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ainulindale

Very Irritating--Global City

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What really irritates me is that Pittsburgh didn't even get a single point in Global City formation. The link below is directed to a wikipedia article; if you look down at the large list of "other criteria" Pittsburgh offers virtually everything mentioned and even excels in some of the criteria. I realize that Pittsburgh's hinterland is very domestically focused but I think we should have gotten at least a point. Do you think this is fair? What can be done to increase Pittsburgh's "global importance."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

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It's the same old same old. It looks like we meet several of the criteria. I doubt some of the other cities listed (Columbus, Kansas City) meet any more than we do. I swear people just forget Pittsburgh is here.

If it makes you feel any better, I searched the page for the following other cities and came up with nothing: Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Orlando, Milwauki, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, Portland, and Saint Louis.

I'm sure we could put together a strong argument for giving us at least one or two points, and you could probably do the same for many of the cities I listed above.

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Heck, they even gave Cleveland 2 points!

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I think the World Cities Project is both interesting and useful. Pittsburgh was in the research spotlight for the 2005 Brookings report (authored by the founder of the World Cities Project) on the global connectivity of US cities. The metrics are still in the experimental stage, but the aim of the WCP is to develop data on global cities, as opposed to trying to disaggregate all the state-centric data.

They looked at 120 cities in the United States. Pittsburgh was dead last concerning international orientation of a city's urban network. Whether that is a good or bad thing is an open question. Making it into another case of Burgh bashing is absurd. The data analysis is plenty rigorous. What I find useful is the network profile of a given city. The report lists the top 30 cities for a given city's "connectivity."

Pittsburgh's most intense urban relationship? DC. You can also see how important Pittsburgh is for other cities. Take NYC, the alpha world city. Pittsburgh is 11th on NYC's list. Philly is 25th. SF is 23rd. LA? 18th. In fact, there are only 3 US cities ahead of Pittsburgh concerning NYC's hinterworld. Ironically, NYC is behind 14 other US cities when we consider Pittburgh connectivity profile.

Anyone care to guess the most important city outside of the US for Pittsburgh?

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Somewhere in Germany is my guess.

I would like to know why were last on the list. It seems like a decent number of foreign companies have a presence here. Bayer being the most prominant, which is why I guessed Germany above.

I would also like to know how far we came in behind other cities. Sometimes being last doesn't mean as much as it sounds like. Inherently, when you rank things someone has to be last. Which is why I tend to hate rankings of cities in general - people make too much of them sometimes.

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I'm not suprised that we rank so highly on NYC's list considering they keep gobbling up our Fortune 500s (Alcoa, Mellon)

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Germany is a good guess, but not a single German city is in Pittsburgh's top 30 (both US and international cities). Think about where Pittsburgh-based businesses have offices and provide a lot of professional services. That's the metric. Foreign presence in Pittsburgh would provide a very different-looking profile. In that sense, the rankings do not tell us how cosmopolitan the city of Pittsburgh is. What we are considering is how global is Pittsburgh's outlook.

I actually misinformed all of you about the data set. Pittsburgh is 120th out of 120 GLOBAL cities.

Some interesting caveats:

Denver ranks 73rd in terms of global connectivity rankings, but when you look at domestic orientation scores (1.0 being completely domestic and 0.0 being completely international): Denver, Pittsburgh (120), and Indy (114) all score a perfect 1.0. The domestic orientation scores help give us some idea of the variance in play. For example, DC (37) scores 0.926. Miami (25) scores 0.741. While NYC (2, with London being number 1) scores a whopping 0.481.

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Oh, um, I'm not sure where all local companies have offices. I am guessing maybe China. Pretty sure Westinghouse is doing some work there. So somewhere in China is my guess.

120 out of 120 global cities doesn't sound so bad. Not compared to what you originally said :)

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There's no reason why Pittsburgh can't rate as one of the top 100 global cities, whatever that is worth. San Diego is ranked 98th and their domestic orientation score is still relatively high at 0.981.

The EU is much more globally oriented than the US (our cities dominate the bottom of the rankings).

No Chinese cities topping Pittsburgh's international hinterland.

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More guesses...

-Somewhere in Mexico (Alcoa has plants down there)

-Doha, Qatar (CMU campus there)

-Sydney (totally random guess)

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Here are the non-domestic cities in Pittsburgh's top 30:

Rotterdam (21)

Stockholm (23)

Brisbane (24)

Riyadh (25)

Perth (26)

Vancouver (27)

Rio de Janeiro (28)

Adelaide (30)

The Australia link is strong.

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I think the World Cities Project is both interesting and useful. Pittsburgh was in the research spotlight for the 2005 Brookings report (authored by the founder of the World Cities Project) on the global connectivity of US cities. The metrics are still in the experimental stage, but the aim of the WCP is to develop data on global cities, as opposed to trying to disaggregate all the state-centric data.

They looked at 120 cities in the United States. Pittsburgh was dead last concerning international orientation of a city's urban network. Whether that is a good or bad thing is an open question. Making it into another case of Burgh bashing is absurd. The data analysis is plenty rigorous. What I find useful is the network profile of a given city. The report lists the top 30 cities for a given city's "connectivity."

Pittsburgh's most intense urban relationship? DC. You can also see how important Pittsburgh is for other cities. Take NYC, the alpha world city. Pittsburgh is 11th on NYC's list. Philly is 25th. SF is 23rd. LA? 18th. In fact, there are only 3 US cities ahead of Pittsburgh concerning NYC's hinterworld. Ironically, NYC is behind 14 other US cities when we consider Pittburgh connectivity profile.

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Do you have a link to that report on global connectivity?

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If you go on to wikipedia under "global city" down to the external links you will find it. However, I believe the Bookings site for that article is currently down. If your looking for the primary study, I don't know where to find it but if you go to wikipedia under "global city" I'm sure you'll find the source there.

Also, does anyone know whether or not Pittsburgh is still ranked with a point or not? Wikipedia took Pittsburgh off the list of cities with one point. Was there a more recent study done that changed this?

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Link to Globalization and World Cities project site.

Brookings has overhauled its website recently and the study is AWOL. That's Mickey Mouse for an outfit such as Brookings, but I shouldn't let that bother me. I have a hard copy of the paper and I'm still looking to see if the GaWC has a working link. Do check out the website. At the very least, you can explore the various methodologies and metrics.

Here is an article on the study:

Connectivity: a Barometer of Economic Health

I'm not sure if the link to the report in that article works or not.

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I've seen that study before.... and I do agree with Pittsburgh's placement in the 6th tier.

Globalburgh, where do you think the opportunity exists for Pittsburgh to carve out a stronger global niche (aka Detroit's auto niche, Houston's energy dominance)? Can our high-profile health care and/or education sectors propel us into Tier V some day? Or will we always be a well-rounded minor regional center?

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Globalburgh, where do you think the opportunity exists for Pittsburgh to carve out a stronger global niche (aka Detroit's auto niche, Houston's energy dominance)? Can our high-profile health care and/or education sectors propel us into Tier V some day? Or will we always be a well-rounded minor regional center?

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I'm not suprised that we rank so highly on NYC's list considering they keep gobbling up our Fortune 500s (Alcoa, Mellon)

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The Australia connection is surprising. Apparently my Sydney guess wasn't too far off.

I would be interested in learning what, sepcifically, connects us with those places.

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I took a look at that list and I noticed that most of the cities on the list had at least 500K people. There are a few notable exceptions here and there like Atlanta and Miami which are both under 500K and Geneva which is well under 500K but each of these cities are prominent enough that not including them would have been blasphemy.

Pittsburgh's population, according to the census estimate of 2005, is 316K, which is less than places like Wichita, Anaheim, Santa Ana (CA), Arlington (TX), and Mesa and it's just slightly larger than places like Toledo, Aurora (CO), Baskersfield (CA), Riverside (CA), Stockton (CA), and Corpus Christi. Pittsburgh is only the 58th largest city in the US. In other words, as a city, Pittsburgh simply would NOT show up on the radar map of a global survey and none of those other cities listed above were in the survey either. It still doesn't explain why Richmond (193K) made it on the list and Pittsburgh didn't and that probably is because, for some reason, Richmond is on the radar. However, for the most part, cities of Pittsburgh's size didn't get on the list.

Yes, yes, the metro area is what really counts and the metro area is 2.4 million. However, I think when a global study is conducted, it may be too hard to look at metro areas since different countries have different standards by which to describe metro areas. For instance, "metro" Amsterdam has only 2.1 million people but the Randstand (the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht megaopolis of which Amsterdam is the effective urban core) has 6.6 million and this is why Amsterdam has such prominence in the world. Similarly, Frankfurt has a metro population of just 1.5 million but it is the center of the Rhine-Main urban area which has 6 million people, which is why Frankfurt is up there in global prominence. So metro is kind of an arbitrary measurement as well and would also belie the imporance of certain cities.

My guess is that they had to cut off somewhere and actual city population was probably considered a "good enough" guide as to which cities are important enough to include in the survey. After all, for most of the world, actual city population does track with metro population pretty well. The situation of Pittsburgh, where the city accounts for 1/8th the population of the metro, is pretty unique when compared to cities globally.

In any event, I thought the survey got the "world cities" (the alpha, beta, and gamma cities) dead on. Where it started getting ridiculous was when they started delving into the cities with "evidence of world city formation". The "3 point" cities seem to all belong there. However, once you get to 1 and 2 point cities, it gets very hazy. I think, by that point, the cities are ranked so lowly that the difference between 1 point and 2 points is pretty slim. Also, sicne there are so many 1 and 2 point cities, they probably didn't bother studying them all and just chose a representative amount.

For my 2 cents, I'd put Pittsburgh as either a 1 point or 2 point city.

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