Cities are as old as globalisation itself. They have been decisive participants in a global network of trade since at least 1500, and their involvement in proto-globalisation processes extends back even further. Today, global trade and urbanisation are on a mutually reinforcing upward curve that has lasted over 50 years and is set to continue for at least another 50.
The Business of Cities is deeply engaged with the way cities partake, shape and respond to globalisation. Our projects have explored the implication for cities joining the ‘path’ to global engagement at different stages and with different methods. We write and consult extensively on the opportunities for a wide range of cities to enter or re-enter the global economy in a new context where the larger share of world output is now produced by emerging economies.
The Business of Cities takes seriously the attributes that cities must acquire and harness if they are first to succeed in cycles of global positioning, and then to manage the costs and fall-outs that accompany further cycles. Our research and advocacy in this area attends to the value of understanding long-term processes and building the institutions and frameworks that can endure.