IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wiw/wiwrsa/ersa15p66.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The world city network: national versus global perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Lüthi
  • Alain Thierstein

    ()

  • Michael Hoyler

Abstract

World cities are important nodes in the global networks of knowledge-based economies. As a result of the growing complexity of knowledge creation, firms increasingly organise their activities in business networks that operate across different spatial scales. On the global scale, new information and communication technologies enable the control of business processes across multiple locations. On the regional scale, the advantage of geographical proximity plays an important role. Collective learning processes require a common cognitive, social and cultural context as well as regular face-to-face contacts. Short distances bring people together, thereby stimulating information spillovers and the creation of new ideas. These places of intensive interaction are no longer exclusively located in the traditional inner cities. Rather, they are increasingly found in new urban centres, edge cities, airports or at the stations of high-speed rail networks. The result is a highly polycentric metropolitan system, characterised by accelerated growth in and around smaller cities and towns within the wider metropolitan orbit of one or several big cities. The growth of the knowledge economy has led to new forms of business networks linking cities and towns across different spatial scales. Various attempts have been made to analyse these networks empirically using the interlocking network model of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) research network. Two approaches can be distinguished from a spatial perspective: a global approach that studies the world city network from the perspective of the largest advanced producer service firms, and a national approach that starts with the most important knowledge-intensive firms located within specific territorial boundaries. This paper compares the methodological implications and empirical outcomes of both approaches with reference to recent case studies of the German space economy. Both approaches pursue similar objectives: to investigate external relations of German cities, both transnationally and on the national scale. Furthermore, both approaches use the same analytical instrument: the interlocking network model of GaWC. Differences exist in the theoretical argumentation: the global approach is grounded in world city research; the national approach, on the other hand, is anchored in debates in regional science, economic geography and spatial planning. In this paper, we argue for the need of scale-sensitive interpretations of connectivity patterns built by the interlocking network model and conclude with some tentative recommendations for the methodological direction of future research in world city network studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Lüthi & Alain Thierstein & Michael Hoyler, 2015. "The world city network: national versus global perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa15p66, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p66
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa15/e150825aFinal00066.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Hoyler & Robert Kloosterman & Martin Sokol, 2008. "Polycentric Puzzles - Emerging Mega-City Regions Seen through the Lens of Advanced Producer Services," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1055-1064.
    2. Andy Pike, 2007. "Editorial: Whither Regional Studies?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(9), pages 1143-1148.
    3. Alain Thierstein & Stefan Luthi & Christian Kruse & Simone Gabi & Lars Glanzmann, 2008. "Changing Value Chain of the Swiss Knowledge Economy: Spatial Impact of Intra-firm and Inter-firm Networks within the Emerging Mega-City Region of Northern Switzerland," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1113-1131.
    4. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
    5. Peter J. Taylor, 2005. "Leading World Cities: Empirical Evaluations of Urban Nodes in Multiple Networks," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 42(9), pages 1593-1608, August.
    6. Ben Derudder & Peter Taylor & Pengfei Ni & Anneleen De Vos & Michael Hoyler & Heidi Hanssens & David Bassens & Jin Huang & Frank Witlox & Wei Shen & Xiaolan Yang, 2010. "Pathways of Change: Shifting Connectivities in the World City Network, 2000—08," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(9), pages 1861-1877, August.
    7. Stefan Luethi & Alain Thierstein & Michael Bentlage, 2011. "Interlocking firm networks in the German knowledge economy. On local networks and global connectivity," ERSA conference papers ersa10p120, European Regional Science Association.
    8. P.J. Taylor & G. Catalano & D.R.F. Walker, 2002. "Exploratory Analysis of the World City Network," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 39(13), pages 2377-2394, December.
    9. Bathelt, Harald & Gluckler, Johannes, 2011. "The Relational Economy: Geographies of Knowing and Learning," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199587391.
    10. P. J. Taylor & D. M. Evans & K. Pain, 2008. "Application of the Interlocking Network Model to Mega-City-Regions: Measuring Polycentricity Within and Beyond City-Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1079-1093.
    11. Stefan Lüthi & Alain Thierstein & Michael Bentlage, 2013. "The Relational Geography of the Knowledge Economy in Germany: On Functional Urban Hierarchies and Localised Value Chain Systems," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 50(2), pages 276-293, February.
    12. Peter J. Taylor & Michael Hoyler & Raf Verbruggen, 2010. "External Urban Relational Process: Introducing Central Flow Theory to Complement Central Place Theory," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(13), pages 2803-2818, November.
    13. Peter Taylor & Rolee Aranya, 2008. "A Global 'Urban Roller Coaster'? Connectivity Changes in the World City Network, 2000-2004," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 1-16.
    14. Peter Sunley, 2008. "Relational Economic Geography: A Partial Understanding or a New Paradigm?," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 84(1), pages 1-26, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ilya R. P. Cuypers & Gokhan Ertug & John Cantwell & Akbar Zaheer & Martin Kilduff, 2020. "Making connections: Social networks in international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(5), pages 714-736, July.
    2. Ilya R. P. Cuypers & Gokhan Ertug & John Cantwell & Akbar Zaheer & Martin Kilduff, 0. "Making connections: Social networks in international business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 0, pages 1-23.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    world city network; Germany; mega-city region; knowledge economy;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: http://www.ersa.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.