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Global Cities Essay

1162 words - 5 pages

Global Cities
Sassen’s theory on Global Cities touches various points. First, she describes that these global cities, New York, London and Tokyo have become major gathering points for large top firms. They have become hubs, financial centers, yet they have not obtained these titles and statures single handedly by the firms that have established themselves in these global cities. These three cities all come from different backgrounds yet they have been able to achieve the same in global financial dominance. The growth that these cities have seen is part of a chain. The internationalization and expansion of smaller financial markets have been established small firms, usually sub-contracted ...view middle of the document...

Her example of how she ponders if the globalization of New York now directly affects Detroit, a city that once held the most manufacturing jobs in the nation. The growth of these global cities all networked together fueling one another does not necessarily mean the growth of other cities within a nation or a nation itself. The growth of the international system of producer services and finance has had two different effects on nation’s smaller cities. Some becoming small regional sub-centers, minor versions of New York or London, and some cities practically get abandoned and overlooked. Each of the three global cities discussed in the book had major industrial centers suffer significant declines.
A final theme, and a theory Sassen discusses is the impact these new forms of growth affect a global city. Major growth within these cities would obviously expect to usher in high paying positions; however Sassen looks at how these growing global cities also bring low paying positions. High income gentrification has created many types of low wage positions in high end restaurants and luxury hotels, just two of the examples in the book. These low wage positions are downgrades from the time manufacturing jobs were the norm in a postwar period and workers were earning middle-class wages. With the globalization of other nations taking these positions and the constant growth of global city, such as New York, a demand for low wage workers is constant. The article also examines how even industries that have a tendency to have white-collar, high paying jobs such as in finance, also come with their own fair share of low wage positions.
While the author doesn’t go into exact detail on how New York itself was able to attain its Global City status. It’s easy to determine what has helped the city reach the point that other non-global cities have not been able to reach. For one its geographical location is a prime real estate. Situated on the east coast and easily accessible by water, the city has greatly benefitted from the ease of global trade. Its waterways allow for multiple ports which bring cargo from all over the world and vice versa. It’s close proximity by air to other large cities that affect the global market place, such as Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and another global city, London, is only a seven hour flight away. Dozens of flights depart daily heading in both directions across the pond, driving growth in New York as well as London. New York’s Financial District is...

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