Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World

Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World

Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World

Global Metropolitan: Globalizing Cities in a Capitalist World

Synopsis

Exploring the connections between globalization and urbanization, this notable book places particular emphasis on understanding the economic function of global cities, the political process of globalizing cities, and the cultural significance of cosmopolitan cities.The book explores the meaning of the globalizing project in cities:- the maintaining, securing and increasing of urban economic competitiveness in a global world- the reimagining of the city- the rewriting of the city for both internal and external audiences- the construction of new spaces and the hosting of new events.Specific chapters look at the significance of signature architects, the hosting of the Summer Olympics and the role of the super-rich. The main thesis of the book is that this discourse of globalizing is a major force in the restructuring of cities around the world.

Excerpt

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This book will explore the connections between globalization and urbanization. Emphasis will be placed on the economic function of global cities, the political process of globalizing cities and the cultural significance of cosmopolitan cities. Perhaps the easiest way to begin is with three, very brief, urban stories.

First: the changing face of Syracuse, New York. In the 1970s the city of Syracuse in upstate New York changed its logo. The old logo, in operation for almost 100 years, depicted an industrial city where tall factory chimneys proudly broke the skyline. However, the global shift in manufacturing employment eroded much of the city's traditional economic base. The new logo, in contrast, showed a postindustrial landscape, sleek buildings overlooking a pristine lake. The change in imagery was matched by the change in landscape. In the early 1990s a new postmodern mall, the Carousel Center, was built on the site of an abandoned petrochemical storage site in the middle of a landscape of deindustrialization and decay. A postindustrial iconography replaced industrial imagery as the basis of the city's new identity. In October 2002 ground was broken, beside the new mall, on a new $160 million hotel that was the opening stage of an eventual mega-mall, DestiNY, that is intended to cover 3.2 million square feet, cost $3.2 billion and consist of 4,000 hotel rooms, 30 restaurants, 65 acres of an indoor park as well as a miniature replica of the Erie Canal.

Second: situated on the other side of the global shift in manufacturing employment is the Chinese city of Shanghai. Since the early 1990s Shanghai has built a downtown of high-rise towers, a new international airport and under construction are a deep-water container terminal and a magnetically levitated train. Plans are on the books to build the world's tallest building. A new global city was being self-consciously recreated.

Third: in 2002 the tourist board of Rio de Janeiro was seriously considering suing the media conglomerate Fox because, in an episode of The Simpsons the city was described as "a city where all men are bisexual, where fearsome monkeys roamed the street, and tourists are kidnapped by taxi drivers and mugged by children." Afictional dance, the "penetrada" was also mentioned. All this, felt the city officials, caused damage to Rio's international image and loss of revenue.

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