Globalization and the production of new urban spaces: Pacific Rim megaprojects in the late 20th century
In this paper the complex and increasingly global processes which underlie the production of contemporary urban megaprojects (UMPs) in Pacific Rim cities are examined. The UMP development process is interesting to examine because it can be viewed as a microcosm of broader general processes which are impacting cities throughout the world. After a brief overview of the key dimensions of globalization processes [the development and restructuring of the international financial system; the globalization of property markets; the changing role of the transnational corporation; the stretching of social relations, world social networks, and epistemic communities (including the overseas Chinese); and travelling and networking] contemporary urban development trends in the Pacific Rim Basin are outlined to provide a context for UMP development. Three UMPs—in Vancouver (Pacific Place), Yokohama (Minato Mirai 21), and Shanghai (Lujiazui Central Area, Pudong)—are then examined in order to tease out complexities of globalization processes and the global - local dialectic. Attention throughout the paper is focused on international linkages and global context in influencing the production of these new urban spaces—spaces often designed (at extraordinary expense) to symbolize a global urban 'utopia' for the 21st century.
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