World Cities: London's Turning

As the much-vaunted global economy comes ever closer to practical reality, the concept of the city is assuming a new level of importance. At present, world commerce and industry is consolidated into powerful geo-economic blocs – the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, MERCOSUR and the European Union, for instance – which exert a great deal of control and influence.

The World Today Published 1 April 2000 Updated 27 October 2020 4 minute READ

Colin Marshall

Chairman of the London Development Partnership, British Airways and Chatham House Council

They are the stepping stones to a true single global economy. When it emerges, these groupings and the sovereign countries of which they are made up will become effectively redundant for the purpose of business.

There is a serious school of thought that believes that, as a consequence of the global economy, industry and commerce will fragment into large numbers of smaller economic centres, or ‘clusters’ as current economic jargon has it, with few ties of traditional sovereignty. Thus, the creation of what we might call world cities, each intensely competitive in a universal free market. They will very likely form the framework of the new global economy.

It is against this broad background that London is preparing for seminal change in the way it is governed; and not least in the way that the London Development Partnership (LDP) has formulated an economic strategy ready for the new Mayor and assembly.

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