World Cities

  1. Define world cities

World City: A large city that has importance to the operation of global systems of finance, trade, politics, communications, tourism and entertainment.

  1. On a map of the world locate example of world cities

  1. Describe and account for the spatial distribution of world cities
  1. Describe the nature and character of world cities and note the existence of a global hierarchy



  1. Describe the role of world cities
  1. Explain the phrase “global networks of world cities”. Give examples.
  1. Why do such networks exist and how do they operate
  1. Explain and illustrate the relationship of dominance and dependence between world cities and other urban centers

Dominance: Ability to exert influence over other places

Dependence: A reliance on other places for economic or cultural purposes

World cities are dominant over National Metropolises which are dominant over Regional Centres for:

World cities are dependant on other cities for:

World cities are cities that have global and national significance. These cities have this significance due to two reasons. They are places with much historical background as centers of authority, and secondly they are places where there is a high concentration of Trans National Corporation headquarters (TNC HQ). These world cities dominate over smaller urban centers. These urban centers are dependant upon goods, services and profits received through the world cities.


World cities have so much cultural and economic authority in the 21st century because they are the home of the TNC HQ’s. An example in London, which is home to 64 of the world's top 500 companies. Also world cities have many wholesale banks, London is the world’s largest wholesale banking centre with 539 foreign banks. Tokyo has approx. 360 foreign banks and New York 360.  Trade flows are dominated by world cities as most goods/goods receipts pass through world cities. The decision making power of world cities is influenced by their high number of TNC HQ’s, making many decisions that affect the world.


World cities are also centers of global media and communications networks such as New York’s NBC. World cities also offer the world’s best accounting, Law and advertising agencies, as well as the top education, entertainment, sporting venues, tourist venues and NGO head offices.


Urban centers are the markets for these world cities goods and services. Urban centers generally don’t have one good/service or another, and as a result need to visit a world city for these goods.


Windsor in Canada is much smaller and has fewer companies based and operating in it than its neighboring Detroit. People who live in Windsor who cannot obtain a place in the University of Windsor may traverse the bridge, and attended one of the Universities in Detroit. People in Windsor may also visit Detroit for better legal representation, or accounting, advertising, or a great many other services.


Even though Detroit is more dominant than Windsor, its building industry is dependant on Windsor for Lumber and Cement.

  1. How and why is the role of regional centres changing

Regional centres are growing as they absorb the decline in population and activities from small towns.

Manufacturers and agribusinesses are relocating to regional centres as

Large regional shopping centres are built in these centres which increases their growth.

Telecommunication technologies are leading to the centralisation of business services

  1. Why are small towns in decline

Growing regional centres attract people and resources from small towns

Towns are looking to attract people via tourism.

Theodore, QLD:

Boggabri, NSW:

Parkes, NSW:

Cessnock, NSW and Mudgee, NSW:


In 2008 a correctional centre opened to stimulate growth in the town.

5200 people live in Wellington.

Unemployment 13.5% (double national average) ½ population on welfare

20% indigenous

Top 10 for domestic violence

“Ice Capital of Australia”