22. World Cities

Part II

  1. John A. Agnew2 and
  2. James S. Duncan3
  1. Paul L. Knox

Published Online: 14 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395839.ch22

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography

How to Cite

Knox, P. L. (2011) World Cities, in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography (eds J. A. Agnew and J. S. Duncan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395839.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 2

    UCLA, Los Angeles, USA

  2. 3

    University of Cambridge, UK

Author Information

  1. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405189897

Online ISBN: 9781444395839



  • world city, a world phrase - global context, cities being extraordinary key roles in organizing, integrating space and society beyond national boundaries;
  • “world cities” - first used by pioneer thinker and writer on city and regional planning, Patrick Geddes (1915), Chapter on “World Cities and City Regions”;
  • shifts involving rise of global capitalism - “supercapitalism” in Robert Reich's terminology (2007), an epochal change;
  • world cities, interface between global and local - economic, cultural, and institutional apparatus channeling national and provincial resources into global economy;
  • world cities as a research topic - academic interest in world cities, ignited by John Friedmann;
  • conceptual and empirical problems - framed around seminal work of Friedmann and Sassen, world city literature vulnerable to critique;
  • World Cities in global networks - key point about contemporary globalization, trans-state processes, firms, as principal agents of change;
  • alpha-level world cities in 2008 - measuring the World City Network;
  • integration in world city network - global connectivity of South Asian, Chinese and Eastern European cities;
  • United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, and cities - decline in global connectivity (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami, in particular)


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • World Cities as a Research Topic

  • Conceptual and Empirical Problems

  • World Cities in Global Networks

  • References