CS5 - London, a global city
What are the characteristics of a global city?

1. An attractive city
• The need to be competitive
- A powerful economy : new hi-tech creative digital clusters (computer services and software) in Tech City and Silicon Roundabout (1E).
- A good image since the 2012 Olympics (1E) => attracts investors, highly-skilled workers & visitors. But must be open (free trade, open borders) => restricted immigration & Brexit = danger.
• A connected hub
- Multipolar airport system with Heathrow primary airport and 5 secondary airports specialised in budget low-cost carriers or business flights + multimodal transport hub with fast connections to motorways and Eurostar
=> International connectivity for business and tourism to the Olympic Park (1E) and the 5 CBDs, for example the Docklands (1E)so multipolar financial centre,
• A less multicultural, a more cosmopolitan city
- Success story: Sadiq Khan first Muslim mayor elected in May 2016, the son of a Pakistani bus driver from a deprived neighbourhood
BUT with a cost: traditional Chinatown victim of gentrification and stricter immigration rules to restrict low-skilled labour,
+ New trend: Chinese affluent newcomers, tourists, students and investors, (emerging BRIC middle and upper class) settle along social and not racial lines: less racial segregation, more social polarisation.

2. New challenges
• London, a sustainable city?
- Assets: economic growth, good business ecosystem, global trade hub + environmental green city with Central London congestion charge to reduce car use (1E)
- Drawbacks: quality of life (no affordable housing) leading to urban sprawl and polarisation global super-rich / local deprived and middle-class Londoners (1E) + inner London public transport congestion & outer London commuter car pollution and congestion (1E)
• The Shard: a new approach to regeneration
- A mixed-use (retail, tourism, business) skyscraper built on a transport hub in a deprived district => inner city sustainable densification & regeneration project (but risk of polarisation local/new gentrified population)
+ Modern architecture to project power: in the interest of London business and mayor = global re-imaging to attract investors
BUT debate history/modernity: new hi-rise skyline detrimental to historic monuments (and tourist attractions) which had to be protected by the Greater London Authority in 2007
• The new mayor priorities
- Better transport infrastructure to reduce congestion on a local scale and improve international air connectivity to BRICS
- More affordable housing to avoid polarisation (super-gentrification) and urban sprawl due to evicted lower & middle-class Londoners (1E)
- Boost financial & digital sectors (fintech) of service economy to stay ahead as a global financial power
=> double strategy: more sustainable / more powerful city