GaWC Research Bulletin 225

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The Urban Network Transformation: Planning City-Regions in the New Globalisation Wave

K. Pain *



A new wave of globalisation will hit the urbanised western world by 2030. Accelerated liberalisation and integration are leading to major global structural changes with critical implications for urban policy and planning. Major investments in research and development in Pacific Asia have paved the way for a shift from manufacturing and low-revenue services to high value functions already transforming the infrastructure of mega-city regions like Shanghai. Shifting world political and trading alliances and demographic change, appear to threaten the established global power geometry of the ‘new’ service economy and the future growth of Western cities and regions. As Europe prepares to meet these global challenges, its 2005 re-launched Lisbon Strategy is struggling to achieve unified Member State support for a growth agenda that attempts to integrate social and environmental priorities. Meanwhile, spatial strategy, first devised in 1999, tries to rationalise objectives for increased competitiveness and sustainable development by promoting balanced, or polycentric, regional development across the European territory. But recent research points to contradictions between these policy agendas. Trans-urban business networks are transforming spatial relations in North West Europe. Emergent ‘global mega-city regions’, networked through their multi-scale advanced service economy functions, pose a major challenge for sustainable management and governance. This paper examines the urgent policy imperatives and the implications for other world regions. The conclusions question the relevance of polycentricity in spatial planning and flag the need for inter-city governance to meet the challenge of ‘new-wave’ globalisation.


This paper brings together the results from a recent major study of ‘mega-city region’ development in the heavily urbanised North West of Europe (INTERREG IIIB POLYNET: Sustainable Management of European Polycentric Mega-City Regions, Hall and Pain, 2006) with predominant concerns of governments in the global ‘West’ – particularly in Europe and the US – to retain their world economic competitiveness in the predicted new phase of globalisation, also referred to as the ‘Asianisation’ of the global economy.

The paper focuses on the interrelationship between the theoretical and policy conclusions that can be drawn from the results of the ‘POLYNET’ study. First, the theoretical background to emergent new understandings of contemporary globalisation and the vital part that the global interrelations of cities play in this is established. Second, the investigative methods deployed in POLYNET and its specific policy focus on global mega-city region development are outlined. The research findings are then discussed in the context of three spatial paradoxes, theorised here as defining mega-city region processes in globalisation. Finally, the implications of the complex spatial processes underpinning this European phenomenon for other World regions are considered.

Globalisation and power – a contested relationship

‘End of geography’ literature (for example, Ohmae, 1990; Cairncross, 1995, 1997a, b), which predicted the diminishing importance of geographical location in globalization, and the significant rise of the Asian economy especially in China, has raised important questions about the future economic prosperity of the US and European World regions and their major cities. Finance, skills and production are increasingly mobile, nation state boundaries and systems of governance are seen to be losing their importance as their economies, cultures and power are subsumed into dynamic global flows capable of by-passing cities and countries.

But to what extent are current policy concerns in the Western world about the impact of the forthcoming wave of globalization justified?

The meaning and implications of the globalisation phenomenon have been keenly contested since around 1980 when the surge of interest in major changes affecting post-industrial society and its geography crossed the media, government, civil society and academic disciplines. In the year 2000, Cochrane and Pain reviewed the diverse range of perspectives on changing socio-spatial relations relating to cultures, economies and governance at the turn of the 21 st Century, identifying diametrically opposed interpretations (Cochrane and Pain, 2000, pp.5-45).

On the one hand, changing local-global relations have been interpreted negatively as representing the increasing power and dominance of major economic and political interests (alternatively seen as located in the global ‘West’ - the US and Western Europe - and in the ‘North’, including Japan) and the spatially and socially uneven consequences of globalisation. On the other hand, a more positive interpretation has seen the expansion of global communications and stretching socio-spatial processes as presenting opportunities for increasing economic development world-wide, ultimately improving general living conditions (Cochrane and Pain, 2000, p.22).

Alongside these opposing interpretations, so-called ‘Traditionalists’ have taken issue with the notion that globalisation is actually a new phenomenon, seeing contemporary change simply as a continuation of previous global power relations. But Cochrane and Pain (p.23) also identify an emergent ‘Transformationalist’ perspective which recognises global change as a development from pre-existing spatial relations but also sees the implications of advances in informational and communications technologies and high speed travel as requiring in-depth study and serious policy attention. Importantly, this latter view moved away from the polarity of negative and positive perspectives.

Emergent understandings instead conceptualise contemporary global interactions as a complex relational and spatial process in which power is less directly associated with specific cities and nations but is increasingly diffused throughnetworks.

A key question deriving from these is how the extension of city-based global networks in the new wave of globalisation will affect the geography of future local-global spatial relations?

From theorisation to empirical evidence

The Globalisation and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group at Loughborough University have pioneered the development of quantitative and qualitative methods to inform a present deficit of empirical evidence on these network relations. For ten years, under the direction of founders Peter J. Taylor and Co-director Jon V. Beaverstock, the group has drawn on the seminal contributions of two urban theorists - Manuel Castells (1996, 2000) and Saskia Sassen (1991, 2001) in studying the relations between cities in globalisation.

Linking the major developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) at the end of the twentieth century to network theory, Castells first saw the significance of the rise of the ‘network organisation’ and the informationalisation of economic activity as fundamentally changing the spatial relations of cities (Castells, 2000, pp.163-215). His conceptualisation of a new ‘space of flows’ (p.429) that is detached from and dominates the territorial ‘space of places’ (pp.453-459) drew attention to a disjunction between systems of governance that are attached to territorial spaces defined by political boundaries, and city processes that are increasingly shaped by networked spaces of flows . Crucially, Castells’ work emphasised the importance of the external relations of cities (Allen, 1999, pp.109-202; Taylor, 2001a, b) that are the primary focus of GaWC research.

Unlike urban studies that are based on comparative attribute data derived from official place-specific statistics, GaWC analysis focuses specifically on the interrelations between cities by collecting primary data on the world-wide geographies of strategic city users (Taylor, 1997, 2001a). These are knowledge-intensive advanced producer service firms – banking/finance, law, consultancy and so on – first shown by Sassen to have a key role in constructing ‘global city’ relations through synonymous processes of dispersal and concentration as they service multi-national (business and government) organisations world-wide (Beaverstock et al, 2000). GaWC analysis of large-scale data-bases on the servicing strategies of APS networks across the three major World economic regions - first identified by Friedman in 1986 - North America, Western Europe and Pacific Asia - allows the connectivity of individual cities in a world-wide ‘global city network’ to be measured (Figure 1; Taylor, 2001a). In addition to quantitative analysis, qualitative studies investigate in-depth the processes that underpin these inter-city organisational relations through face-to-face interviews with senior global APS actors and their industrial and professional bodies. These methodologies have informed the EUR 2.4m transnational POLYNET mega-city region study in North West Europe led by Peter Hall, University College London, and Kathy Pain, the Young Foundation, London, which is discussed in this paper.

Context to the North West Europe Mega-City Region study

Empirical Focus:

The POLYNET study has uniquely investigated the interrelationship between informational economy flows, associated with advanced producer service (APS) networks, and geographical space in eight highly urbanised regions of North Western Europe: ‘South East England’, ‘Paris Region’, ‘Central Belgium’, ‘Randstad’, ‘Rhine Main’, ‘RhineRuhr’, ‘Greater Dublin’, and ‘Northern Switzerland’. These regions consist of a number of cities and towns which are physically separate but functionally networked in Castells’ informational space of flows. This scale of analysis is a current major focus of attention in the USA also, for example, Rob Lang, Virginia Tech, ‘Megapolitans’ and Regional Plan Association/Lincoln Institute ‘Mega-Regions’. Within Europe, the role of such regions in the global economy is seen as crucial to the ‘Lisbon Agenda’ to promote European Union (EU) economic growth and competitiveness in the global economy (EC, 2000).

The GaWC methodologies have been used in the study to identify the connectivities of the eight regions that arise from the strategies of APS ‘city users’ at four scales of analysis - regional, national, European and global. The empirical findings were discussed with senior policy makers and planning practitioners in each MCR to establish their policy implications.

Policy Focus:

The research was supported by INTERREG IIIB European Regional Development Funds with specific spatial policy priorities in mind. These are derived from key EU spatial policy documents the European Spatial Development Strategy (ESDP: EC, 1999) and the North West Metropolitan Area Spatial Vision (NWMA: EC, 2000), which together set the framework for Member State regional policy and its implementation. Although these documents are non-binding, support for their objectives through major EU Structural Funds investment, has made them instrumental in shaping planning strategy across this key economic zone.

Their priorities, which provided the context for the POLYNET study, concern the three dimensions of ‘sustainable development’ – economic, social and environmental (Blowers and Pain, 1999; EC, 2001). A central concept, ‘polycentricity’, is seen as promoting Europe’s global economic competitiveness, social cohesion and environmental sustainability (key priorities of the Lisbon economic and ‘Gothenburg’ environmental agendas (EC, 2000; EC, 2001). The application of the concept at intra- and inter-regional spatial scales is intended to create a more balanced and sustainable distribution of urban development across the EU territory, countering economic and demographic concentration in global cities such as London and Paris, and boosting development in ‘peripheral’ areas

But polycentricity has been criticised by some as a normative concept (Taylor et al, 2003, p.73; Davoudi, 2003 pp.991-995). It is considered to be closely associated with the French concept of ‘territorial cohesion’ which has a political-institutional as well as a social and economic agenda (Faludi, 2004, 2005) . With growing practitioner scepticism about the value of polycentricity as a policy tool, the POLYNET research set out to establish its relevance for contemporary regional development.

The quantitative results from GaWC analysis of the APS connectivities of POLYNET MCR towns and cities and the intra-regional functional linkages which derive from these, are illustrated in Figure 2 (a-h). The linkages depicted in these schematic maps were explored in more than 600 face-to-face interviews ( over 500 firms and 100 trade, professional and government institutions) averaging 45 minutes to 1.5 hours in duration with senior APS actors (city users). The results are reported in full in Hall and Pain 2006. Insights into the implications of the findings for policy and planning are considered further depth here.

Three spatial paradoxes of cities in globalisation

The results reveal that extending inter-city business networks at different geographical scales – regional to global - are transforming spatial relations in North West Europe, but MCR processes are affecting the eight POLYNET regions differently. The regional distinctions are explained here as a series of spatial paradoxes which have important implications for policy .

Paradox A – Network Extension with Concentration:

A first paradox associated with MCR emergence arises from an increasing complexity of inter-city APS relations.

As cities increase their connectivity to global APS networks, paradoxically, their inter-urban functional linkages are found to be extending and intensifying while, at the same time, globalfunctions are clustering andcentralising. This confirms the co-existence of processes of concentration and dispersal of production postulated by Sassen to be a feature of global cities, but significantly, the evidence from POLYNET suggests that these apparently contradictory processes now apply at intersecting global and MCR scales.

Adding to Rodrigue et al’s (2006) observation that “the concentration of services in world cities is following a spatial trend which appears to be the opposite of production”, concentration with dispersal seems to define a multi-scale geography of MCR spatial relations. The notion of competitive relations between cities and regions thus becomes less relevant as globalisation proceeds. Business flows in global APS networks are found to construct increasing inter-city functional synergies and complementarities that can be exploited through policy.

But mapping the results of the GaWC quantitative connectivity analysis in Figure 2 (a) – (h) and interview evidence, reveal three important specific features of MCR development.

Firstly, there is a vital relationship between analytical scale and polycentricity. At a regional scale of analysis, MCRs with a relatively even morphological distribution of proximate cities of similar size, for example RhineRuhr ( Figure 2 (d)) and the Randstad ( Figure 2 (b)), appear the most polycentric MCRs studied. However, later analysis of the results for all four connectivity scales (Taylor et al, 2007) shows cities with higher global network connectivity, such as London ( Figure 2 (a)) and Paris ( Figure 2 (g)) - regarded as ‘monocentric’ urban formations in European policy – to increase in MCR polycentricity. Furthermore, in the comparative assessments, overall differences in the global connectivity of MCR ‘First’ cities are not taken into consideration. GaWC global connectivity analyses (2000 and 2004) show that London and Paris have the highest global connectivity of the cities studied but this is not reflected in the polycentricity comparisons.

Secondly, in spite of the high connectivity of London and Paris as global cities, interview evidence of increasing city network interdependencies and specialisation, demonstrates that their relationships with the other major business cities studied constitute a non-zero sum game. Global concentration in just one city of each region is found essential to the functional organisation of APS networks across North West Europe. Eight cities – Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich, Dublin and Dusseldorf, as well as London and Paris, are regarded by global firms as having a specialised functional role that articulates regional and national markets into the world-wide service economy.

Thirdly, while specialised global functions are concentrated in First cities, proximate regional centres are gaining complementary service functions across a wide geographical area. The clearest example of this phenomenon is South East England where secondary towns and cities around London are found to have synergistic roles with each other as well as with London a phenomenon, referred to in the study as ‘functional polycentricity’, which is caused by an extension of APS network relations through a mega-city region process. Further research by Taylor and Aranya (2006) which extends UK analysis to a national scale, suggests that in fact this process in South East England encompasses additional cities to those mapped in Figure 2 (a) to the north and west of London. The MCR process is therefore promoting growth in physically separate and distant cities despite the primacy of London.

Paradox A - Issues for Policy:

First, the MCR process identified in the study suggests that inter-city functional linkages in the global service economy are more important indicators of balanced development than demographical distribution which has so far defined the concept of polycentricity in EU spatial policy.

Second, the extent to which urban development appears ‘even’ is highly dependent on the choice of analytical frame (regional/national, European/ global). Polycentricity is a scale-dependent concept and is thus inadequate as a territorially framed policy tool.

Third, morphological polycentricity – or an even distribution of proximate cities - was not found to be associated with a more balanced distribution of advanced service functions. Intra-regional functional linkages in the Randstad and RhineRuhr are surprisingly weak. P olicy aimed at a simple redistribution of development from global cities to peripheral location will therefore not necessarily result in balanced economic activity.

Fourth, the picture of emergent MCR processes presented here is one of connectivity and complementarity, rather than First city dominance. A better understanding of the locational imperatives of economic actors is clearly needed to inform EU regional spatial policy.

Paradox B – Network Flows with Materialities:

A second paradox that arises from the evidence on MCR emergence is that the new geography of inter-city networks is increasingly associated with physical as well as virtual flows between cities.

APS flows are becoming at once more detached from, yet increasingly dependent on, physical infrastructures (the space of places) even in the most digitised sectors, for example finance and banking. This finding extends understanding of what Castells has identified as ‘a structural schizophrenia’ between ‘two spatial logics’ - of flows, and of places. Castells warns that “the dominant tendency is toward a horizon of networked, ahistorical space of flows, aiming at imposing its logic over scattered segmented places” (Castells, 2000, p.459). But as conduits of trade flows are dematerialising with informationalisation/virtualisation, POLYNET evidence shows that physical flow infrastructures (transport hubs and infrastructures) are also becoming more important.

Informational and communicatons technologies ( ICTs) generate complexity, mobility, and face-to-face communication for high-value production and trade; time cost is now more important than transport cost (see also Pain, 2007 forthcoming). In competitive globalising markets, inter-city network flows are highly dynamic, thus flexibility and openness to virtual as well as physical flows is found to be crucial. This has implications for transportation, regulation and cross-border co-operation (as opposed to territorial competition) in policy.

Although ICTs are used intensively in trans-national office networks, interviews show that face-to-face contact remains the essential medium for high-value APS trade and production and business travel is increasing on a par with virtual communications. Advanced logistics is the most virtualised service studied yet it remains located close to cities and their transportation corridors. M ulti-sector clustering and co-location in the dense central business districts of First cities is still vital for high-complexity/high-value knowledge transfer and innovation in global firms. First city local and international accessibility is therefore essential.

Ease of movement and reliability of transportation services is identified as one of two key threats to global APS clustering in London (see also Taylor et al, 2003). The new geography of advanced services thus remains highly dependent on ‘spaces of places’ and their physical infrastructures and this gives rise to a further important observation regarding the concept of polycentricity.

The study shows that criss-cross patterns of commuting and business travel in polycentric urban regions are not supported effectively by public transport in any of the eight regions studied. Even in South East England, where the morphological distribution of cities and towns is dominated by London, cross commuting and business travel between secondary centres is shown to be vital to support MCR functional polycentricity. But, as shown in Figure3, this traffic cross-cuts existing hub-and-spoke transport infrastructures.

The findings on transportation constitute a serious policy dilemma. Knowledge-based services are prioritised in the EU Lisbon Strategy (2000) as vital to promote global competitiveness, and the study shows that they are essential to sustainable regional economic development, yet present spatial policy aims to restrict intra-regional movement and (in line with ESDP policy) to divert resources along improved corridors to new ‘growth areas’ seen as lacking in development.

European spatial policy currently relies heavily on major investment in strategic transportation corridors to promote polycentric regional development but some practitioners are sceptical that this alone can reverse long established patterns of uneven development. In South East England, major investment in transport infrastructure in the ‘Thames Gateway’ so far shows little evidence of establishing the affective economic linkages necessary for sustainable growth to the east of London. At the same time, resources are desperately needed to improve accessibility in the functionally polycentric area of the region to the west of London (Figure 2 (a)).

The findings indicate that it takes more than transportation infrastructures alone to create functionally well-connected cities in areas currently lacking economic development. Efficient inter-modal transportation systems are clearly vital to support flows in the service economy but these alone will not produce well connected cities. Regulatory and legislatory frameworks are also crucial determinants of the openness of cities to contemporary business flows. They are the second key threat to London APS clustering identified by global firms alongside transport problems.

Paradox B - Issues for Policy:

APS production and trading activity are shown to construct essentially synergistic functional inter-city relations at multiple scales. But connectivity between cities is essential to the MCR expansion process. The findings indicate that more balanced development needs to be supported by three infrastructures framed here as ‘process’, ‘virtual’ and ‘material’ forms with relative differences in their ‘fluidity-fixity’.



  • Virtual infrastructures – stimulus to face-to-face contact and travel
  • Process infrastructures – regulatory, legislatory
  • Material infrastructures – city form, multi-modal transportation



Paradox C – ‘City Networks’ but ‘Territorial Governance’

Importantly, the time and cost implications of infrastructure development highlight a basic dilemma concerning the interaction between APS spaces of flows and territorial spaces for governance. Common problems relating to MCR management were identified by planning practitioners during focus group meetings across the eight regions.

Institutional structures were seen as inadequate to deal with the complexities of contemporary MCR development processes. Decision-making and democratic infrastructures and their horizontal and vertical boundaries do not map onto the flows and inter-city functional linkages identified in the study. The case of South East England MCR exemplifies the problem.

Firstly, the South East England MCR as studied in POLYNET, covers all or part of five ‘standard’ statistical regions which are the present basis for spatial and economic policy but their boundaries bisect two key Government ‘growth corridors’ in the UK national Sustainable Communities Strategy. In addition, responsibility for spatial and economic planning is dealt with by separate bodies, regional assemblies (Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)) and regional development agencies (Regional Economic Strategy (RES)).

Secondly, there is a problem of splintered decision-making between UK central government departments which together provide the regulatory and legislatory infrastructure for MCR development. These include the Treasury, the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) (which has replaced the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) since the study) and the Department for Transport (DFT). Privatisation and new public-private interrelationships add a further layer of complexity. For example, responsibilities for transport have now been split between the DFT and DCLG whilst other responsibilities have been devolved through a range of executive agencies and franchising.

Thirdly, there is a lack of direct democratic input to the regional policy making process except in the London region. London has an elected Mayor with responsibility for spatial and economic strategy (‘The London Plan’ and the ‘Economic Development Strategy’). But, even in London, strong UK policy centralisation and control over local expenditure limits the powers of the Mayor. Investment in the London Underground system has been a widely publicised example of policy conflict. Outside London, localised ‘NIMBY’ (not in my back yard) interests have the power to restrict or delay development.

The proliferation of responsibilities relating to the MCR therefore relate to geographical and governance boundaries, leading to disjunctions between decision-making infrastructures and spaces of flows. Coherent oversight of the issues affecting flows through and between MCRs, is clearly needed.

Apart from these practical issues of spatial management, the research points to a more complex conceptual and theoretical problem. Present EU-wide s patial policy relates to pre-globalisation theorization and concepts which reflect traditional understandings of space as ‘place’. The polycentricity concept has a strong emphasis on the role of physical infrastructures in promoting morphologically balanced regional development that stems from an ESDP approach to space that predates recent network theorisation which played an important part in the development of the Lisbon economic agenda just one year later.

This is not to say that materialities are unimportant. The study findings make it clear that all three infrastructures, process, virtual and material, and the synchronization between these, are vital to support functionally balanced APS regional development. Nevertheless, the intellectual premises upon which current spatial policy and intervention is founded give rise to important contradictions between the EU economic, social and environmental agendas.

While the Lisbon economic growth agenda seeks to improve EU competitiveness in the global knowledge economy, the external economic relations of European cities, with each other, and with other cities world-wide, have not been taken into account in spatial policy. A dichotomy between policy for spatial planning and for economic flows is identified.

Paradox C - Issues for Policy:

Network organisations produce city APS connectivities and inter-city functional linkages that result in functionally specialized networks of cities. The key driver behind this MCR process is global connectivity but this requires support from inter-city governance networks that cross territorial boundaries at multiple scales. The fixity of current governance infrastructures results in unexploited potentials for policy and planning to support MCR inter-city functional complementarities.

The implications of European MCR processes for other World regions

Two key questions were raised at the outset of the paper; they are addressed here in reverse order.

First, how will the extension of city-based global networks in the new wave of globalisation affect the geography of future local-global spatial relations?

The conclusions on the MCR process in Europe suggest that global connectivity through functionally polycentric APS network expansion, plays a vital part in the development of economically dynamic city-regions. Key sectors which serve as indicators of the directions global networks are currently taking are investment banking and law.

Investment banking - one of the most global advanced service industries - is shown to be a key ‘anchor’ in European global city connectivity in three studies conducted in London since the year 2000 including POLYNET (Beaverstock et al, 2001; Taylor et al 2003; Hall and Pain, 2006). The web sites of top specialist investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers indicate their key role in world-wide APS network expansion. For example in the year 2001, Goldman Sachs reported their network strategy for emerging economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China, and for an additional eleven countries in 2005. Very large financial conglomerates which combine investment banking and commercial services - for example, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, ABN Amro, UBS AG and Credit Suisse - may play an increasingly important part in the development of complex APS clustering in further expansion.

More recent global extension of legal services networks are important indicators of the new ‘places to be’. reports on the expansion of top UK and US law firms. In contrast to the situation in India where foreign law firms are still not permitted to practice, more than 100 foreign firms are now reported to be licensed to practice in China. Whereas this first involved Beijing, Shanghai is now said to be regarded as a key Asian location alongside Hong Kong as it increases its financial and commercial activity. US firms have increased their Asian presence to ‘gear up’ for the rising global importance of China. Figure 4 shows the increasing GaWC connectivity ranking of Shanghai (from 30 to 23) and Beijing (from 33 to 22) in the period 2000 to 2004 (Taylor, 2006).

Second, to what extent are current policy concerns in the Western world about the impact of the forthcoming wave of globalization justified?

New APS trading relationships are being fuelled by progressive liberalisation outside the West, a shift of trade and political alliances towards the East is widely predicted. But are Western economies threatened by geo-political change, in particular the economic rise of China, or should its gradual opening up to foreign investment be interpreted as a feature of Western power and domination?

London’s openness to foreign business, associated with the so-called ‘Big Bang’ and ‘Wimbledonisation’ which refers to London’s role as a global playing field for non-domestic winners, is widely seen by non-UK firms located there as the key to London’s success as a global service centre (Beaverstock at al, 2001; Pain, 2007). The emergence of the Shanghai-Beijing cluster is widely regarded as an emerging global city-region helped by its strong connectivities with multi-sector APS clustering in Hong Kong. But this fluidity does not seem to pose a threat to the West. In the same period, 2000-2004, the connectivities of Hong Kong (still ranked 3) and London (still ranked 1) have not been diminished by the increasing connectivity of Chinese cities. This quantitative evidence suggests that opening up to foreign investment in China represents synergistic global city network relations as opposed to those of domination.


The implications of European MCR development processes for other World regions can only be regarded as tentative. Additional quantitative work is required and this must be supported by in-depth qualitative evidence, which proved so essential in the POLYNET study. The evidence from Europe suggests that two overarching research questions need to be addressed.

Firstly, to what extent are high-value, knowledge-intensive functions important for dynamic and sustainable MCR development, involved in global network expansion?

Secondly, are inter-city governance infrastructures required to manage MCR development in place?

A shift from low-wage primary production to advanced knowledge production is needed to establish dynamic MCR processes. All three infrastructures, regulatory/legislatory as well as virtual and material, will be needed to support sustainable MCR emergence in the new-wave of globalisation.



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This cartogram places cities in their approximate relative geographical positions. The codes for cities are: AB Abu Dubai; AD Adelaide; AK Auckland; AM Amsterdam; AS Athens; AT Atlanta; AN Antwerp; BA Buenos Aires; BB Brisbane; BC Barcelona; BD Budapest; BG Bogota; BJ Beijing; BK Bangkok; BL Berlin; BM Birmingham; BN Bangalore; BR Brussels; BS Boston; BT Beirut; BU Bucharest; BV Bratislava; CA Cairo; CC Calcutta; CG Calgary; CH Chicago; CL Charlotte; CN Chennai; CO Cologne; CP Copenhagen; CR Caracas; CS Casablanca; CT Cape Town; CV Cleveland; DA Dallas; DB Dublin; DS Dusseldorf; DT Detroit; DU Dubai; DV Denver; FR Frankfurt; GN Geneva; GZ Guangzhou; HB Hamburg; HC Ho Chi Minh City; HK Hong Kong; HL Helsinki; HM Hamilton(Bermuda); HS Houston; IN Indianapolis; IS Istanbul; JB Johannesburg; JD Jeddah; JK Jakarta; KC Kansas City; KL Kuala Lumpur; KR Karachi; KU Kuwait; KV Kiev; LA Los Angeles; LB Lisbon; LG Lagos; LM Lima; LN London; LX Luxembourg; LY Lyons; MB Mumbai; MC Manchester; MD Madrid; ME Melbourne; MI Miami; ML Milan; MM Manama; MN Manila; MP Minneapolis; MS Moscow; MT Montreal; MU Munich; MV Montevideo; MX Mexico City; NC Nicosia; ND New Delhi; NR Nairobi; NS Nassau; NY New York; OS Oslo; PA Paris; PB Pittsburg; PD Portland; PE Perth; PH Philadelphia; PL Port Louis; PN Panama City; PR Prague; QU Quito; RJ Rio de Janeiro; RM Rome; RT Rotterdam; RY Riyadh; SA Santiago; SD San Diego; SE Seattle; SF San Francisco; SG Singapore; SH Shanghai; SK Stockholm; SL St Louis; SO Sofia; SP Sao Paulo; ST Stuttgart; SU Seoul; SY Sydney; TA Tel Aviv; TP Taipei; TR Toronto; VI Vienna; VN Vancouver; WC Washington DC; WL Wellington; WS Warsaw; ZG Zagreb; ZU Zurich.

Figure 1. Global Connectivity2000 (Source: Taylor et al. 2002)

Figure 2. Mega-city region Linkages (Source: Hall and Pain 2006)

(a) SE England, (b) The Randstad, (c) Central Belgium, (d) RhineRuhr, (e) Rhine Main, (f) N. Switzerland, (g) Paris Region, (h) Greater Dublin


Figure 3. SE England Commuting 2001 (Source: Hall and Pain 2006)


Figure 4. Changes in network connectivity world rankings, 2000-2004 (Source: Taylor 2006)


Edited and posted on the web on 16th May 2007