New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: America's Global Cities

Excerpt

THE CASES TO BE EXPLORED

This book focuses on three gigantic urbanized places that currently occupy hegemonic positions in the spatial structure, aesthetics, economy, changing demography, contentious politics, and evolving cultural meanings of American history: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. By the 1990s, each had become a gigantic regional constellation or galaxy of man-imposed constructions, strewn apparently like confetti over vast landscapes of terrain and encompassing the lives of seventeen, fourteen, and eight million persons, respectively.'

These settlements are perhaps the most impressive objects our culture has produced, and their scatterings are not random. Each urbanized region has been shaped according to inherited armatures of passage and within the confines of natural and man-made borders. In this book we shall be searching for those shapes and their causes, and we shall be trying to capture the processes whereby the three original urban settlements evolved into ever more complex forms—each contribution to which may have been "intended," but whose composite whole was never planned nor could have been fully anticipated.

These three urbanized regions offer a particularly fertile arena for investigating the nature of global cities and for tracing not only the role they play in the international community today, but also the ways in which their changing embeddedness in an evolving world system and their unique responses to those challenges over time have created significant variations within the general category of global cities.

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