GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2011, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 1009-1020.doi: 10.11821/yj2011060005

• Urban and Rural Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review on world city studies and their implications in urban systems

YANG Yong-chun1,2, LENG Bing-rong1, TAN Yi-ming1, LI Tian-tian1   

  1. 1. College of Resources and Environment, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Western China's Environment Systems of the Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2010-11-19 Revised:2011-03-08 Online:2011-06-20 Published:2011-06-20

Abstract: The focus on world cities is always a hot issue in urban studies in global vision. However, the research methods for world cities in the mainstream field are gradually changing over time. To clarify its history, we divide studies on world cities into three periods, that is, stage of world cities with attributes but without relations, stage of world cities in network society, overly new stage of world city network in global environment. With rapid development in information technology and communications and deepened involvement in global integration, advanced producer services (APS) play an increasingly important role in economic and social relations between any two world cities. Meanwhile, new developments in other sources of retrieving data and introducing new approaches from other disciplines into world cities studies reveal that it is a new spring called stage of world city network for academic research in this field. The leading scholar, Peter J. Taylor, and his colleagues develop an interlocking network model when they obtain data from the survey in APS. We claim that new improvements in traditional urban system studies are obviously seen if theoretical and analytical methods in world city network are introduced. In detail, the improvements and implications are: (1) the transformation from attributes to relations, that is relation data instead of attribute data in retrieving basic sources; (2) new stage from hierarchy to network, that is linkages and cooperation instead of orders and hierarchies; (3) the research objectives from closed urban systems to open ones; (4) innovative research methods, that is network approaches instead of comparison of statistical data.

Key words: world city network (WCN), network approach, interlocking network model, advanced producer services (APS)