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 38: NY-LON

Richard G. Smith


Richard G. Smith London and New York are very special cities and in this sense they represent the two poles of a transatlantic metropolis. Sir Peter Hall (2003, p. 31) The term ‘NY-LON’ is a descriptor, a simple (and simplifying) label, for how – through globalization – New York and London have become increasingly linked by a shared economic culture despite being separated by a distance of more than 3400 miles. The compound abbreviation ‘NY-LON’ was deployed by journalists around the turn of the millennium to capture the sense that, in many ways, the world’s two premier ‘global cities’ are coming together, increasingly working hand in hand, to become not just one type of city (be it a global city, a post-industrial city, a creative city, a mega-city, a metacity, or so on), but one city: a transatlantic metropolis that is the heart-beat of the global economy. The notion of NY-LON as a trans-maritime ‘unicity’, an elite transnational urban network, was first coined by journalists writing in Newsweek magazine who observed a new trend whereby some of New York’s and London’s wealthiest people, entrepreneurs and financial ‘whizz-kids’ were ‘resident of a place called NY-LON, a single city inconveniently separated by an ocean’ (McGuire and Chan, 2000, p. 41). Observing the lifestyles of some of the two cities’ ‘rich and famous’, they noted how an increasing number are ‘working and playing in New York and London as if they were one city’ (McGuire and Chan, 2000, p. 41). As two of the world’s...

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