Urban Addendum

City planning finds its validation in the intuitive recognition that a burgeoning market society can not be trusted to produce spontaneously a habitable, sanitary, or even efficient city, much less a beautiful one. - Murray Bookchin, The Limits of the City (1986).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Global cities and economic polarization...

The global city represents a strategic location at a local-regional level where global processes are taking part within national territories and the global dynamic is organized through national institutional arrangements. This is a highly specialized and diversified institutional process, a very different process than the type homogenisation or convergence that exists in consumer markets and the global entertainment industry (Brenner, 1998).
While some cities are upgraded, a large number of other major cities have lost their role as the main export center for industrial production (e.g  Detroit, Manchester). The "world production line" - the production and collection of goods from factories and warehouses around the world - takes place and creates the need for increasing concentration and complexity of management and programming. The massive expansion of international trade, integration of stock markets in a global network and develop international markets for productive services have become part of the economic base of many major cities. Moreover, local mega-projects product of para-state agencies and public-private partnerships, such as the London Docklands and La Defense in Paris represent the local state's capacity to mobilize and coordinate transnational capital investment. In that way cities like New York, London, Tokyo or Sao Paulo concentrate a disproportionate share of these transactions and markets and contribute to the economic and spatial polarization.  But if in the globalization era, cities are more important than the countries and we play in the global economical chess in the terms of the "competition of the cities", do we end to just reinforce the regional  inequalities inside these cities or between the different cities of the same country? 

Tuca Vieira, Paraisópolis Favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil 2005


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