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Redefining Global Cities – Brookings Report

Posted on Sep 30 by Mia Jacobs

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Brookings recently published a report illustrating how redefining the classic notion of a “global city” offers a new way to analyze an evolving global economy. While the global economy has traditionally been rooted in a select few cities known for their major financial influences, many cities now contribute to global growth and opportunity through goods, services, people, and ideas. Brookings has examined the new frameworks for what exactly defines a global city, finding the main attributes being economic characteristics, industrial structure, and key competitiveness factors. The evolved type of global cities break down into seven archetypes: Factory China, Knowledge Capitals, Emerging Gateways, Asian Anchors, Global Giants, American Middleweights, and International Middleweights.

With this new system of classification, global cities are categorized by different variables from their size, as in Global Giants, transportation entry points, as in Emerging Gateways, or cities that excel in innovation and talented workforces, known as the Knowledge Capitals. Greater Seattle falls into this category of Knowledge Capitals, the global cities that are consistently challenged to produce new ideas and research to sustain growth. Along with other Knowledge Capitals such as Boston, San Jose, and Amsterdam, Greater Seattle thrives on innovation and maintaining industrial competitiveness in the face of an evolving technological world.