The Urban Response to Internationalization

The Urban Response to Internationalization

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Three decades of accelerated trade and financial market liberalization have had significant and lasting impacts on the global economy and its component entities. In this volume, Peter Karl Kresl and Earl Fry examine the impacts of these profound changes on the economies of urban areas, and the responses to them. They provide a comprehensive treatment of the issues surrounding internationalization, such as urban transport, communication, and production. In addition, the authors explore the effects of internationalization on municipal foreign affairs, urban governance, inter-city relations and structures, and strategic planning.

Chapter 5: Urban Governance in the Era of Globalization

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, urban economics, urban and regional studies, urban economics, urban studies


Economic globalization is a fact of life. Naturally, much attention has been paid both to globalization and the ICT revolution, but relatively little to a key third leg of the 21st century tripod, urbanization. Globalization is intensifying, and the rapidity of technological change is without precedent. Distance, time and place have become less important in the knowledge economy, and this may call into question the future of cities, or at least of central cities, in spite of the trend toward growing urbanization. Dreier, Mollenkopf and Swanstrom suggest that at first glance globalization and a world of ‘virtual communication could render obsolete the traditional reasons why people gathered together in cities: to be close to jobs, culture and education, and shopping.’1 Peter Drucker goes even further and presents one of the more radical perspectives on the future of central cities: Today’s city was created by the great breakthrough of the nineteenth century: the ability to move people to work by means of train and streetcar, bicycle and automobile. It will be transformed by the great twentieth-century breakthrough: the ability to move work to people by moving ideas and information. In fact, the city central Tokyo, central New York, central Los Angeles, central London, central Paris, central Bombay has already outlived its usefulness. We no longer can move people into and out of it, as witness the two-hour trips in packed railroad carriages to reach the Tokyo or New York office buildings, the chaos in London’s Piccadilly Circus, or the two-hour...

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