International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities
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International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities

Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox

This Handbook offers an unrivalled overview of current research into how globalization is affecting the external relations and internal structures of major cities in the world.
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Chapter 27: Global City-region Governance, Ten Years On

John Harrison


John Harrison INTRODUCTION It is exactly ten years since Allen Scott’s (2001a) edited collection Global City-Regions – Trends, Theory, Policy became the antecedent to a resurgent interest among academic and policy communities in the ‘city-region’ concept. In the book, Scott, along with fellow contributors Saskia Sassen, Peter Hall, John Friedmann, Kenichi Ohmae, Michael Porter, John Agnew, Ed Soja and Michael Storper among others, conceptually map and empirically demonstrate how at the beginning of the twenty-first century there is a new and critically important kind of geography and institutional phenomenon on the world stage – the global city-region. Furthermore, they use the concept of the global city-region to set out how processes of global economic integration and accelerated urbanization – the defining features of globalization – are serving to make traditional planning and policy strategies ‘increasingly inadequate’. It is apt then that ten years on we should revisit, first, the concept of the global city-region, and secondly, the governance of these pivotal social formations in this International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities. What follows constitutes a necessarily brief synopsis of some of the key arguments on the governance of global city-regions. This focus on governance is particularly important given that while global city-regions have been identified as a new scale of urban organization, the pace of change – particularly in relation to their unrelenting expansion in size, scale and number – means these pivotal social formations are often reliant upon outdated and inadequate institutional structures, frameworks and supports. This was noted by Scott ten years ago,...

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