Recent research trends on the global urban system, their problems, and the directions of future research are described. During the past decade, research on the global urban system has been promoted mainly by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) - Study Group & Network. Research with various theoretical backgrounds has made an issue of two aspects, the "global cities-global cities" relationship and the "global cities-territorial states" relationship, and has intended to show the global urban system as a different metageographical image of the world. Mainly using data from global service firms as an indicator, the GaWC has concretely drawn a figure of the global urban system. It has developed a comprehensive database of the office locations of global service firms and developed an "interlocking network model" to calculate interurban connectivity on the basis of a spatial interaction model. However, some problems can be pointed out. The organizational form assumed in the model is ambiguous; it could show either a hierarchical structure or network organization. Also, the validity of applying the model to other types of organizations, especially nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), has not been adequately considered. To introduce an explicitly organizational theory viewpoint into global urban system research and to conduct further study focusing on international NGOs not as an analogy of global service firms but as alternative global actors organizing another type of global space of flows are suggested.
- Global urban system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes