Europe as a Global Macro-Region
Edited by Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme
Chapter 5: European cities in global networks
The twin processes of metropolitanization and global economic integration identified in the urban literature of the late twentieth century have brought to the fore the vital role of cities in economic globalization. As first observed in the US (Jacobs, 1969, 1970), cities have become increasingly important to economic growth far beyond their metropolitan boundaries. Major cities today play a central role in the global economy in that they concentrate major economic functions and are the main gateways between national or macro-regional economies and the rest of the world. In the context of economic globalization, these gateway functions, which are the subject of this and the next three chapters of the book, are thus of strategic importance for the European economy as a whole. First, cities are hosts to major infrastructures such as airports and ports, allowing the exchange of goods, people and services across the world (Boschken, 1988; Derudder and Witlox, 2005). In this sense, cities are the physical gateways of the global economy, thus we examine the importance of global networks for ports and airports (see also O'Connor, 2010). Second, cities host the commanding functions in an increasingly globalized economy (Alderson et al., 2004), hence not only at a national but mainly at a global level they concentrate the top headquarter functions in global value chains (Coe et al., 2004, 2008; Gereffi and Korzeniewicz, 1994) and also direct critically important stock exchange flows.
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