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A global city is a city that has a significant influence on the global economic, cultural, and political landscape. These cities are typically centers of international finance, business, and trade, and they often serve as hubs for transportation and communication networks. Global cities are also known for their cultural diversity and their ability to attract talent from around the world.

There is no definitive list of global cities, but some of the most commonly recognized ones include New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong. Other cities that are often considered to be emerging global cities include Shanghai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Dubai.

Global cities are important nodes in the global economy, and they often have a disproportionate impact on national and international politics. They are centers of innovation and creativity, and they are often characterized by their cosmopolitanism and diversity. However, global cities can also be marked by inequality and social divisions, as well as the challenges of managing rapid urbanization and globalization.

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GaWC (Globalization and World Cities Research Network), based at Loughborough University, is the world’s premier think tank for studying economic globalization and its relation to cities. The think tank produces a report on global cities every two years, dividing world cities into Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Sufficiency cities, where Alpha cities are the most integrated into the world economy (e.g. New York City or Beijing) and Sufficiency cities the last (albeit still much more than unlisted cities).

The GaWC tends to focus specifically on economic rather than political or cultural considerations in ranking cities, and their methodology differs from many other think tanks in that the GaWC does not look solely at cities in themselves in order to determine their rankings, but rather examines the relationships between a given city and other global cities. The GaWC report thus measures not only a city’s economic strength but also its interconnectedness to other global cities.


  • Global city
  • Metropolis