Journal of International Business and Law


Mary Pennisi


As the deterritorialization of the global economy blurred the distinction between the local and international levels, the "global city" has emerged as a salient spatial dimension of the globalized economic order. Many academics and theorists have focused on how external global factors have contributed to the rise of global cities, particularly emphasizing the advantages that particular cities offer the global market and the interplay between those advantages and global forces. This Article explores how those cities gained these advantages, or rather the role of urban governments in strategically planning the futures of their cities as "global." It examines how developments in the global economy have impacted urban institutions and led particular cities to assume strategic positions on the global economic map. Urban institutions worldwide should learn from the impact of their past decisions seeking to garner global city status in order to effectively steer strategic planning in the future. Other urban institutions in cities that are not yet "global cities" should also critically review the past planning decisions of today's global cities to learn from their mistakes and more effectively coordinate their own planning.

This paper posits that urban regimes made calculated decisions that led those cities to assume certain positions on the map of the global economy. Part I explains how the deterritorialization of the global economy has produced "global cities" and "glocalisation." Part II assesses how economic shifts influenced urban governments' public policy choices. Part II, Section A focuses on developments in two global cities, New York and London. Part II, Section B addresses developments in two regional cities, Brussels and Frankfurt. It explores how regionalization in the European Union led urban governments to adopt "Europeanized" policy agendas. Additionally, this part examines the "European City" paradigm developed by Max Weber and its applicability to European cities today. Part II, Section C focuses on the social ramifications of "glocalisation" and "global city" status. Part III posits that global cities have become microcosms of globalization due to the policy choices made by their urban governments. This paper concludes that while globalization prompted urban institutions to respond to the changing landscapes of local economies, their specific policy choices shaped their environments into global cities

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