Global city regions and the location of logistics activity

The aim of this paper is to extend and develop research surrounding the links between transport and urban regions. An understanding of transport activity has long involved the use of spatial frameworks, seen in the idea of a gateway city (with its surrounding hinterland) and in the identification of hubs or nodes. The particular framework used here is the global city region, a build-out from the much researched global city, and acknowledged as the most prominent feature of spatial development in the global economy. As these areas can accommodate important sea and airport infrastructure, the global city region can be expected to play a significant role in global logistics. Whether that significance extends just from the physical realm, as reflected in the infrastructure, or whether it is embedded in the scale and complexity of the advanced business services sector within the global city, is the issue that lies at the heart of the research. The research has set out to answer the question: "How important are these regions in logistics activity?". The question has relevance in the context of transport geography as it provides an urban structure perspective on what is commonly seen as separate port or airport activity. Its relevance is enhanced as its answer relies upon a simultaneous analysis of both sea and air freight activity. Results show these regions counted for a substantial and growing share of sea and air freight between 1996 and 2006. In accounting for that outcome the research explores the particular effect of infrastructure (showing that global city regions with multiple seaport and airports play a special role) and also isolates the links with global city functions. The paper concludes with some insight on the special challenge these places create for strategic urban planning policy.


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  • Accession Number: 01155130
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 13 2010 7:41AM