GaWC Project 8

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The Regional Dimension in World City Network Formation

Funded by Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (Loughborough University) Strategic Fund (1999)

Grant holders: P.J. Taylor and J.V. Beaverstock

Research Associate: M. Hoyler

Associated researchers: M.A. Doel and D.R.F. Walker


Note: this is an exploratory project whose initial purpose is to test and evaluate a methodology and new data with a view to developing specific regional projects.

In previous studies of the globalization of law we have identified three prime 'globalization arenas' in world city office location patterns: western Europe, northern America and Pacific Asia (Beaverstock, et al., 1999a, 2000). This particular unevenness in the geography of globalization processes has been confirmed and generalised to other producer services in our identification of 55 world cities where 44 are to be found located in just these three regions (Beaverstock, et al., 1999b). This project is a quantitative exploration of this regional scale within the world city network looking at western Europe within Europe, the USA within North America, and Pacific Asia within the Pacific Rim.


1. To review the existing literatures on world cities within the three globalization arenas.

2. To define the spatial order of cities within Europe as a core-periphery pattern.

3. To evaluate the concept of 'Pacific Rim' in world city terms.

4. To evaluate the exceptionalism of US world cities in relation to other North American world cities.

Data and methodology

We will use the 46 'global service firms' identified in Project 7, but on this occasion we will augment the world cities by other cities showing evidence of world city formation (Beaverstock, et al., 1999b) within each region. In this way three regional service matrices will be produced.

The basic technique to be used is principal components analysis which converts a large number of 'variables' into a small number of common 'dimensions'. In this case the analysis is used to group cities into different types on the basis of their mixes of service offices. (For further details on the use of this methodology, see Project 7)


For Aim 1, a bibliography of publications on European cities will be produced (reflecting initial focus on Europe in this project); for the other two regions the literature will be searched and used as necessary for the analysis and writing up. The Europe bibliography will be posted as a 'GaWC Resource'.

The other three aims will involve experimenting with principal components analysis to check the robustness of results. This will include adding cities at lower levels of the status hierarchy. In addition different experimental designs will be tested involving different regional groupings, for instance separate analyses for Pacific Asia and Pacific Rim.


Where these exploratory analyses produce interesting and relevant results we will produce papers for submission to regional journals with track records in this literature. As per usual, all papers for publication will be initially posted as 'GaWC Research Bulletins.'


Beaverstock, J V, Smith, R G and Taylor, P J (1999a) 'The long arm of the law: London's law firms in a globalising world-economy', Environment and Planning A 31, 1857-1876

Beaverstock, J V, Smith R G, Taylor, P J (1999b) 'A roster of world cities', Cities, 16, 445-58

Beaverstock, J V, Smith, R G and Taylor, P J (2000) 'World city network: a new meta-geography?', Annals, Association of American Geographers (Special Millennium issue)

For results of this project, see GaWC Research Bulletins 16, 21, 25, 35 and GaWC Resource 1.

For data created in this project, see GaWC Data Set 8.