Global Cities, Globalization and their Future
On April 17, 2018, Simon Curtis has published an article entitled “Global Cities and the Ends of Globalism” in a special issue on the de-globalized city as its main topic of New Global Studies guest-edited by Michele Acuto and Ian Klaus.
A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.
In his paper, Curtis suggests that “that global cities are at a point of crisis, because they embody an unstable form of global market society. In order to survive in a ‘global’ form, they will need to evolve by repurposing some of the political, economic and governance capacities that they have been developing over the last four decades” (75). His broad analysis focuses on this research question: “what capacities and capabilities have global cities generated, and how might they be reoriented in the creation of alternative global city futures?” (75).
In this urban studies article, Curtis argues that “the end of contemporary forms of globalism must also mean the end of the global city” (76). This leads this researcher to approach “the global city as a form of chrysalis; one that has developed over the last four decades, incubating and nurturing new economic and political capacities and capabilities as well as new technological forms, but with a limited life-span; an urban form that must in turn give birth to new urban forms that will have a different character” (77).
Consequently, Curtis concludes that “[i]f the capacities of cities have been augmented in ways that suggest new and transformative possibilities, then the motivation to “jump tracks” has also been building” (88). The author, furthermore, adds that “[t]he actual future emerging from the possibility space of various socio-technical assemblages is not guaranteed to be a progressive one” (89). Thus, according to Curtis, “a purely technocratic and authoritarian inflected valence for these emerging capacities would mean an extension and intensification of the forms of structural violence inherent to the neoliberal city” (89).
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Sydney CBD, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, December 27, 2012 | © Courtesy of Jorge Láscar/Flickr.