Living with the Global City
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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.
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.
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.
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.