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Global Cities

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Every major city likes to see itself as a world class city. But what is the definition of such an entity? The Globalization and World Class Study Group and Network has taken it upon itself to set the standards and define which cities make it to the top tier. Based on a city’s score in the fields of “accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law,” GaWC comes up with ratings for 55 cities. Arguably the standards are limited in scope and doesn’t include factors such as cultural or artistic influence or technological innovation. Nevertheless, the list that results in unsurprising. Cities such as London, New York, Paris andTokyo are on the top of the list followed by Chicago, Frankfurt, Milan, Simgapore, Los Angeles and others. Check out the map to see if your city makes the grade.

More interesting than the actual list is the mapping and spaital analysis of these global cities. GaWC has produced numerous papers and studies looking at various aspects of what makes a world class city but from a cartographic perspective the most interesting ones are those with, of course, maps. The Atlas of Hinterworlds looks at the top 123 cities and displays each city’s connectivitiy to all the other cities by way of a cartogram. The results are simple, attractive and easy to read.
Also included on the site are 3 dimensional globes that display connectivity lines, and some other experimental maps that aren’t quite as successful.

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