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Living with the Global City
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Fall 1999
Living with the Global City
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As the local and global dimensions of modern life become more tightly intertwined, structures of social and economic interdependence are being radically transformed. Large city-regions interacting with one another at the world scale are one of the more dramatic expressions of this phenomenon. As we have seen, they are focal points of extraordinary new opportunities but also of many forbidding and unforeseen problems.

The questions are many, the stakes are high, and the answers as yet are few. This is why hundreds of policy makers, scholars, businesspeople and community leaders from around the world will gather at UCLA in October for the Global City-Regions Conference. Hosted by the School of Public Policy and Social Research, the conference is a pioneering international and interdisciplinary effort to address the phenomenon of the city-region in all its astonishing complexity. Mayors and governors of major city-regions such as Berlin, Santiago, Sydney, Johannesburg and Curitiba, business theorists and consultants such as Japan's Kenichi Ohmae and Michael Porter of Harvard, urban scholars such as Sir Peter Hall of University College London and Akin Mabogunje of the Development Policy Centre in Ibadan, Nigeria, and James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, will all come together in a series of intensive lectures, workshops and seminars in search of a better understanding of the forces driving city-region growth and how to cope with the problems it has created.

For the vast majority of the world's 3 billion urban denizens, the questions they will debate and the solutions they will propose will not be mere abstractions. They will bear directly on such immediate and practical concerns as finding a job, enduring a four-hour daily commute or facing a two-hour walk to get a drink of water.

Allen J. Scott, professor of geography and policy studies, is chair of the Global City-Regions Conference Organizing Committee. The conference website can be found at www.sppsr.ucla.edu/globalcityregions.

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