London A Global City for European Section students
LONDON CALLINGLONDON CALLING
LONDON : A Global City"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired ofLondon, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."— Samuel JohnsonLESSON PLANLondon :London : FactsFacts andandFiguresFiguresGlobal Cities : MethodsGlobal Cities : Methodsand Criteriaand CriteriaLondons assetsLondons assetsProblems andProblems and
LONDON: Facts and FiguresLONDON: Facts and FiguresMake Up:The Inner City and 32 Boroughs governed by the GLA with an elected Mayorsince 2000Size:roughly 1500km2Population:somewhere between 8 and 9 million inhabitantsDensity:5200 inhabitants / km2Ethnic Groups:Over 300 languages spoken and 14 different religionsThe City:300 000 people work in « The Square Mile »Transport:22000 taxis 6800 buses 268 Tube stations 5 airports (134M passengers)
Global Cities : Methods and Criteria (1)To be considered a global city, the city must be seen as an important node(element) in the global economic system which means the system is dependentupon certain economic locales situated around the globe which interact in trade andcommerce (NYLON – the strong links between the worlds two leading globalcities, New York and London)
The Global City Index criteria (2)The GCI criteria for a Global City are …Business Activity: Headquarters of major MNCs; capital markets; flow ofgoods through ports and airports; international conferencesInformation Exchange: access to major news channels; access tointernet; international news bureaus; level of censorshipPolitical Engagement: number of embassies; seat of nationalgovernment; political conferences; international organizationsHuman Capital: attraction for talent-based workers; number of foreignborn population; quality universities; international students and schools;number of residents with university degreesCultural Experience: sporting events; museums; theatres; restaurants;tourists
THE GCI criteria and Londons AssetsBusiness Activity:Information Exchange and Human CapitalLondon has long been one of the worlds leading financial markets (Stock Exchange) –40% of the worlds foreign equities (shares/stocks) are traded here. It is a major market incurrency exchanges (30% of the world share, more than Tokyo and NY combined). It isthe biggest international trade centre – 80% of business in the city is international. Of theEuropean companies in the Global Fortune 500 index, 33% are based in London. Over300 000 people work in « The City »London has long been a centre for science, technology and design. It boasts over 4500world-class researchers. It has the highest concentration of Higher Education Institutes(HEIs) in Europe and the world – over 42 including LSE, Imperial College, UniversityCollege London - and a student population in excess of 400 000.Londons population is a highly cosmopolitan city – it has over 300 languages and 14religions. Almost 33% of the city’s population is of BAME origin (black, asian otherminority ethnic). The city is actually growing at the present time. Its population is on theincrease due to the foreign-born immigrants who settled in London and who have since hadlarge families. Over the next ten years BAME groups will make up 80% of Londonsworking-age population.In London, wages are 22% higher than in the UK, the city has far more managerial andprofessional jobs than the UK as a whole, house prices are far higher and its workers aremore well-educated.
THE GCI criteria and Londons AssetsPolitical Engagement:Cultural Experience:Obviously, London is not just the political capital of England but also of the UK as awhole (despite devolution). The Palace of Westminster or Houses of Parliament, is thecentre of political life. London also hosts all the various ministries of government. NewScotland Yard is the national centre of the police force and over 70 major countries havetheir embassies in the capital. However, one of Londons weaknesses is its lack of aninternational conference centre to host international meetings and seminars – a study is inprogress to find a suitable venue.In the GCI results, London scores even higher than Paris when it comes to culture. Like allcapitals, London houses some of the most prestigious museums, theatres, tourist attractions andsporting events … the list can be very long. Let us simply note the following:The National GalleryThe Tate ModernThe Natural History MuseumThe National Portrait GalleryThe Houses of Parliament (Big Ben)Buckingham Palace and the Horse GuardsThe London EyeWembley StadiumThe Olympic Games 2012 …
CONCLUSION :London quite obviously rates as one of the most global cities in the world,second only to New York. It continues to play a leading role in global affairsand financial markets and acts as a magnet to many foreign firms andbusinesses who set up in the capital. Its population is of mixed ethnic origins andforeigners continue to be attracted to life in the British capital.However, there are PROBLEMS and CHALLENGESTRANSPORTTransport is an urban obsession. A citys transport system is an expression of its power and organisation. TheGLA organises an area of 1500km2 but the total commuter area is six times as large. Transport has toaccommodate between 8 to 9 million people – a huge demand.London has a traditional public transport system, using both rail, underground and bus routes. Inthe past, the London Underground was the best example in the world and the red, double-deckerbus was a national emblem. However, low investment over a period of years left London transportin a poor state of repair. Since the 1990s, and especially since the creation of the GLA in 2000,there have been attempts to renew the transport system.the Underground is being renewed (but over a long period of time)the DLR links the city with Canary Wharfthe Underground now goes as far as Heathrow Airportbus routes have been reinforcedCycle Highways have been introducedCongestion Charging (£8 a day) reduced car traffic by 15-20%However, even if N/S transport has been improved, there is still a need of a Crossrail system fromEast to West.