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What Are Global Cities? Essay

623 words - 3 pages

Global cities are cities with substantial economic power, controlling the concentration and accumulation of capital and global investments. Despite this, global cities are the sites of increasing disparities in occupation and income. This is as a result of large in-migration and growing income inequality together with capacity and resource constraints, and inadequate Government policies.

Global cities are key command areas in the organization of the world economy, acting as a focus for trade flows and world finance and containing the principal marketplaces for the leading industries. These cities hold major corporate headquarters of TNCs, international banks and international division of labour (Macionis & Plummer 2012). Almost all of the world’s finance is controlled by twenty-five of these cities, with New York, London and Tokyo emerging as the three most powerful centres of world finance. But although these cities are the residences of large corporations and ...view middle of the document...

In the developing world, many people from across the world leave their desperately poor villages to go to the city in search of jobs, healthcare, education and conveniences, such as running water and electricity. This is not always the reality, because although cities provide opportunities and wealth for many of their residents, they are also a fertile environment for extreme inequality. A negative characteristic of the cities of the modern world is the degree of the slums they harbor. As The Challenge of Slums puts it fittingly, “Instead of being a focus for growth and prosperity, the cities have become a dumping ground for a surplus population working in unskilled, unprotected and low wage informal industries and trade” (UN Habitat, 2010). An example is Mexico City. Thousands of rural citizens migrate to the city everyday yet it is unable to meet the basic needs of a proportion of the population. The stark reality that 10% of the current 25 million residents do not have running water in their homes and 15% lack sewerage facilities does not deter the migrating groups. Additionally, the city can only process half the rubbish produced now and is surrounded by shantytowns. These are distinctive through the poor housing, overcrowding, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, and insecurity (Macionis & Plummer 2012). The increasing prevalence of slums now reveals that slum growth is equally as high as urban growth. This is a result of cities’ struggles to provide adequate and affordable housing, and water and sanitation facilities needed for growing urban populations. Along with this, numerous problems of urban poverty are rooted in inadequate Government policies, a complexity of resource and capacity constraints, and insufficient planning for urban growth and management (UN Habitat 2010). This demonstrates that whilst cities often offer more opportunities than rural areas, they do not provide a solution for the increasing problems of growing populations and poverty.

Global cities are the sites of principle marketplaces for the most powerful industries and have substantial economic power, yet the number of poor people is growing. Many factors contribute to increasing urban poverty including large in-migration and population growth, along with insufficient resources and income inequality.

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