project 19). In this project we continue the calibration to 2008. In the first two exercises a large service values matrix was created: 100 ;global service firms x 315 cities for 2000, and 80 firms x 315 for 2004. The same firms and cities were studied to provide 2000-04 change data (Taylor and Aranya 2006). The reason for the drop of 20 firms to just 80 in 2004 is largely due to the disappearance of firms (take-overs, etc). Such a data collection could not continue with this level of erosion of firms. Thus the new data collection is based upon a revised methodology. In a addition we take the opportunity to extend the data and analyses to city market size for services.


The 315 cities from the earlier projects were derived from knowledge of the world market in advanced producer services. Building on this roster we add further cities from areas previously under-represented through new knowledge plus use of the following 3 rules: include (i) all cities with populations over 1.5 million; (ii) all capital cities of states of over one million inhabitants; (iii) all cities that house the headquarters of a Forbes 2000 company (see firms below). The result is a new roster of over 500 cities.


In the two previous research projects firms were not chosen in a systematic pattern except to define them as ‘global' in their office span (Taylor et al 2002). Here we take a different approach and choose the leading firms in their respective sectors. The original sectors are to be included plus additional sectors. In addition world cities are interpreted in two ways: as nodes in networks (as per the other projects) and as business centres. The latter is new to this project : we now measure two processes (i) world city network formation through firms that do business through networks of offices (advanced producer services) and (i) world city market formation through firms that create the city markets for the services (e.g. firm headquarters). These can be termed service centres and decision centres respectively (Rossi, Beaverstock and Taylor (2007).

Service Centres: World City Network Formation

ANCHOR: Financial Services (Banking, Insurance, etc.) top 50 firms
Accountancy – top 25 firms
Advertising – top 25 firms
Law - top 25 firms
Management Consultancy – top 25 firms

Addition: Media services – top 25 firms

Information on these firms will be coded 0 to 5 in terms of how the firm uses the city (as per previous studies – Taylor et al 2002).

Product: a 225 firms x 500(+) cities service values matrix as the basis for relational measurements (network connectivities).

Decision Centres: World City Market Formation

ANCHOR: Corporate management = Headquarters of Forbes 2000 firms
Hospitality: top 25 hotel chains
Promotion: data on exhibitions, fairs etc
Development: data on science parks

The information collected on these firms do not inform network processes, rather the spaces of flows are through hierarchies (management), chains (hotels), sequences/rounds (exhibitions, fairs), and scatters (science parks). Thus the data collection will be frequencies of occurrence per city.

Product: a 4 sector x 500(+) cities frequency matrix as the basis for attributional measurements (business market size).

Basic Output

We will produce a City Globalization Index that combines network connectivity and business market size. The project is also a step to further analyses as carried out in the previous projects.


Rossi, E, Beaverstock, J V and Taylor, P J (2007) “Transaction links through cities: ‘decision cities' and ‘service cities' in outsourcing by leading Brazilian firms” Geoforum 38, 628-42

Taylor, P J (2001) “Specification of the world city network” Geographical Analysis 33, 181-94

Taylor , P J (2004) World City Network: A Global Urban Analysis (London : Routledge)

Taylor, P J, Catalano, G and Walker, D R F (2002) “Measurement of the world city network” Urban Studies 39, 2367-76


For results of this project, see
P.J. Taylor, P. Ni, B. Derudder, M. Hoyler, J. Huang and F. Witlox (eds) (2011) Global Urban Analysis: A Survey of Cities in Globalization London: Earthscan,
and GaWC Research Bulletins 289, 300, 310, 331, 349, 357 and 358.