22 thoughts on “Blog Exercise Seven

  1. Reblogged this on All for class and commented:
    Icons of a city: Cities have been creating icons in or around the city to set it apart from other major cities. This has been going on for centuries, look back at ancient Rome and the colosseum. Rome had many iconic buildings in its era but the closseum is what I instantly think of when the city of ancient Rome is mentioned. Today with global metropolitansim in full swing, cities are coming up with ways to iconify their city. Cities all across the world are beginning to look the same, high rise modern buildings, neon advertisement and they want a way to set themselves apart. Take Dubai for example, the average person had never paid much attention to the city until Dubai constructed a sting of man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree in the Persian Gulf. Now the city is also known for the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building. In the United States you can look at San Francisco’s skyline and you can see the Transamerica Pyramid towering above all the other buildings in the city. Even more notable is the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and the United States (www.sanfrancisco.travel.com). Las Vegas Nevada is best known for its bright eye catching neon lights that cover every single casino. These neon lights, and the obvious other reasons, have made Las Vegas internationally recognizable. But it’s not always about the buildings.
    Many cities are best known for the surrounding landscape. Cape Town South Africa is known for Table Mountain. Table Mountain provides a very unique back drop for the city. The mountain has near vertical cliffs that face Cape Town and a unique flat top. Vancouver Canada and Shenzhen China both have unique geographic locations. The cities have a beautiful skyline filled with massive skyscrapers that are towered by distant mountain ranges. Shenzhen has even decorated its water front skyscrapers with vivid neon lights that reflect off the water giving the city a colorful look. A city can also have historical icons, think about Istanbul, Turkey for a moment. The entire city is covered in history, even surrounded by it. The original Byzantine walls, the Bosphorus itself, and most notably the Hagia Sophia. All of these and many more serve as Istanbul’s icons and these icons draw in tourist which brings income into the city. There is also religious icons in cities; Istanbul has the Blue mosque, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, St Peters Square in Rome, and Mecca in Saudi Arabia. A city’s icon can be meant to provide a historical symbolic image, a religious symbol, or it just so happened that a bridge constructed for transportation purposes ends up being a city’s greatest icon, recognized internationally.
    The images above give a great depiction of city icons from all over the world. From China to Britain, North to South America. Major cities all across the world are slowly being to look more and more alike. But look closely and you will see that each and every one of them is different in their own way.

  2. The series of images above illustrate how cities have developed icons to distinguish themselves in the context of the “Global City.” It is important to first understand the global context within which these icons occur. With the globalization of the economy and vast improvement to communication systems (the internet), cities around the world have more and more become homogeneous. Primarily southern global cities have become increasingly like cities of the global northern in their look and feel. The global economy has meant yet another shift for the function of the central business district. It is in the CBD that corporations are building their headquarters. The buildings that these corporations build often act as icons themselves. After World War II, when corporations were growing quickly, there was an explosion of iconic buildings constructed in the city center. Some of my favorites are the Inland Steel Building, designed by SOM (a corporate architecture firm) in Chicago, the Seagrams Building design by Mies Van Deh Rohe, and the art deco Chrysler Building designed by William Van Alen. These buildings were built to demonstrate the wealth and power of the corporation. (An early predecessor of these tower buildings is the Carson Pirie Scott building which was built to celebrate the rise of consumerism and the department store in Chicago – an analogous shift earlier in the century.)
    Outside of tall buildings however, there are other ways in which cities built icons. Some cities were fortunate to have pre-industrial monuments that function as icons. Usually these pre-industrial built icons were religious or civic structures. Rome is a city littered with such monuments. The Coliseum, St. Peters, and the Pantheon are examples of civic and religious structures, from various time periods and ideologies, but nonetheless focal points in the city that quickly distinguish Rome from many other cities. Some built icons come in the form of infrastructure. Bridges, such as the Golden Gate in San Francisco and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, often serves as icons because of their location on the edges of cities, their literal and figural gateway function, and their size and scale. I think infrastructure is also an interesting example of icon because they are generally investments of public dollars. Infrastructure represents the degree to which government (local or national) value image and public services. Within this context it is interesting to look at Minneapolis and the collapse of the I-35 bridge. The collapse was a symbol of the crumbling American infrastructure and a sad moment in the city’s history. The new bridge however, represents a new direction for the city; an icon for the city recreating itself. It is sleek, connected with the city’s green network, and light at night to create an exciting image for the city. Other forms of icon that a city can take on are through exploiting its natural setting. Mountains and harbors are good examples of naturally occurring environments that serve as beacons for cities. In Sydney, Australia the harbor is marked with the opera house and the combination of built and natural forms create a clear image for the city.

  3. Reblogged this on Neverending Wanderlust and commented:
    In recent history, global urban areas have become increasingly homogenized. Instead of each major city having its own unique feel, global cities are all starting to look the same, whether they are located in the global north or the global south. Thanks to globalization, architectural styles and components are not restricted to certain areas, but can be sent across the world in a very short time. This has allowed cities of the global south to build shiny new buildings in a largely successful attempt to look like cities of the global north. Globalization has also spread certain ideas from the global north about transportation, housing, and lifestyles, which can all affect the form of a city.

    Today, cities want to have icons to distinguish themselves from the mass of homogenized global cities. Many older cities are lucky and can rely on older icons to fulfill this function. For some cities, the surrounding landscape can serve as an icon. These cities are usually surrounded by mountains, a harbor, or both. The landscape can be enhanced with constructed monuments, like the Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro on top of a mountain. Very old cities can rely on historical monuments to serve as icons. Rome, for example, has the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica, Paris has Notre Dame, and Athens has the Acropolis. Other cities can rely on not just individual buildings as icons, but whole districts of the city. Some of these cities include Miami Beach, which has the Art Deco District, and New Orleans, which has the French Quarter.

    In the 19th century, the idea of creating constructed icons for a city started becoming more popular. A city could choose what represented it to the world. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was constructed to serve as the centerpiece for the World’s Fair, and is now the most well known icon of the city. As more time progressed, the skyscraper quickly became the ideal icon, for both cities and corporations. The Chrysler Building in New York City represented both Chrysler and the city to the people around the world who were awe-struck by its art deco elegance.

    After World War II, global cities really began to focus on the construction of icons as a way to brand and distinguish themselves. Skyscrapers remained a popular choice for this, such as the Shard and the Gherkin in London, the TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Taipei 101, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. For some cities, the skyline, instead of individual buildings, can serve as an icon. The best example of this is New York City, whose skyline contains many iconic skyscrapers, including the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the new One World Trade Center. Other types of buildings, not just skyscrapers, can serve as icons as well, like the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai and the Sydney Opera House. Certain infrastructure can also become iconic, especially bridges. Because they connect the city to the outside world and bring people in, bridges are often iconic. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, Tower Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and many others serve as icons for their cities.

  4. Reblogged this on crainer2014 Urban Geography and commented:
    The international integration of society through globalization has changed the way in which global cities develop and compete for renown, expressed through icons which in turn write the narrative of cultural and economic prowess within the shrinking expanse of an interconnected global society. The global cities included in the images each provides an iconic image that describes the city as an icon in terms of globalization through pre-industrial icons and constructed icons that set the backdrop for the modern global metropolis.
    The industrial revolution set the stage for the exponential advance in technology that propelled the Western world into the modern age by the 20th century. With this advance in technology came the advent of modern globalization in the world economy, which in turn propelled global advertising and global consumerism to its current status and made possible the creation of homogenous cities throughout the world, bringing the Western lifestyle to any city on the globe. A differentiating characteristic of a modern global city has come to be represented by a specific icon or icons within a city, creating a uniqueness that can be identified as that city’s own within the sea of homogeneity.
    The Golden Gate Bridge is an example of a constructed icon that uniquely identifies San Francisco, California, which in addition to the Transamerica Pyramid creates the iconic San Francisco skyline that would seem rather ambiguous without these unique icons. Elsewhere, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has to be among one of the most identifying icons of this metropolis, displaying beautiful Art Deco architecture whose construction became a symbol of Brazilian Christianity and an icon for all of Brazil. For the Aussies, the Sydney Opera House, which almost instinctually comes to mind when mentioning Sydney, has become a unique icon for the metropolis of Sydney, Australia, providing a venue for the performing arts and becoming one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, producing unique cultural prestige for this global city. In London, England the skyline is dominated by The Shard, an 87 story skyscraper that is atypical of most major city centers in Europe, whose skyscrapers tend to be built on the edges, avoiding the central business districts. Finally, the image of Hong Kong, China at night with its expansive skyline and vibrant neon lights displays the true extent of globalization and Hong Kong’s role in the global economy.
    All of these unique structures and landscapes have come to represent global cities as icons in modern society, where globalization has created homogeneity among our global cities. New icons will seemingly continue to be constructed or rediscovered as the global economy expands and corporate and cultural identity come to the forefront. Yet, as the global city becomes structured more and more in a homogenous fashion, it may become increasingly more difficult to distinguish our cities in the near future if not at the present time. Ultimately, our icons become not just unique identifiers of our particular cities, but become necessary heritage sites to remind us of who we once were, before we became automatons for consumerism.

  5. Reblogged this on jennnyp123 and commented:
    Through out the 20th century we have seen the development of a true global economy in an increasingly interconnected world. Today cities all over the world look more and more similar with an emerging image of the ideal metropolis through global advertising and the necessity of a central business district with certain primary functions. Cities of the global south are now geared towards the markets of the global north and must compete with these economies on all levels. This idea is facilitated by a growing global middle class, currently 50 percent of the worlds population, with discretionary income and a desire to participate in the global market. Today supplies can be shipped all over the world allowing the actual components of city building to be universalized. Popular culture, food, and even clothing stores are no longer confined to a particular region and are a clear indication of this new global metropolis. As a result, major cities all over the globe have iconic features which provide their own unique identity and distinguish themselves from other major urban centers. This concept has been prevalent for centuries yet has gained vast importance in recent decades.
    Constructed icons can take on many forms such as buildings, skylines, different infrastructure and religious icons. In the 20th century there has been a huge rise in corporate identity and the development of the central business district. Major corporations began to build massive headquarters in city centers often as an expression of power and wealth. These buildings themselves can act as major icons such as the world famous Chrysler building in New York city or the Transamerica pyramid in San Francisco. Especially after world war II, cities began to look for ways to set themselves apart usually with the construction massive buildings and the development of recognizable skylines. Today cities are often distinguished in this way, such as the Shenzhen skyline, which has countless skyscrapers with neon lights reflected off the water giving it a rainbow glow. Another example is Dubai which boasts the recent construction of the Burj Khalifa or the largest man made building in the world.
    Civic and religious structures can also act as icons for major cities. Infrastructure such as bridges often provide individuality and implications of concepts such as a dedication to public services. The golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, for example, is perhaps the cities most recognizable feature. The opera house in Sydney Australia is another example of an icon which is physically unique as well as indicative of a cultural focus in the region. Also pictured above is the statue of Christ in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil which acts as a symbol of Brazilian Christianity and an icon for the city and Brazil itself. These elaborate structures assert individuality and have far reaching cultural implications.
    Many cities have historic or pre industrial icons which help distinguish them from the global city. Rome, for example, has many historic structures such as the coliseum and st. Peters basilica which act as major icons. Some cities have entire architectural districts which helped maintain a unique identity for the region. The French Quarter in New Orleans, for example, has a rich historic culture and can be easily identified by its structure and design. Many other historic cities enjoy a natural landscape which acts as a defining feature. These cities are often surrounded by mountains or other natural features which enhance the regions beauty and individuality. Capetown in South Africa or the city of Vancouver are both examples of major cities where giant mountains provide a unique backdrop. Cities now have the ability to develop and define their own individuality through different means. With decreasing cultural division it is interesting to consider the balancing act of maintaining communities that can participate in an interconnected global society while retaining their own sense of place.


                             Growing up just outside Denver, my first credible memory of the city came in the form of a gigantic blue bear. Standing well over 30 feet, this monumental statue can be seen peeking into the higher windows of the Denver Convention Center lobby. I recall seeing the bear and thinking… whose job is it to build these fantastic creatures and were there anymore hidden throughout the city? It was not until I was much older that I began to appreciate that bear as not just art or a joyful folly but as a piece of MY city, a representation of myself as well as thousands of other Coloradans, we give these creations meaning and purpose. This class has taught me that a city is just an inevitable consequence of human nature, and we fill our cities with pieces of ourselves; from towering skyscrapers all the way to playful forest dwellers. As we discussed on Thursday, a modern global city must continually try and forge an individual identity, separating its self from the other countless metropolitan cities springing up all around the world. The Roman’s understood the opportunity in marble and pillar, and the relationship between power and recognition. They essentially wrote the book on monumentality and the creation of a cultural identity.

     As evidence in the images from the post, these monuments are instantly recognizable. It is the collective imagery of these different monuments and skyscrapers that begins to create a holistic identity for a city. These skylines and topographies become symbiotic with the people who possess them. San Francisco wouldn’t be the same without The Golden Gate Bridge, or the Transamerica Pyramid. Rio De Janeiro wouldn’t be the same without it’s white stone guardian (or it’s Favelas. Some monuments are not intentional or beautiful). All of these man-made totems act as symbolic representations of a cities’ spirit and character. Hell, can you remember a movie set in New York that doesn’t show a shot of the Chrysler Building?  

    Collectively these monuments also forge a visual bridge between where a city has been and where it is going. Take for example, Chicago. After the great fire, there was an explosion of construction and subsequent architectural innovation, resulting in the foundation (Ha, structural puns) upon which modern skyscraper technology now sits (Thank you Burnham and Root). Buildings such as the Monadnock, which opened in 1893, have stood occupied for over a century. While only a short walk away, Mies Van der Rohe’s Federal Center stands as the epitome of a “modern” Chicago. The variety and age of a single Chicago city block is a microcosm for how far our cities have come. Everyday cities strive to build and become more than “just” a city, but the increased pressure of a globalized market has put the burner on high so to speak. Due to the increased speed of information, and communication we have begun to reach an unprecedented pace creation. The technological curve is exponential. Dubai won’t stop building monstrosities of steel and glass because they are investing in the notoriety of possessing the tallest structure in the world. Architectural hubris is a wonderful thing.     

  7. Reblogged this on maybeokay and commented:
    The images depict global cities—London, San Francisco, Sydney, etc. What exactly qualifies a city as “global” (and determines the degree of its global importance) often varies in terms of language and metrics, but generally a few broad categories separate these cities from their innumerable, more locally-oriented counterparts. Economic functions are the most obvious: global cities are “a significant production point of specialized financial and producer services” which are integrated into the global economy (Renn). This includes services that are directly related to currency—banking institutions, stock exchanges, investment firms, and so forth—as well as globally-operating revenue producing services and companies, spanning a more diverse variety of purposes: advertising, legal operations, production headquarters, etc. Altogether, such economic activities mean that global cities are places which “concentrate a greater share of national financial activity” than other cities (Sassen).

    Capital, however, is important in determining the “global” status of a city in more ways than money. Human capital is significant as well: the size, education level, diversity, and status of the population in an area. So too is cultural capital, in terms of both the collection of cultural venues (modern and historic) and the culture generated by the population and environment of “human rights, openness and diversity, crime, [and] cultural vibrancy” (Renn). In addition to these, political power (globally) and participation, attractiveness and environment, and infrastructure (including public transportation, international air travel, and technology) are all important factors in creating a global city.

    Increasing globalization has a strong hand in most of these factors—less perhaps in regards to infrastructure, but definitely in terms of economics, culture, and population features—and thus in raising certain cities to world status. It is ironic, then, that globalization is also responsible for obscuring many distinctions between cities, paving over local cultures with imported ads, services, businesses, products, houses, and so forth; generating similar settings, styles, and skylines in cities (global or not) around the world.

    A distinct city is thus increasingly the result of icons. At times, such icons are natural, the result of a city’s surrounding environment creating a unique image. This is the case with Tokyo, Japan, whose dense cityscape is made recognizable by the looming form of nearby Mt. Fuji, and Cape Town, South Africa, which is partially enclosed by Table Mountain. Icons can also come from historic sources—ancient monuments, churches, etc.—such as the many churches and Roman ruins associated with Rome, the palaces and canals of Venice, the Santa Maria del Fiore of Florence.

    More recently constructed icons are also important to distinguishing cities and run the gambit from infrastructure (San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge) and commercial (New York’s Chrysler Building) to religious (Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer) or just plain tall (Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Seattle’s Space Needle—both World’s Fair buildings). Such buildings and features help create recognizable skylines while city branding helps generate a communicable (and somewhat unified) impression of a place. The importance of such icons and imprints are tied to the factors that qualify a city as global; distinct, attractive, historic, cultural, interesting cities are places people want to visit, live, work, spend money, and have businesses. These, then, are the places that attract human, economic, and cultural capital, that necessitate infrastructure developments, and that become capable of evoking images and impressions in those who not only know a place, but know of it.

    Renn, Aaron. “What is a global city?.” New Geography. N.p., 07 Dec 2012. Web. 16 Mar 2014. .

    Sassen, Saskia. “The Global City: Introducing a Concept.” . Brown Journal of World Affairs, n.d. Web. 16 Mar 2014. .

  8. Reblogged this on sbw09 and commented:
    These are images of icons–buildings, monuments, bridges, places of worship–anything that makes cities easily identifiable. Nearly every major city in the world has at least one icon: Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has “Big Ben,” Rio de Janeiro has the open-armed Jesus statue on a high mountaintop, New York has Lady Liberty, and so on. When I think of St. Louis, I think of the Gateway Arch, and for San Francisco, it’s the Golden Gate Bridge. Cities build interesting and unique icons in an effort to make their city stand out and to draw in people, business, and tourists; they try to “market” their city (popupcity.net). “City marketing… is a necessary consequence of the fact that cities have to compete in an international field in which accessibility of places and information has grown exponentially” (popupcity.net). A prime modern example of this is Dubai, which in recent years has completely transformed its landscape and skyline, from the palm tree-shaped islands to the Burj Khalifa, now the world’s tallest building at over 2,700 feet tall (burjkhalifa.ae).
    Preindustrial icons included landscapes such as mountains or harbors, cathedrals and other monuments, and civic/cultural districts. Many of the icons of Europe’s large cities date from this time period: Britain’s inner city is dotted with 16th-17th century buildings, while its newer commercial district (the Docklands) lies outside. Paris is very similar: its inner city contains centuries-old icons (Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, namely), and while its outlying central business district is modern and important, the city is almost exclusively known for its two great inner-city monuments. Washington, D.C., another similar city, features its many characteristic monuments and governmental buildings in the city center, and the CBD on the outskirts.
    The 19th/early 20th century city took icon-building to a new level. New York and Chicago began building skyscrapers. The Chrysler Building, and later the Empire State Building, became symbols of New York. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was also built during this time period. “Once called ‘the bridge that couldn’t be built,’ today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world” (sanfrancisco.travel).
    The post-WWII “global city” model took this even farther. Every country, big city, government, etc., wants a piece of the global pie; everyone wants to be like and look like everyone else, from wearing suits and ties to having the hottest store and restaurant chains and having big tall, fully-glass skyscrapers. All the while, they want to remain unique, so they build elaborate icons of any kind to not only get as much attention and likeness as rest of the world but to also be different from the world. This is an aspect of globalization—the world is becoming more and more of a network and “the cities are the nodes within that network” (popupcity.net). Communication is needed in this global network, and icons help communicate a city’s attraction, power, etc. (popupcity.net). Icons perhaps will be a necessity to keep a city on the world map. Icons throughout history, have been built to make statements of a city’s power and advantage over other cities. In the future, icons may be built just to be even with every other city.

  9. Reblogged this on jwpruss and commented:
    These cities are arguably some of the greatest cities in the world. They are global cities. A global city is a city that is a focus of world finance, commerce, and trade. Three geographers at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom established the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. The GaWC came up with a ranking system that ranks cities based on their connectivity to the world economy as well as the four “advanced producer services” which include: accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, and law. The ranking scale is as follows

    Alpha ++ – New York City and London. Most integrated into the global economy
    Alpha + – fill advanced nicheds in the global economy and complement London and New York City
    Alpha – links major economic regions to the global economy
    Beta – links moderate economic regions to the global economy
    Gamma – link smaller economic regions to the global economy
    Sufficient – have a sufficient degree of services and not obviously dependent on the global economy

    The city at the top of the collage is Hong Kong. It’s ranking is Alpha +
    San Francisco is ranked Alpha-
    Rio de Janeiro is ranked Beta.
    Sydney is ranked Alpha +.
    London is ranked Alpha ++.

    London for instance is a global icon of banking and commerce. It, along with New York City, are considered to be the top global cities and without them, the global economy would come to a standstill. London has been a global city for hundreds of years. It gained this status with the growth of the empire and colonization of the world. The influence of the British on world trade and commerce has been great for the last four centuries. London is the capital of the British monarchy and thus London has been the center of power. When the British Empire was at it’s greatest, one could argue that London was the most powerful and influential city in the world and controlled the world economy. Today it is still a great controller of the world economy but as the world economy has become more diverse and interconnected, it plays less a roll than it did say 100-200 years ago.

    Global cities also feature great landmarks, many of which are symbols of the cities. For instance, Cristo Redenter (the large statue overlooking the bay in the picture) is the symbol of Rio de Janeiro. The Golden Gate Bridge has become one of the symbols of San Francisco. The bridge’s shape and its unique color are the main identifiers. The Sydney Opera House along with the Harbour Bridge are the symbols of the city. The Opera House itself is used in many logos of Sydney organizations. London’s Shard is becoming a 21st-century icon of the city. Big Ben and the Tower Bridge are the main city icons. Big Ben is the most used establishing shot for movies and television shows shot in London.

    Global cities are the world’s economic powerhouses and keep the global economy moving. They have evolved through time from small points on the made with light local trading to huge ports and sites of production, shipping, commerce, and banking. They are the hearts that keep the blood of our planet’s economy pumping.

  10. Reblogged this on parymayne and commented:
    In an age where increased television viewership and global marketing practices have lead people all across the world to desire similar things and build cities using the same prebuilt supplies and architectural styles, finding a way to set your city apart from the rest has become increasingly more important. Each of these cities in the collage has many similarities, but I can tell them all apart thanks to their man made landmarks that stand out amongst the backdrop of steel and glass skyscrapers, such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Jesus looking over Rio de Janeiro, The Sydney Opera House, and the Shard in London. This collage shows how some cities rely on monuments to set their city apart while others rely on buildings and others on infrastructure such as bridges. Other cities rely on classic elements to define it, such as Rome who’s coliseum is still it’s defining factor, Istanbul who’s Hagia Sophia has been standing since the 6th century and Edinburgh, Scotland with it’s beautiful hilltop castle. Still other cities are known for the unique geographical structures that surround them such as mountain ranges or uniquely shaped bays. Vancouver is a good example of a city with a beautiful, distinctive mountain range in its skyline. St. Louis is an example of a city that not only built a unique monument to set it apart, but to tie in its natural surroundings, the Mississippi River and the old court house, a historic building of great significance to the city.
    Despite this uniqueness that some cities have to work very hard to design, each of these cities is probably home to a McDonalds and host several skyscrapers that are not unique in any way. What is it that has caused these cities to develop to look so similar that they must strive to look different? The answer lies in the purpose of a global city. These major cities across the globe have all developed for the same purpose, to be a mega hub for high profile services such as legal advice, insurance, finance, banking, technology, and the largest contributing factor to the uniformity of the cities advertising. Firms in these cities are paid large sums of money to sell the American dream to specific cultures that they specialize in catering too, leading the people of each of these cities to aspire buildings that look like New York City Skyscrapers and products that were developed and manufactured elsewhere. The cities function to do services for corporations headquartered in countries other than their own so that they can sell their brand there, and the best way to do that is to globalize the brand. Corporations have gone global and it is beneficial for the corporations to make culture, advertising, technology, and architecture global too resulting in global cities striving to stay unique while keeping up in the global market to keep their economy thriving. Globalization makes branding a product easier, but branding a city, country, or culture a lot harder.

  11. Reblogged this on The Urban World and commented:
    As global homogenization of the urban landscape is on the rise, it become necessary for cities to acquire a visible, meaningful identity to differentiate themselves in a meaningful manner to attract, firstly, industries relevant to the resources available in their area, if there are indeed significant resources to attract specific industries, otherwise, the civic powers must strive to create an environment within in the city attractive to individuals based on several key factors. Foremost is the basics by which all practical people should judge a potential region in regards to the possibility of their dwelling there: public order and safety, available utilities, crime rates and urban decay levels, ease of transportation, government trust, quality of educational facilities, and so on. However, assuming that most people when looking at cities as areas to relocate to are, in fact, less practical, a city’s identity, as defined by notable features visible from large portions of the city becomes important. Not only can they serve as an attractive feature to induce potential residents to identify with the city, but they serve also as tourist attractions to increase consistent small-scale injections of outside currency into the civic economy, as well as providing potential unique romantic destinations for dates, as an aid to ensure a positive birth rate. While building interiors increasingly display a globally uniform interior based on the corporation owning the building and the function essential to said corporate identity, exterior urban landscape becomes the ripe canvas of civic planning to fulfill the aforementioned goals. Most fortunate are those city planners who have the aid of nature with rolling hills and mountains, such as in Hong Kong, or the Table Mountain of Capetown. However, even with the aid of nature, the city planners continue to enhance the beauty of their city, such as with the colored lights illuminating the skyscrapers of Hong Kong at night, reflecting off the waters of harbor to create a shimmering, otherworldly luminescence to delight. Other cities opt instead for ever-larger skyscrapers, such as the Shard in London, an elegant, steeply-sloped pyramid over three hundred metres tall, while other cities instead choose to create unique structures immediately recognized, such as the Opera House in Sydney, instantly distinguishable from any other building by its concrete shells. Rio de Janeiro, in accordance with their overwhelming Catholic population, uses an enormous statue, named Christ the Redeemer, showing the Christian messiah, arms out in benediction, seemingly blessing the area. Displaying an excellent example of massive statues in honor of a specific ideal which either appeals greatly to the local population, or, for instance, with the Statue of Liberty in New York City, appeals to a specific function of the city, such as receiving massive quantities of sea-borne immigrants. San Francisco, instead chooses to identify itself based on the Golden Gate Bridge, spanning well over a kilometer, and has become one of the most prominent American landmarks, recognizable all over the world both as an American landmark, and an icon of San Francisco, elevating it to a position in common with the Statue of Liberty. Ultimately, the goal of all of these landmarks is to differentiate their city from others, to create an appeal to both residential and touring populations, which, as the information age allows more and more people to work wherever they may choose, becomes more and more important.

  12. Reblogged this on meshari86 and commented:
    Often, the city appears, as a unit in the appearance of the surface of the ground, also it has two sides linked to each other: the first is the location and the second is the internal structure. Simply, highlights the character of these two sides is clearly when we take into account the real location of the city on the earth’s surface. On some maps, many cities place with symbols to represent the cities’ characteristics or their shapes.

    The cities are the urban centers of economic production and consumption, a social networking arenas and cultural activities, which is the headquarters of the government and administration. Also, the city’s role in the regional economy, national and international level is very important and determines the spatial form of social role, according to the city’s activities. For example, as a financial center or manufacturing base such as New York city or tourist cities for tourists and entertainment such as, Las Vegas and Miami. Also, there are religious cities, such as City of Mecca, Medina and the Vatican.

    The Cites also were encouraged to become more competitive to attract investment at home. They also have the outlines of a policy with the national level and for incentives in the form of competitive grants and funding and control the movements of the local government, which has a direct impact on to give the city character own and make cities homogeneous globally.

    When we talking about one of the greatest innovations in the humanitarian world, namely those skyscrapers and giant skyscrapers, have sprung up in many countries of the world after having been confined to the United States. The skyscrapers became that characterize the form of the city and give independent shape. For example, Dubai is not the capital city, but it is a commercial city and commercial center that characterized by Barje Khalifa, amazing skyscrapers and Islands resorts. Also I can consider and identify a lot of states or cities without watching the official flag, but by knowing the form of architecture of the state.

    According to the one of these picture, the Portuguese explorers did not know when they disembarked for the first time in the south-east coast of Brazil at Guanabara Bay that the Grand Gallery of the water is not only the sea itself. And the mistaken belief that the mouth of a large river flows into the Pacific have launched on the city name of Rio de Janeiro ( my best city) «River January » and so in honor of the month in which they reached the country. Then, now it has become one of the most important cities of the world, which is globally homogeneous City and became a tourist center, economically and sports city in the continent of South America. Tokyo also does not consider political and economic center for Japan only, but has emerged as a center of global economy and culture. Tokyo is famous for a number of factors, polarization, which should not be ignored. Also, there are many areas in the center of the sprawling city, such as the Ginza, which is famous for its spanking new commercial monolith from around the world and the city’s bustling Shinjuku day and night, which has become “the center of Tokyo’s new” center of the commercials and advertisements on the high-rise buildings with neon lights.
    Kuwait is now working to give more characteristic of Kuwait City architectural by working project Hamra Tower which is a tower and a shopping mall located in the east of the State of Kuwait. It is the largest skyscraper sculpture (concrete), which a length of 412 meters over an area of 2400 square meters and consists of 77 floors and 40 by elevator. And has been the opening of the giant tower in 2010 AD, at a cost of 250 million Kuwaiti dinars nearly U.S. $ 950 million and owns the tower towering red-estate company.

    “Tokyo and its suburbs.” The National Authority for Tourism in Japan. Foundation for National Tourism Japanese.. Web. 16 Mar 2014. .

    “Geography of architecture.” King Saud University . King Saud University, n.d. Web. 16 Mar 2014. <http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/geography.makki/Pages/Urbangeography.asp&xgt;.

    Walid, . "The top of a concrete tower in the world." KUWAIT NEWS. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar 2014. .

  13. Reblogged this on esobrien and commented:
    Through the advancing technologies and overall growing economies around the world, countries and individual cities are becoming more and more connected. As this connectedness grows, however, cities in the global north and global south are becoming more homogenized, as a result of the necessities of having a global, urban economy. This includes the higher development of the central business districts in each urban city. The advanced technology has made it to where any city across the globe can have access to the Western culture and lifestyle, or any culture for that matter, if they have the resources for it. Similar aspects of popular culture, restaurants, housing, and clothing stores all begin to emerge around the world. Because of this homogenization and similarity from city to city, there has also been a rise in attempts to make something stand out as unique in each urban city.
    This is when city icons come into play, and it started to have an active role in city construction during the 19th century, though it even existed long before then. During the Classical Roman Empire we see city icons with the construction of the Colosseum. We find these all the time in our post-industrial world today without realizing there is a specific purpose behind these distinctive skylines around the globe. Popular icons associated with large urban cities in North America are the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California and the Chrysler Building in New York City. In the case of the Chrysler Building, and many icons put into skylines, the mere size and detail put into its construction was not only used to individualize the city but also to show the power of the Chrysler Corporation. This is also the case with the colorful lighting of the Hong Kong skyline. However, they do not always take the form of buildings; icons can be found in the mere landscape or in entire districts or communities. In Vancouver, for example, the city can be easily recognized by the mountains surrounding the central business district. Or New Orleans, Louisiana is easily recognized by its French Quarter historic district.
    However, city icons can have a bigger impact on the city than just helping it stand out in the increasingly competitive and connected global system. They can have a cultural and religious significance while they still add uniqueness to each city. Using the Opera House in Sydney, Australia as an example, the cultural significance it has for the people who travel to the city or who live there is perhaps just as important as the aesthetic appeal it has. While the Chrysler Building is mostly just an interesting and pretty architectural piece to admire, the Opera House offers depth to the culture of the city and the life it has to offer. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also holds deeper value to residents of the urban center and many tourists, serving as a religious icon of Christianity.
    These city icons make it interesting to look at the growing interdependence among cities across the globe, while they try to keep as many things as possible unique and individual. It proves that though we are more connected, there is still so much depth and different lifestyles to be found in all areas and cultures in the world.

  14. Reblogged this on carlylb and commented:
    The pictures represented above all have one major thing in common, and that is the presence of icons in global cities. Some icons are architectural and some are geographical, but they all are used to make the city stand out as unique from other cities around the world. Often times cities are distinguished by their historical icons such as the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, and other times modern day constructions such as the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, are the prime identifying factors of a city. Some iconic structures are physically usable and serve a functional purpose, while others have no direct functional purpose. The structures that have no functional purpose inherit only nonfunctional purposes, such as symbolic reference, although both functional and nonfunctional icons have the nonfunctional purpose of serving to mark for a particular city as some identifier of itself to the rest of the world. San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in California, which opened in 1937 and is associated with the architectural style of Art Deco, is an example of a city icon with a functional purpose, that is, to allow travel from Marin County to San Francisco. The Brazil statue on Corcovado Mountain in Rio De Janeiro is a nonfunctional icon for the city. The statue is of Christ the Redeemer and is a symbol for Brazilian Christianity. Like the Golden Gate Bridge, the statue is of the Art Deco style. It is one of the largest statues in the world and its size gives it greater distinction, making it more iconic. The top image is either taken on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon or on the Victoria Harbor facing Wan Chai, the metropolitan area on the northern part of Hong Kong Island in China. As of January 2004, it is called the “Symphony of Lights” because of a multimedia light show that is performs with LEDs and lasers from in and outside of the building along the coast. This city sky line is iconic in itself and yet the city also has an iconic mountain range behind it, a harbor, and particular architectural features, which are each icons in themselves that help identify Hong Kong through their image. These iconic architectural features include: the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center that stands out on the water of the Victoria Harbor with the city set back from it, and the International Center that is the 6th tallest building in the world at 484 meters tall. The Shard London Bridge in London stands at 306 meters tall, ranking at number eleven for the tallest building in the world. However, its height is not the only thing that makes it distinguishing. With the many extremely tall skyscrapers out in cities all over the world, what makes this building distinguished is its pointy pyramid like shape that is unique to all buildings around it and can be greatly differentiated from any other building around the world. All these cities have used these icons as ways to make themselves visually distinguishable and unique from other cities.

  15. Reblogged this on Uncharted and commented:
    In our world today cities around the globe are becoming more and more alike in becoming what is now known as homogenous cities. They are all sharing the same properties as far as the way their cities are being globally advertised and have central business districts. These central business districts foundations include corporations, architecture and components that are not considered “local.” It is not unlikely to be able to build a skyscraper that looks as if you were in New York City in Shanghai or have a building in Rome resemble that of Moscow. Globalized advertising also has to do with this worldwide spread of westernization. Having similar looking cities means that in some way the city is going to have to be able to “stand out” in its own special way and draw tourist to their city, which can be done in a couple different ways. One of the ways cities are doing this is by building “icons” within their city. For instance, in the above pictures are examples of many different “icons” that cities have built up to attract people and to make their city stand out in their own special way. One of the pictures shows the golden gate bridge of San Francisco, being declared one if the Wonders of the Modern World having the longest suspension bridge main span in the world. Another is the Sydney Opera House in Sydney Australia. This building is a very uniquely built structure that was constructed by a Danish architect names Jorn Utzon. It is considered one of the best performing arts center in the world. Another iconic building is the Shard Tower that towers over the London skyline. It is currently one of the tallest buildings in the United Kingdom and with it made of glass reflecting the natural light is a wonder to see. One other stunning skyline is that of Hong Kong China, pictured above. It is known for how the use of colored lights at night being reflected on the water that the city sits beside. Rio is another prime example of iconic features because it uses a manmade monument as well as their surroundings. Rio uses not only a human built icon but also the landscape surrounding the area of the city as well to stand out in the worldly crowd. With beautiful beaches and surrounding mountain scape scenery, one cannot forget Christ the Redeemer looking over the town atop the mountain Corcovado. In addition to these pictures these are only a few among a plethora of different “icons” that make each city stand out in its own special way. There are many landscapes that are used to draw attention to their cities. For instance, Denver Colorado has Red Rock, one of the most iconic venues in the United States for concerts. Rome has plenty of historical architectural icons such as the Pantheon. One sign that everybody seems to know and have heard of that has no use to anyone what so ever is the Hollywood sign in California. Even though cities are becoming homogeneous in ways of having access to looking very similar, there will always be something that sticks out to tell a story about that particular city. Whether it be from the surrounding landscape to a huge magnificent building, to just a simple sign, cities around the world may become more alike but there will always be a way that their heritage of a piece of the city stays within their culture and makes the city different from the rest.

  16. Reblogged this on dobbyslittlesock and commented:
    The globalization of cities around the world is a result of rising technologies that allowed businesses to grow at a rapid pace. These businesses expanded throughout the world and developed in these globalized cities. These globalized cities are homogenous. As a result, in order to make their city stand out, these cites start creating icons for their cities.
    Technology played a major part in the rise in the globalized city. These technologies were available for the most part post World War II. These technologies were the telephone and the jet engine. The telephone allowed businesses to interact with each other and involve themselves, whether that be production or sale, into foreign countries. The scale of production went from local to globalized. The jet engine did much the same thing in that now businesses could very easily and very quickly go from place to place and interact and expand their businesses. With these two new technologies business grew economically and physically around the world. We begin to see larger and larger cooperations that expand into a global market. Large corporations in the United States no longer function entirely in the central business district of a major US city, but they open another function of their business, or simply expand their business, in another globalized city around the world.
    The globalized city is a homogeneous one. As corporations expand into these new globalized cities the central business district either grows or is created. The components that make up a central business district are the same: there is the cooperation, architecture and other components that allow the economy to function around and support this central business district.
    Global advertising also plays a large part in the globalization of cities. As these cities acquire these new global corporations and they begin to become a part of the global economy, its citizens begin to enter the middle class. What this means is that these people now can afford all of the necessities for human life (housing, food, utilities, transportation, clothing, health care, education) and they have disposable income after they have all of these things they are considered middle class. One amenity we see more and more in the average dwelling across the globe is a television with cable. Now this may not seem like much but what this means is that the average worker in a third world country is now exposed to the amenities and excess which is of the western culture. Adverting of excess and wealth is now exposed to a new class of people in developing countries that now want to be a part of this lifestyle. They see western housing, transportation and the lifestyle. We begin to see a generation of people that are more adapt to the western lifestyle than they are their own culture. They would feel more comfortable in a United States city than they would a non-globalized city in their own country.
    As these globalized cities grow, they grow much like any other major city in this new network of globalized cities. They build the same buildings, they provide the same amenities, and support the same lifestyle of this global city. The city skylines themselves are unidentifiable by city development because they all look the same. What cities begin to do in order to set themselves apart is creating a city icon to make them stand out. These icons can either be constructed with the accumulation of wealth, or they can already exist – whether that be because of historic architecture (Alamo, Eiffel Tower, San Francisco Bridge) or are completely natural (volcano, mountains, or bodies of water). Constructed architecture as icons have grown with the technology of steel which allows the construction of iconic skyscrapers or other structures.

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