• Global Cities Discussion

last modified September 16, 2011 by tomlowenhaupt

Global Cities are those which play a significant role in the "globalization process." We follow the usage introduced by Saskia Sassen, the American sociologist and economist in defining “Global Cities” as strategic geographic locales that see processes being created, facilitated, and enacted that have a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socio-economic, culture, or political impact.


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It has been suggested that the ICANN promulgate a list of Global Cities eligible for expedited assignment of city-TLDs, much as the ISO 3166 list facilitated the issuance of country code TLDs (.e.g, .us, .uk, .fr, .de) to nation-states.

The following list of Global Cities was compiled from research of the Globalization and World Cities Study and Network Group at Loughborough University . The cities were selected on size, diversity, economic, cultural, and political linkages, and the availability of advanced globalization services such as accountancy, advertising, finance, and law by international corporations. The Loughborough inventories identified a clearly identifiable group of global cities and several sub groups exhibiting some characteristics of global cities.

Loughborough's Global Cities

The following listings consolidate cities from Loughborough's Research Bulletin #5, 1999 and Research Bulletin #146, 2004 and adds the following ICANN region identification: Europe (1); Asia/Australia/Pacific (2); Latin America/Caribbean Islands (3); Africa (4); and North America (5).

Abidjan (4)

Addis Ababa (4)



Amsterdam (1)



Atlanta (5)




Bangkok (2)

Barcelona (1)



Basle (1)



Beijing (2)




Berlin (1)

Boston (5)



Brussels (1)



Budapest (1)




Buenos Aires (3)

Cairo (4)



Caracas (3)



Chicago (5)




Copenhagen (1)

Dallas (5)



Denver (5)



Düsseldorf (1)




Frankfurt (1)

Geneva (1)



Glasgow (1)



Hamburg (1)




Harare (4)

Hong Kong (2)



Houston (5)



Istanbul (2)




Jakarta (2)

Johannesburg (4)



Kuala Lumpur (2)



London (1)




Los Angeles (5)

Lyon (1)



Madrid (1)



Manila (2)




Mexico City (3)

Miami (5)



Milan (1)



Minneapolis (5)




Melbourne (2)

Montreal (5)



Moscow (1)



Mumbai (2)




Munich (1)

New Delhi (2)



New York (5)



Osaka (2)




Oslo (1)

Ottawa (5)



Paris (1)



Prague (1)




Rome (1)

San Francisco (5)



Santiago (3)



Sao Paulo (3)




Seoul (2)

Shanghai (2)



Singapore (2)



Stockholm (1)




Sydney (2)

Taipei (2)



Tokyo (2)



Toronto (5)




Vienna (1)

Washington (5)



Warsaw (1)



Zurich (1)





Loughborough University's Bulletin #5 identified three groups of cities that exhibited some evidence of the formation of global city characteristics.
  • The first group, with eight cities, exhibited strong evidence: Athens (1), Auckland (2), Dublin (1), Helsinki (1), Luxembourg (1), Philadelphia (5), Rio de Janeiro (3), and Tel Aviv (2).
  • A second group of 25 cities showed "some" evidence: Abu Dhabi (4), Almaty (2), Birmingham (UK) (1), Bogotá (3), Bratislava (1), Brisbane (2), Bucharest (1), Cleveland (5), Cologne (1), Detroit (5), Dubai (2), Ho Chi Minh City (2), Kiev (2), Lima (3), Lisbon (1), Manchester (1), Montevideo (3), Riyadh (2), Rotterdam (1), Seattle (5), Strasbourg (1), Stuttgart (1), The Hague (1), and Vancouver (5).
  • And finally, Bulletin #5 identified 29 cities with "minimal" evidence: Adelaide (2), Antwerp (1), Aarhus (1), Baltimore (5), Bangalore (2), Bologna (1), Brasília (3), Calgary (5), Cape Town (4), Colombo (2), Columbus (5), Dresden (1) , Edinburgh (1), Genoa (1), Gothenburg (1), Guangzhou (2), Hanoi (2), Kansas City (5), Leeds (1), Lille (1), Marseille (1), Richmond (5), St. Petersburg (2), Tashkent (2), Tehran (2), Tijuana (3), Turin (1), Utrecht (1), and Wellington (2).

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