To Transform the Political Speech in Facts, Finally.
Carlos Garaicoa


Oliver Musoviќ

Cardboard Maps
Ferhat Özgür

Original Adidas
Vlad Nanca

K9 Compassion
Zlatko Kopljar

On "Kiezism"
Ingo Vetter and Annette Weisser

Billboard Heaven
Luchezar Boyadjiev


Souvenirs Made In
Lara Badurina

To Transform the Political Speech in Facts, Finally.
Carlos Garaicoa

Model City
Bik Van der Pol

Hilary Koob-Sassen



On the Concept of Global City Regions

In just the past few years a remarkable demographic boundary has been surpassed. For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population now lives in sprawling metropolitan regions of more than one million inhabitants. This does not just mean that most people on earth live in urban settlements, for this has probably been true for many decades. The significant new threshold that has been reached involves an extraordinary concentration of population and, almost surely, an even greater concentration of social, economic, political, and cultural power, in around 400 expansive urbanized areas that have recently come to be described as global city regions.1

What are global city regions and why have they become so prominent in the contemporary world? What distinguishes global city regions from related concepts such as world city or global city? How do global city regions relate to such concepts as glocalization and scalar restructuring? I will address these questions by looking at each of the three components of the term: global + city + region. I begin with a discussion of globalization and its effects on cities and metropolitan areas, tracing how the concept of global city regions has emerged in part from the globalization discourse. This is followed by a more specific look at the new urbanization processes that have been transforming the modern metropolis over the past thirty years, linking the concept of global city region to what I have described as the postmetropolitan transition.2 The third defining feature re-combines the global and the urban in the framework and context of what has been called the New Regionalism. I will argue that the regional component of the concept of global city regions is its most distinctive and analytically significant feature.

Globalization Effects

Cities have been globalizing for many centuries. London and Amsterdam, for example, were global cities in the 16th century and still earlier cases of urban globalization can be found in commercial, imperial, and religious cities around the world. The link between globalization and urbanization processes is therefore not new, but there has been a growing realization that starting at least as early as the 1960s there has been a pronounced acceleration in the globalization of capital, labor, and culture and that this intensified globalization has been having significant effects on cities and urban life all over the world. Analyzing the impact of globalization on cities is thus the first step in understanding the concept of global city regions.

The effects of globalization on cities and urban development can be seen at two levels. Within cities and metropolitan regions, globalization has been playing a role in reconfiguring the social and spatial organization of the modern metropolis and in changing some of the basic conditions of contemporary urban life. Increasing global flows of labor and capital and the concentration of these flows in certain urban areas have contributed to the expansion of metropolitan populations to hitherto unheard of sizes, with several urbanized regions (or city regions) in East Asia now containing more than fifty million inhabitants. Beyond contributing to this expansion in population size, globalization has also fostered the creation of the most culturally and economically heterogeneous cities the world has ever known.

There has also been a significant change in the external relations of cities, in large part due to the geographically uneven effects of globalization and the impact of new information and communications technologies. Cities have experienced an expansion in the geographical scope of their interactions and become hierarchically structured based not simply on population size but on the degree of city-centered control over transnational flows of capital, labor, information, and trade. As cities interact increasingly according to their relative positions within this global hierarchy, inter-urban linkages more frequently transcend national boundaries and substitute long distance ties for those with more close by cities.

One of the first scholars to notice this ongoing internal and external reconfiguration of cities and its links to globalization processes was the planning theorist John Friedmann.3 A longtime leader in the field of urban and regional development, Friedmann in the late 1970s took stock of the major trends affecting cities and regions around the world and, with Goetz Wolff, published an article in 1982 entitled “World City Formation: An Agenda for Research and Action.”4 This work would initiate a lively debate on the globalization of cities that would eventually play an important role in the development of the concept of global city region.

Friedmann’s “world city hypothesis,” as he called it, examined from a social activist perspective the increasingly evident effects of globalization on the conditions of urban life, especially with regard to the growing polarization between the expansive citadels of financial and political power and the compacted ghettoes of the poor. He also focused attention on the emerging global network and hierarchy of cities and metropolitan regions that was affecting in significant ways the “world system” of economic and political power relations, reinforcing but perhaps also blurring somewhat the international divisions between First and Third Worlds.

The concept of world cities would continue to influence the work of planners and geographers, but the specific term world city was eclipsed in the academic and popular literature by the term global city, defined and promulgated most forcefully in the work of Saskia Sassen.5 Influenced by Friedmann, by world systems theory, and by more sociological notions of postindustrialism, Sassen focused attention on the social polarization and economic expansion associated with the concentration of financial power in a smaller group of global “command centers,” the controlling spatial nodes of the expanding global economy. This had the effect of narrowing the definition of global cities, concentrating attention on the three largest “capitals of global capital” (London, New York, and Tokyo), and focusing research on the commanding role of financial capital in shaping both the internal structure and external linkages of the world’s major metropolitan regions.

The discourse on urban globalization was broadened again, and significantly refocused around the relations between globalization, urbanization, and industrialization at an international conference held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in October, 1999, and the publication two years later of Global City-Regions, edited by the main conference organizer and a leading figure in the UCLA cluster of urban and regional researchers, Allen J. Scott.6 The agenda-setting first chapter of Global City-Regions was collectively written by four UCLA geographers and planners, Allen Scott, Edward Soja, Michael Storper, and John Agnew. Here is an excerpt from this framing chapter.

[C]ity-regions increasingly function as essential spatial nodes of the global economy and as distinctive political actors on the world stage. In fact, rather than being dissolved away as social and geographical objects by processes of globalization, city-regions are becoming increasingly central to modern life, and all the more so because globalization (in combination with various technological shifts) has reactivated their significance as bases for all forms of productive activity, no matter whether in manufacturing or services, in high-technology or low-technology sectors. As these changes have begun to run their course, it has become increasingly apparent that the city in the narrow sense is less an appropriate or viable unit of local social organization than city-regions or regional networks of cities. (2001: 11-12)

This approach to global city regions represents much more than a nominal change in the analysis of urban globalization or the idea of global cities. It signals a much broader and more ambitious re-conceptualization. Above all, it reflects and forcefully asserts the resurgence of interest in the importance of space and spatial perspectives, especially in the study of globalization processes. Many have written about how globalization and technological innovations such as the Internet have been reducing the significance of space and geography as global flows of information, capital, labor, and culture erode territorial borders and the identities and attachments to particular places, cities, and regions. Just the opposite is argued here, that globalization and new technologies may be making space, place, location, networks of urban nodes, territorial development, cities, regions, and regionalism more important in the contemporary world.

Through the global city region concept, globalization, urbanization, and industrialization are analyzed together as fundamentally spatial and regional processes. Whereas manufacturing industry was assumed to be disappearing in most earlier analyses of global cities, “all forms of productive activity, no matter whether in manufacturing or services” becomes central to an understanding of global city regions, a clear departure from the notions of a postindustrial society dominated by the services sector. The global city region is still emphatically the expression of urban-based industrial capitalism, and the manufacturing sector remains a primary generative force in urban, regional, national, and global economies, especially when seen as incorporating the production of information, industry-linked business services, and the so-called culture or creative industries.

Behind this emphasis on urban-industrial restructuring is a very distinctive perspective on the globalization process itself. From this point of view, the most distinguishing feature of the current phase of globalization is not the spread of commercial capital through trade or the global reach of financial or investment capital, but more specifically the selective diffusion of advanced forms of urban-based industrial production. Globalization in this sense has been associated with the creation of “new industrial spaces” at many different scales, spreading advanced forms of industrialization and the characteristic conditions of urban industrial societies to areas where little of this existed before the urban and other crises that marked the 1960s.

The best known examples of these new industrial spaces are the NICs (Newly Industrialized Countries), including the most recent addition of the “Celtic Tiger” of Ireland, now the third richest economy of Europe after Norway and Luxembourg. But there are also many examples of NIRs, or Newly Industrialized Regions, including at the sub-national scale the US Sunbelt and the Third Italy (located between the highly industrialized north and the agricultural south), and, at the metropolitan regional scale, Silicon Valley and many other high-technology production and employment complexes that have developed in formerly suburban or “greenfield” sites.

Sustained by massive transnational and inter-regional flows of labor, capital, trade, and information, the growth of global city regions has created distinctive new relationships between globalization, industrialization, and urbanization processes. In so doing, the city region has become the primary developmental fulcrum between the global and the local, concentrating the geographical effects of globalization and the New Economy of flexible capitalism in 400 or so regional conurbations. Although the global spread of industrial urbanism is far from complete, the old divisions of labor at the international, national, and metropolitan scales have been significantly reconfigured and the once profound differences between First, Second, and Third World urbanization processes are no longer as great as they were thirty years ago.


Urban Restructuring and the Postmetropolitan Transition

As with the study of globalization, the analysis of urban restructuring processes traces a distinctive path to the concept of global city regions. There can be no doubt that cities and urban life have been changing quite dramatically over the past forty years, a multi-faceted transformation that I have described in composite terms as the postmetropolitan transition. The modern metropolis that existed in the 1960s, for example, is no longer what it used to be. Among its many changes, the old metropolis has become increasingly “unbound” in several senses of this term.

More than ever before, the reach of the city stretches outward to a global scale. The metropolitan hinterland is no longer defined exclusively by proximate boundaries of daily commutes or media use or residential identities, for the “city limits” have exploded in scale and scope. Every urban activity or event, whether linked to production, consumption, exchange, or entertainment, is in some sense not only local but global as well, giving additional meaning to such hybrid terms as glocalization to describe the increasing interpenetration of global and local worlds. At the same time as “glocalized” city regions reach out to the entire world, all the world is also reaching in, creating extraordinary degrees of cultural and economic heterogeneity. It is almost as if the modern metropolis has been turning itself simultaneously inside-out and outside-in, making what we associate with the city and urbanism as a way of life appear everywhere while at the same time “everywhere” increasingly appears in the city. In this sense, every place on earth, from the Amazon to Antarctica, is being both globalized and urbanized (glocalized?), although at very different rates and intensities.

A similar paradoxical spin seems to be happening within many metropolitan regions as they are affected by the forces of globalization, economic restructuring, and new information technologies. In its selective deconstruction and still ongoing reconstitution, the modern metropolis has been simultaneously deindustrialized and reindustrialized, decentralized and recentralized, in highly varied mixes and intensities, as the postmetropolitan transition takes many different forms in different urban spaces. Many dense urban cores, for example, have become “hollowed out,” losing population and jobs, while some have become refilled again with the influx of global migrants and reinvigorated global investment. While the inner city is being reconfigured, there has also begun what can be described as the urbanization of suburbia, another seemingly paradoxical concept, as once homogeneous and sprawling outer rings of the metropolis become punctuated by densely populated edge cities, technopoles, and other outer city employment centers.

In the transition between metropolis and postmetropolis, the typically monocentric focus of the metropolitan region has become increasingly polycentric or multi-nodal. Once steep density gradients from the center have begun to level off as peripheral agglomerations multiply and the dominance of the singular central city weakens. What were formerly relatively clear boundaries between city and suburb, the urban and the non-urban, urbanism and suburbanism as ways of life are becoming increasingly blurred as new networks of interaction emerge and the city and the suburb flow into one another in what can best be described as a regional urbanization process.

One of the most remarkable examples of regional urbanization can be found in the city region of Los Angeles. In the 1960s, the urbanized area of Los Angeles was among the least dense of all major metropolitan areas in the US. By 1990, however, it had passed the urbanized area of New York City as the densest in the country. While more than a million white and black residents left the inner city, as many as five million new migrants poured in, creating Manhattan-like densities in the old urban core. At the same time, at least three outer cities, the largest located in Orange County, grew in the suburban periphery, raising density levels there as well. It is perhaps no surprise then that the concept of global city region has evolved with strong roots in Los Angeles.

Regional urbanization and the postmetropolitan transition have been strikingly associated not just with the blurring of social, economic, and cultural boundaries, but with increasing economic inequalities and social polarization. Over the past thirty years, the income gap between the rich and the poor in the US (with it greatest extremes in Los Angeles and New York) has reached historically unprecedented levels. Associated with this widening gap, there has also been a significant reduction in the size of the middle class, with the fortunate few moving up the income ladder while much larger numbers fall toward the swollen ranks of the urban working poor and welfare-dependent “underclass”. Even where strong surviving welfare systems have blunted this income polarization, as in most of the European Union, cities have become increasingly divided politically and culturally, especially by conflicts between domestic and immigrant populations.

With its deepening inequalities and polarizations, growing cultural heterogeneity, and rapidly changing geography, the still evolving postmetropolis has become a highly volatile space, seemingly ready to explode under its new conditions. This has encouraged the spread – or globalization – of what Mike Davis once called “security-obsessed urbanism” and an “ecology of fear” as urban life in nearly every part of the world becomes increasingly fortressed behind elaborate alarm systems, thick defensive walls topped with razor-wire, gated and armed-guarded housing compounds, and omnipresent surveillance cameras.7

These urban transformations have had the additional effect of blurring another boundary, that between what are conventionally known as the urban and the regional (or metropolitan scales). It once was quite easy to distinguish the urban from the regional as distinctive levels of analysis. In the postmetropolis, however, the two seem to be blending together, as the simple structure of the modern metropolis, with its clear and monocentric division between urban and suburban, becomes shattered and shifted around in new and still unsettled forms of polynucleated, complexly networked, multi-cultural, and polyglot regional urban systems. This urban-regional convergence adds further to the distinctive meaning of city-region or region-city, with or without the dash in between.

The New Regionalism

The concept of global city region is more directly rooted in the resurgence of interest in regions and regionalism than it is in the study of globalization or urban and metropolitan restructuring. Stated somewhat differently, the regional dimension of globalization and urbanization processes is what matters most significantly to the meaning of the term. It is the regional that absorbs and defines the interplay of globalization, urbanization, industrialization, and development, and grounds the concept of global city region in a particular form of analysis and interpretation.

Over the past thirty years, there has not only emerged a pronounced cross-disciplinary turn toward critical spatial thinking and analysis but also a closely related development of specifically regional perspectives. This New Regionalism, as it has come to be called, has been playing a particularly important role in making theoretical and practical sense of globalization, economic restructuring, technological change, and other processes shaping contemporary life. Underpinning the New Regionalism is a significant re-theorization of the key concepts of region and regionalism.

Regionalism in the broadest sense of the term is a form of advocacy, an actively practiced belief that regions are useful tools for achieving a wide variety of objectives. These objectives may involve achieving greater theoretical insight and understanding, inducing more rapid and equitable economic development, improving administrative efficiency, fostering and defending cultural identity, enhancing political democracy and representation, preserving the natural environment, and stimulating innovation and creativity. As a form of advocacy and collective action, regionalism is intrinsically political and contentious, in that is promotes regional ideas, organizations, and identities in ways that often do not fit easily within existing political structures. This connects regionalism to questions of governance, and especially to the territorial or spatial dimensions of government, administration, social control, and the shaping of the built and natural environments.8

Most often, the term region has been used to refer to sub-national and supra-urban scales, that is, to regions and regional states such as Quebec and Catalonia, as well as to metropolitan regions, such as Greater Montreal or Barcelona. The global city region can be seen as straddling these two forms, between the state and the city. The term region can also be expanded conceptually and analytically to describe all distinctive and organized spatial domains, from the personal spaces that surround the human body, defining the most intimate and mobile nodal region, through many intermediate geographical scales, to the planet earth, the largest occupied region of relevance.

Regional thinking, advocacy, and identity are thus closely associated with concepts and theories of geographical scale(s). This conjunction of regions and scales can be expressed in an axiomatic or ontological statement that describes the fundamental spatiality of human life: all human beings exist in a nesting of nodal regions, starting with the mobile region of the body and moving upward through the built environment of rooms, households, neighborhoods, and so on to larger and larger regional scales. While the specific meaning and number of these scales and their influence on our lives varies from place to place, culture to culture, and changes over historical time, there is always a nesting of nodal regions shaping human behavior and existence.

It is crucially important to recognize that the nesting of nodal regions is socially constructed and not naively or naturally given. This means that regionality and regionalism at every scale can be socially changed or reconstructed. Indeed, over the past decade, there has developed a growing literature on the notion of regional or territorial re-scaling, especially in connection with increasing globalization and the effects of the New Economy.9 One example of this was discussed earlier, with the blurring and possible convergence of the urban and regional scales. Another has to do with the restructuring of the nation-state and national sovereignty in conjunction with subnational and supranational regionalisms, exemplified by debates over the distribution of powers in the European Union.

The term nodal emphasizes another fundamental aspect of regionality, the tendency for regions to be organized around centers or nodes. Proximity to a nodal center usually brings with it some advantages. In this sense, centrality also defines peripherality as potentially generating relative disadvantage, giving to all regions at least a superficial core-periphery structure. Regional scales and core-periphery structures are in turn often associated with different levels of power or influence over our individual and collective lives. For the past two hundred years at least, the scale of the territorial region we call the nation-state has been especially influential. More recently, the global scale has significantly increased in its influence both absolutely and relatively. This has generated an interesting literature on the impact of globalization on the power and sovereignty of the nation state and on the development of new concepts of citizenship from the local to the global (or cosmopolitan), as the exclusive nature of national citizenship is questioned.10

Regions and regionalism in this general sense can thus be seen as meso-analytical concepts and emphases, located in between and serving as a mediating link between the macro- and the micro- or, more pertinently for present purposes, the global and the local. The hybrid field of regional political economy has itself developed from a meso-analytical blending of insights from pre-existing urban and international political economy perspectives, tying together the exogenous or top-down (macro) forces of globalization and the endogenous, bottom-up (micro) processes of urban-industrial restructuring. In short, the New Regionalism draws insight from the interplay of the global and the local, seen not simply as a dualism but as the ends of a concatenation of mediating regional scales. The term glocalization can also be positioned here, as a related meso-analytical concept.

One of the most vigorous expositions on the New Regionalism is Michael Storper’s The Regional World: Territorial Development in a Global Economy.11 As Storper notes, nearly all earlier approaches to regionalism and regional development treated the region almost entirely as an outcome of underlying social, economic, and political forces, conceptualizing it as an external domain or container in which things happen but rarely as a influential or causal factor in and of itself. Today, the region is being conceptualized quite differently, and it is this difference that most emphatically distinguishes the global city region from related concepts.

Storper defines regions as fundamental units of social life, comparable in importance to the family, the state, and the market as ways of organizing societies and social relations. Moreover, he argues that regions and regionalism are equally fundamental as driving forces for societal development, similar in impact and influence to such social forces as technological innovation, the division of labor, interest-seeking behavior, and competition for markets. In other words, regions and, in particular, cohesive regional economies, are active forces and distinctive social formations that can significantly affect our lives, positively as well as negatively, in ways that go well beyond physical-environmental influences, access to resources, or simple locational advantage.

Under certain conditions, regions or, in Storper’s words, regional worlds of production, can be seen as generating development and change, and stimulating innovation and creativity. This reformulated view of regions has had major repercussions. It provides a compelling foundation and explanation for the resurgence of interest in regions and the New Regionalism and, in a related way, demonstrates why regionality is so central to the concept of global city region. The global city region is not just a new twist on the concept of global city, it is an assertive argument for putting regions first in the analysis and interpretation of globalization, the formation of a New Economy, the impact of new technologies, and the patterns of urban and metropolitan development.

Bolstering the New Regionalism has been a closely related revival of interest in nodality and the role of urban agglomeration and clustering in generating forces of creativity and innovation in regional economies. Regions or, more specifically, global city regions are internally comprised of networks of urban nodes of different sizes connected together by flows of people, goods, information, capital investment, ideas, etc.. At the global scale, they form a mosaic or archipelago of city-regions covering nearly all the earth’s surface and organized in a fluid hierarchical structure of inter-regional linkages. Increasingly, these networks of city-regions compete with national economies and markets as the driving developmental forces of the global economy.

Nodality in the form of urban agglomeration generates economic advantage and developmental force in at least two different ways. The first is fairly straightforward, arising from the time and energy savings associated with the clustering of activities in space, thus reducing the frictional costs of distance. This has been the basis for what has long been recognized as agglomeration economies or, more specifically, localization economies. These savings and other advantages due to proximity can take many forms: in the gathering of material inputs to production processes (backward linkages), in access to consumption markets and other producers (forward linkages), in the search for specialized labor and technical skills (labor pooling). Simply put, having needed resources, including human capital, close at hand can reduce the costs of production and lead to increased efficiency and productivity.

In addition to these fairly direct cost-reduction effects of nodal agglomeration, there are other less tangible advantages that can be described broadly as innovation and learning effects. These not only help to reduce the costs of production, they contribute to sustaining continued economic growth and development. More difficult to measure and more complex in their workings, these generative effects of agglomeration or urbanization economies, have become a major focus of contemporary research in the borderlands between geography and economics. Analysis here extends well beyond the hard statistics of input-output relations for the individual firm or cluster of firms to the softer side of regional worlds of production and the study of such developmental and relational factors as social conventions, untraded interdependencies, reflexive thinking, and other regionally specific assets.

Among the earliest to recognize these less calculable advantages arising from urban agglomeration was Alfred Marshall, a key figure in the study of external or agglomeration economies and the formation of industrial districts. Marshall saw these advantages “in the air” or atmosphere of the city and the industrial cluster. Just how this atmosphere works to stimulate productivity and growth was unclear but that there was something special emanating from agglomerations and linked to creativity and learning was undeniable. In the 1960s, Jane Jacobs picked up on these generative and creative effects of urban agglomeration and spoke of the “spark” of urban economic life. She went even further to say that all societal development, going back for 12,000 years to the origins of cities and agrarian society, was internally generated from the effects of urban agglomeration.12 Today, some geographical economists refer to these human capital-augmenting effects of cities as Jacobsian economies or externalities.

The New Regionalism has recaptured the ideas of Marshall and Jacobs and taken them several steps further, moving toward such still unformulated but potentially rich concepts as “spatial capital” and “regionalization economies” to signify the generative effects of urban-regional agglomeration. The industrial or Marshallian district concept has influenced our understanding of regional industrialization in many parts of the world, from the Third Italy to Singapore, Bangalore, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. In his recent work, Michael Storper (with the British economist Anthony Venables) advances these ideas by focusing on the importance of face-to-face contact in the promotion of innovation, creativity, and learning, at least for certain economic activities and sectors. They call this particular stimulating effect “buzz” and, in the original subtitle of the published article, described it as a vital part of “the economic force of cities.”13 In Postmetropolis, I follow Jane Jacobs back 12,000 years to origins of this economic force of cities, using the ancient Greek term synoikismos, translated as synekism, to define the stimulus of urban agglomeration and to argue with her that without cities we would all be poor,” meaning that urbanization has been fundamental to all societal development from the very beginnings of sedentary life.

The dynamic inter-relationship between regionality and nodality, most effectively captured in recent research on the regional effects of agglomeration, gives new meaning to what may look to many as just a simple addition of city + region. Just as the city and the state became one composite term in the formation of the polis or city-state several thousand years ago, the city and the region have been blending together over the past thirty years to create a distinctive new socio-spatial formation, the global city region. The concept is likely to expand significantly in its use and influence as we make increasing practical and theoretical sense of what is happening at every geographical scale, from the global to the local, in the 21st century.

NOTE: A longer version of this article is published in Spanish in the Basque Journal of Economics (EKONOMIAZ)




1. The term city region (without a dash in between) will be used throughout this text, except when referring to writings specifically using the term city-region. The absence of the dash between city and region, however, is not meant to dismiss the connotations of the dashed term, such as the growing convergence between city and regional scales and the hint of connections to the much older notion of city-state.

2. Edward W. Soja (2000), Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Malden US and Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishers.

3.The first major publication to use the term “world cities” was (now Sir) Peter Hall’s The World Cities, published in London by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 1966. This reference, however, was not directly related to the effects of globalization.

4. John Friedmann and Goetz Wolff (1982), “World City Formation: An Agenda for Research and Action, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 6: 309-44. See also Friedmann (1986), The World City Hypothesis,” Development and Change 17: 69-83 and (1995), “Where We Stand: A Decade of World City Research,” in Paul Knox and Peter Taylor eds., World Cities in a World System. New York: Cambridge University Press, 21-47. For a continuation of this tradition of world city research, see the rich and extensive web-pages of the Globalization and World Cities Group and Network (GaWC) at http//www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc.

5. Saskia Sassen (1991), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press; and (1993), Cities in the World Economy. London: Sage.

6. Allen J. Scott ed. (2001), Global City-Regions: Trends, Theory, Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

7. Mike Davis (1990), City of Quartz. London: Verso. The growing attention to “homeland security” and the resurgence of radical nationalisms are indicative of the diffusion of these obsessions and fears from the urban to the global scales.

8. Emphasizing this link between regionalism and territorial governance is the Latin root regere, meaning to rule or govern over some defined domain. From this is derived such terms as regime, regal, regent, regulate, and region itself.

9. For an excellent recent study on this topic, see Neil Brenner (2004), New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood. New York: Oxford University Press. Brenner’s work is directly tied to the regional political economy and industrial restructuring literature.

10. See Engin Isin ed. (2000), Democracy, Citizenship, and the Global City. London: Routledge; and (2001), Being Political: Citizenship as Alterity from Polis to Cosmopolis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

11. Michael Storper (1996), The Regional World: Territorial Development in a Global Economy. New York: Guilford. It is no mere coincidence that Storper has also contributed significantly to the development of the concept of global city regions.

12. Jane Jacobs (1969), The Economy of Cities. New York: Random House.

13. Michael Storper and Anthony Venables (2004), “Buzz: Face-to-face Contact and the Urban Economy,” Journal of Economic Geography 4(4).


Cardboard Maps, Ferhat Özgür
Cardboard Maps
Ferhat Özgür

On the Difficulty of Being Glocal
Bruno Latour

The Conceptual Promise of Glocalization: Commonality and Diversity
Roland Robertson

The Making of ‘Glocal’ Urban Modernities: Exploring the Cracks in the Mirror
Erik Swyngedouw and Maria Kaïka

‘Glocalization’ as a State Spatial Strategy: Urban Entrepre-neurialism and the New Politics of Uneven Development in Western Europe
Neil Brenner

On the Concept of Global City Regions
Edward W. Soja