Advanced Producer Service Firms as Strategic Networks, Global Cities as Strategic Places



Sassen's identification of global cities as “strategic places” is explored through world city network analysis. This involves searching out advanced producer service (APS) firms that constitute “strategic networks,” from whose activities strategic places can be defined. Twenty-five out of 175 APS firms are found to be strategic, and from their office networks, 45 cities out of 526 are designated as strategic places. A measure of “strategicness” of cities is devised, and individual findings from this are discussed by drawing on existing literature about how APS firms use specific cities. A key finding shows that New York and London have different levels of strategicness, and this is related to the former's innovation prowess and the latter's role in global consumption of services. Other cases of strategicness discussed in terms of the balance between production and consumption of APSs are Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai; Palo Alto; Mexico City; Johannesburg; and Dubai and Frankfurt.