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CapeFearRiver10

If NC had a "World Class City", where would it be?

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I was wondering what city is fit to be become a World City.

My pick is Wilmington, NC in the future.

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Everyone knows Charlotte wants to be a "World Class City" , maybe they'll be able to buy their way to that status in the future.

I think Asheville is closest to this status now. Many foreigners are aware of the area, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Crafts, The Biltmore House, the eclectic vibe of the city. So my vote is for her.

Wilmington is a great town, but has light years to go to be world reknowned.

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^good claim for Asheville but economically speaking, its a city that relys a lot on tourism. A very cosmopolitan city and steps away from the mountains, it still has a way to go.

I believe in the direction Raleigh it is going, it will be a future "world class city". It holds a strong & growing labor market, quality of life, improved public schools, three major universities and RTP. What will always hold Raleigh back is the lack of public transportation and international events (olympics for ex) where it could not be compared to other large world cities.

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Raleigh and Charlotte are both important cities, and they could evetually both be "world class"

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Yeah that may be true but I would love to see a Coastal city in NC grow to become a World City.

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Charlotte has the best chance, then possibly Raleigh.

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Charlotte is the largest city, and Raleigh is the second largest. Both of these cities are showing the early stages of world city development. Charlotte and Raleigh want it equally badly. They are both going to be world cities in the near term. Long term, perhaps the Triad will get there, if it can hold it's own against Raleigh and Charlotte. Maybe in the very far future, the smaller cities will get large enough to lay a claim to status. Can't really predict that far ahead, sadly. One can hope that thier preferred city will achieve it.

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In 25 years, Charlotte and Raleigh will be "world class" cities

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Charlotte is the largest city, and Raleigh is the second largest. Both of these cities are showing the early stages of world city development. Charlotte and Raleigh want it equally badly. They are both going to be world cities in the near term. Long term, perhaps the Triad will get there, if it can hold it's own against Raleigh and Charlotte. Maybe in the very far future, the smaller cities will get large enough to lay a claim to status. Can't really predict that far ahead, sadly. One can hope that thier preferred city will achieve it.

I'd like to think that we could have three "World Class Cities." But as our cities progress in size and power, so does the standard of what it takes to be defined as "world class." Raleigh seem posed to get to "National Class City" level in the next decade where Charlotte basically is sitting on the fence. If Charlotte is indeed poised to get to the top ten cities in 20-some years as mentioned in the Charlotte Is Hot thread, then nearly that fact alone would boost its image to "World Class" as well. Raleigh is probably thirty or fourty years off as there is too much competition in the Triangle to create a true definate central urban core much like the Triad.

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Here is a good definition of a world-class city, namely the "Global City."

Criteria are listed below. I have bolded and underlined any criterion for which Charlotte fits the bill.

* International, first-name familiarity (one would say "Paris", not "Paris, France").

* Active influence and participation in international events and world affairs (for example, New York City is home to the United Nations headquarters).

* A fairly large population (the center of a metropolitan area with a population of at least one million, typically several million).

* A major international airport (for example, London Heathrow Airport) that serves as an established hub for several international airlines.

* An advanced transportation system that includes several freeways and/or a large mass transit network offering multiple modes of transportation (rapid transit, light rail, regional rail, ferry, or bus).

* In the West, several international cultures and communities (such as a Chinatown, a Little Italy, or other immigrant communities). In other parts of the world, such as Asia, cities which attract large foreign businesses and related expatriate communities, for example Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Moscow.

* International financial institutions, law firms, corporate headquarters (especially conglomerates), and stock exchanges that have influence over the world economy.

* Advanced communications infrastructure that modern trans-national corporations rely on, such as fiberoptics, Wi-Fi networks, cellular phone services, and other high-speed lines of communications. For example, Taipei is the very first Wi-Fi city in the world.

* World-renowned cultural institutions, such as museums and universities.

* A lively cultural scene, including film festivals, premieres, a thriving music or theatre scene; an orchestra, an opera company, art galleries, and street performers.

* Several powerful and influential media outlets with an international reach, such as the BBC, The New York Times, Le Monde, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters.

* A strong sporting community, including major sports facilities, home teams in major league sports, and the ability and historical experience to host international sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Football World Cup or Grand Slam tennis events.

I do not think any of NC's other cities will readily achieve this status in our lifetimes. I think that the city with the greatest name recognition may increasingly be Asheville, since it is such a powerful tourist draw.

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I would definitely say Charlotte is NC's premier city. Asheville may be growing, but its more of a resort community. Charlotte on the other hand is a financial powerhouse second only to NYC. As a result of this concentration of wealth it will certainly be able to "buy its way" into the global class. Money is power.

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If you follow Saskia Sassen's reasoning, and since she's the economist/urban theorist who is largely credited with coining the term, you'll note that there are very few cities that would truly be considered "Global Cities." They include: New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, among a select few others. The list of cities that could attain "Global City" status is long even in the US before one would get to Charlotte or Raleigh (Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, etc) not to mention the rest of the world (Berlin, Singapore, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Istanbul, etc). I have nothing against Charlotte or Raleigh, but both have a long way to go...

Additionally, one can't refute Charlotte's status as the second largest banking center after New York, but that is more focussed on commercial banking. The primary financial powerhouse vis-a-vis the capital that builds economies, transnational corporations, etc is in investment banking which is traditionally New York's strong suit. San Francisco and Boston are also quite well-placed globally in investment banking.

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It seems that Charlotte and the Raleigh could both try and lay claim to "World Class Status" but several factors are missing. Charlotte is working hard on that transportation end but is lacking in the Educational End. It's all very complicated, but they are on the verge.

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What brings a lot of success for the "world class" cities are domestic and international trade (seaports that are situated along waterways). Raleigh and Charlotte are inland cities which makes it an uphill battle to gain world status where it can only rely on highway and air transportation. Only Milano and Mexico City prevailed by beating those odds as inland cities.

The Neuse River could be an inland port for Raleigh :lol:

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If you follow Saskia Sassen's reasoning, and since she's the economist/urban theorist who is largely credited with coining the term, you'll note that there are very few cities that would truly be considered "Global Cities." They include: New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, among a select few others. The list of cities that could attain "Global City" status is long even in the US before one would get to Charlotte or Raleigh (Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, etc) not to mention the rest of the world (Berlin, Singapore, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Istanbul, etc). I have nothing against Charlotte or Raleigh, but both have a long way to go...

Additionally, one can't refute Charlotte's status as the second largest banking center after New York, but that is more focussed on commercial banking. The primary financial powerhouse vis-a-vis the capital that builds economies, transnational corporations, etc is in investment banking which is traditionally New York's strong suit. San Francisco and Boston are also quite well-placed globally in investment banking.

I agree with you 100% on this topic. I have even heard that Los Angeles has only become a world city in the last 10-15 years. So that should tell you that it is not likely in our lifetime that NC will have one anytime soon. If Charlotte and Raleigh were combined with the hi-tech parks and banking then there might be a chance in our lifetime.

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Los Angeles has been a world class city for quite some time, since it's the nucleus for the US film industry, which is highly exported. Additionally...

The list of cities that could attain "Global City" status is long even in the US before one would get to Charlotte or Raleigh (Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, etc) not to mention the rest of the world (Berlin, Singapore, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Istanbul, etc). I have nothing against Charlotte or Raleigh, but both have a long way to go...

All of the cities listed in parenthesis are already world-class cities. They get many international visitors, they're quite large, and they all specialize in something that gets highly exported. The cities you listed as definitely world-class are a tier higher, specializing in several things that are highly exported, and obviously being a magnitude larger.

I think the big distinguishment is whether you consider Atlanta a world-class city or not. If you do, then Charlotte and Raleigh have a good shot at it. If not, then they really don't. They'll never be as big, and they don't have the historical background Atlanta carries.

Could the average foreigner identify Atlanta? Probably. They hosted an olympic event, and that's a very big source of recognition.

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The bottom line is that no city in NC is world class in the sense of being compared to Hong Kong, Paris, London, SF, NYC and most likely never will be.

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Atlanta is not a world-class city. Here's the box from above with BOLD noting where Atlanta fits the criteria:

* International, first-name familiarity (one would say "Paris", not "Paris, France").

* Active influence and participation in international events and world affairs (for example, New York City is home to the United Nations headquarters).

* A fairly large population (the center of a metropolitan area with a population of at least one million, typically several million).

* A major international airport (for example, London Heathrow Airport) that serves as an established hub for several international airlines.

* An advanced transportation system that includes several freeways and/or a large mass transit network offering multiple modes of transportation (rapid transit, light rail, regional rail, ferry, or bus).

* In the West, several international cultures and communities (such as a Chinatown, a Little Italy, or other immigrant communities). In other parts of the world, such as Asia, cities which attract large foreign businesses and related expatriate communities, for example Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Moscow.

* International financial institutions, law firms, corporate headquarters (especially conglomerates), and stock exchanges that have influence over the world economy.

* Advanced communications infrastructure that modern trans-national corporations rely on, such as fiberoptics, Wi-Fi networks, cellular phone services, and other high-speed lines of communications. For example, Taipei is the very first Wi-Fi city in the world.

* World-renowned cultural institutions, such as museums and universities.

* A lively cultural scene, including film festivals, premieres, a thriving music or theatre scene; an orchestra, an opera company, art galleries, and street performers.

* Several powerful and influential media outlets with an international reach, such as the BBC, The New York Times, Le Monde, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters.

* A strong sporting community, including major sports facilities, home teams in major league sports, and the ability and historical experience to host international sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Football World Cup or Grand Slam tennis events.

Atlanta has the media card that Charlotte does not have because of CNN/Ted Turner. Other than the High museum, which is an excellent but still probably a second-tier museum in the US, Atlanta does not have the cultural cache of Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Fields Museum, etc. Atlanta, excepting Hartsfield, is a city that is very domestically focused with limited pockets of foreign language other than Spanish. It is not an immigrant gateway like Miami or Chicago.

Atlanta has superior universities to Charlotte, particularly in Emory and Georgia Tech. Having Spelman is a nice feather in the cap as well.

Transportationwise, despite having MARTA, the majority of people in the metro area will never embrace the transit system and in-state Amtrak intercity passenger rail is for all intents and purposes, dysfunctional to nonexistent.

It's funny- if you had to pick the hardest thing to get on this list, it's probably the universities. If you get enough money, you can buy just about everything else, but a prestigious University takes deacdes or centuries to groom. I know of only one city that overcame this hurdle- Winston-Salem. Of course, Winston is far, far off on so many of these other metrics.

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give charlotte 20 years or so.

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Again, nothing against Charlotte or Raleigh, but if either of them were to have attained the "Global City" moniker, then the term would have been rendered inconsequential because both cities would only achieve that status once multiple other North American cities had arrived there. The only chance for NC to be recognized as such would be if you could combine Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, Durham, Wilmington, et al into one metropolis. Even then, you still wouldn't equal New York, London, Paris or Tokyo (the only cities that the originator of the term, "Global City," deems as qualifiers) in terms of cultural, economic, political, intellectual significance. For instance, more people live in the 5 boroughs of New York than the whole state of North Carolina. And, the metro area of the city encompasses 20+ million people. There are more NY residents under the age of 5 than there are people in the city of Charlotte. There are probably more languages spoken on the average rush hour subway car of the F train on any given day. The GDP of the city is larger than some western economies.

Charlotte and Raleigh are doing quite well as they are. Charlotte is known as a leading banking center and the Raleigh-Durham area is known as home to one of the highest per capita population of Phds. Both excellent qualities - so, there is no reason to aim for something so out of their league.

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I don't know why, but I did a point for point analysis of where Charlotte and Raleigh are likely to be strong, according to transitman's criteria. I decided it was completely pointless, as those aren't really criteria for being an international city, but rather a well-rounded one that people respect. There's maybe only one city in the entire US that meets all those criteria. And several in the world. There are certainly more than a handful of international cities.

It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you provide something very crucial for the world economy. Be a megaport. Be a financial center. Be a technology center. Be huge. Be a national capital. Preferrably be three out of five.

Houston maybe meets half of transitman's criteria at best. It's an international city though, by the default of being a very gigantic port with a solid supply of industry, commerce, and technological contributions.

Atlanta is not a port, and that hurts it tremendously. If it were a port, it would almost definitely be international. It is a hub though, which is the next best thing. Charlotte will probably follow in its footsteps as a hub. For the record though, I don't consider Atlanta an international city.

Huge:

Charlotte yes, Raleigh no. Not soon enough to matter anyway.

Tech Contributions:

Charlotte no, Raleigh yes.

Corporate center:

Charlotte yes, Raleigh no. However, Charlotte is a bit of a one-trick pony with what types of commerce it attracts. It needs to break that loop, or be the king of it.

Megaport:

Both no.

Capital:

For the purposes of international importance, both no. If NC were a more influential state like Texas, California, or New York, being the capital of it would matter for something, but otherwise no.

I could go in-depth about education, but basically it doesn't matter. A large enough city will pull the qualified professionals from other areas reliably without having to fall back on its own output. Raleigh, conversely, will be an exporter of students. Many won't stay in Raleigh. So they can't contribute to the city's overall progress.

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Here is a good definition of a world-class city, namely the "Global City."

Criteria are listed below. I have bolded and underlined any criterion for which Charlotte fits the bill.

I do not think any of NC's other cities will readily achieve this status in our lifetimes. I think that the city with the greatest name recognition may increasingly be Asheville, since it is such a powerful tourist draw.

I'd say that several NC cities might be able to pull it off, because I'm certain for any it will be a long, long time.

Looking at present developments, my top picks would be Charlotte and Asheville.

The Triangle has the edge on both in some critical areas, but the Triangle is also de-centered, with 4 primary cities in 3 counties - Raleigh is a lot bigger than Chapel Hill, but both have high recognition nationally, and Chapel Hill and Durham have a huge international postgrad student population, and reputations that continue to attract. Ditto for the draw of RTP. But there's also the Raleigh-Durham factor - the hyphen undercuts rrecognition, and I've corrected people out of the region as to whether it's one city or two. Apart from students, hipsters, r&d people and techies, the Triangle has identity issues.

Charlotte is starting to outgrow the Ch-factor, and the finance mecca status is a big asset. Other aspects of Charlotte - arts, culture, etc. - need to catch up, but there's still a lot of work on those fronts. Size and sparkly developments aren't everything - I also have friends from other parts of the world who were a little fuzzy on Atlanta's whereabouts, and Atlanta has been working on being world-class for a long, long time. Thus, Charlotte doesn't just need to develop arts, culture, education, nightlife, but needs to become known regionally, nationally (like a Santa Fe-league art scene, or a Seattle league music scene, a tech-start up sector that draws front page press beyond the South, grassroots culture that is known beyond the region, film fest of the caliber of Cannes/Venice/Sundance/Toronto, tourist draws beyond the theme park level - all as tip of the iceberg). Charlotte has proactive leadership - years and years more of it might make it happen.

I'd also suggest Asheville - smaller, and more commited to sustainable growth, but the combination of natural beauty, Biltmore and the Parkway, the art community (one does hear Asheville being compared favorably to San Fran or Santa Fe). Its reputation is bigger than its population of 80,000 would suggest, and leaders from cities bigger and smaller (Gastonia and Durham spring to mind) have toured there - downtown primarily - for revitalization ideas they could take home. Only one university there, and it's a smallish one, and Asheville does need to diversify beyond a service-sector economy, which will be tough with Charlotte, the Triangle and Atlanta all in the vicinity.

I don't see any of the three having much of any international geopolitical influence anytime soon - standing 'em up next to Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London it's no contest. World-renowned universities may be a ways off as well - it's doable, but politics and money, and a community commitment to prioritize it. Ditto for museums. How does one create Oxford U, or the Louvre, or the kind of internationalism that exists in NYC, Toronto, San Fran? Or the domestic equivalent of the expatriate communites seen from Tokyo to London (and many places between)?

Doing it would take decades, generations for sure - 100 yeras ago Wilmington and Winston-Salem were the largest cities in NC; who knows what will happen in another 100 years. It doesn't seem likely now, but RTP and Charlotte may be rust-belt, and Urban Planet people in 2106 might be having this conversation about Hickory or Lumberton, or Roanoke, or Johnson City.

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This has been a terrific thread. As for Houston, while I don't think I'd ever want to visit, it's certainly well above Charlotte and Atlanta. Here's why:

Name recognition? Yes. Hub of American oil industry, with global reach, and strongly associated with NASA: "Houston, we have a problem."

World influence: see aerospace and oil industries.

Population: sprawling, but they have it.

Massive Airport? Check.

Advanced transportation? Kind of like Atlanta- canceresque highway hypertrophy, but a much stronger bus network than Atlanta and a new rail system. I'll reluctantly give Houston the points here because of its shipping channel.

Corporate HQs with global reach. Yes, again due to oil.

Advanced communications, yes. (every city of moderate size in the US pretty much fits this bill)

Sporting culture? yes, several pro teams.

I see Houston as only missing the following three, which again, I think you can link to a lack of strong universities and no history as an immigrant gateway.

* In the West, several international cultures and communities (such as a Chinatown, a Little Italy, or other immigrant communities). In other parts of the world, such as Asia, cities which attract large foreign businesses and related expatriate communities, for example Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Moscow.

* World-renowned cultural institutions, such as museums and universities.

* A lively cultural scene, including film festivals, premieres, a thriving music or theatre scene; an orchestra, an opera company, art galleries, and street performers.

With worldwide oil supplies likely to enter decline soon, Houston is poised for even more importance as prices rise, and then a fantastic fall as scarcity sets in.

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While Wikipedia goes into full detail as to what constitutes the qualifiers for world class, I think it is almost laughable at what level they place San Fran. Yes, it is a powerful city, but on a worldwide recognition level? Not so much. SF does not deserve to be on the level as Sydney and Toronto.

If you asked where Miami is to somebody in Tokyo, Moscow or Paris, they could probably tell you. This is in light that they place Miami in the lowest bracket of World Class. It is, by far, one of the US's more recognizable cities. Atlanta should not be on this list at any level but honorable mention. It is a large city, many international corporations like CocaCola reside there, but it is not recognizable world wide. I mean, they put Atl on the same level as Berlin, Miami, and Minneapolis... Minneapolis?!? I do, however, completely agree with their list of Alpha cities though.

Charlotte and/or the Triangle do not even get honorable mentions because they are just now reaching for National status. Baby steps everybody, baby steps. You can't run with the bulls until you learn to walk.

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