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Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox
31 Global cities and infectious disease Harris Ali and Roger Keil INTRODUCTION Throughout history it may be said that cities have been global to some extent: they have always been provisioned from far-away places, they have always been refuge for scattered populations, they have always been centres of commerce and finance, geopolitical hubs, imperial(ist) way stations, (post)colonial entrepôts and melting pots of (multi)cultures. Notably, in recent decades, however, a number of major metropolises have increasingly transcended their respective national urban systems and have come to articulate their localized economic, demographic and sociocultural processes into a broader, globalized configuration of capitalism. Hierarchized, networked or otherwise tightly interconnected, these ‘world-city node[s]’ (Friedmann, 2002, p. 9) arguably constitute an important part of the global economic architecture that has emerged since the economic crises of the 1970s, most notably through what has since been described as the emergence (and crisis again) of neoliberalization, globalization and a shift from Fordism to post-Fordism. With these developments, urban regions have become increasingly tied into networks that make the globalizing economy material and recognizable (Friedmann and Wolff, 2006, p. 58). In this light, a remarkable and distinguishing feature of today’s urban–global relationships is the nature and extent to which the ‘global city’ localities are intertwined with each other in a myriad of ways to create a new and unique type of networked topology that essentially serves as the backbone of an integrated world economy. It is within this emergent networked topology...
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