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International Summer School 2014

Global Urban Networks

San Francisco31 August to 3 September 2014, Loughborough (United Kingdom)

The theme: Global Urban Networks

Intensifying connections between cities are one of the key expressions of contemporary globalization. Myriad of overlapping and intersecting flows – of ideas, knowledge, people, money, transactions, goods – link not only major cities and city-regions, but an increasing number of diverse places, into expanding global economic, social, political, cultural and ecological circuits. Within these global urban networks, not all cities are equal: New York and London, for example, form a powerful central axis in contemporary economic globalization, while Nairobi and Geneva are important nodes in global civil society networks. Some cities – often called world or global cities – have become key strategic sites in the circuits of global capital, while others remain largely ‘off the map’ of dominant economic flows. Understanding the emergence, dynamics and geographies of multiple global urban networks has therefore become a key desideratum of urban research over the past two decades.

The International Summer School 2014 will build on the conceptual and empirical work that has put the study of external relations of cities centre stage in recent years. Potential key topics for debate are:

  • Theoretical advances in researching global urban networks
  • Methodological advances in researching global urban networks
  • Vulnerability and resilience in global urban networks
  • The effects of the global economic crisis on global urban networks
  • The role of agency in the formation and maintenance of global urban networks
  • Global locational strategies of service firms and other global ‘network makers’
  • The governance/planning challenge of global urban networks
  • The sustainability challenge of global urban networks

The Venue: GaWC @ Loughborough University

The International Summer School 2014 of the ARL will be held in cooperation with the internationally-renowned Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network. Created in the Department of Geography (now part of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences) at Loughborough University, GaWC operates as the leading academic thinktank on cities in globalization. The GaWC approach focuses on the external relations of cities, and where concern for inter-city relations intersects with research on issues concerning, for instance, international business, sustainability, urban policy, and logistics. The GaWC website ( annually attracts about 35,000 hits from over 150 countries and is where you can find over 425 research bulletins, details of nearly 100 research projects, and over 25 data sets for measuring the global network connectivity of cities.

Loughborough is a university-town situated in the heart of England, approximately 100 miles north of London, on a superb 438 acre (177 hectares) campus. Home to more than 40 research institutes and centres, and over 100 research groups, Loughborough University has an excellent reputation for research that is world-leading. Befitting the place where GaWC was created, the benefits of locating in a major global city are today reflected in the establishment of Loughborough University in London on the site of the former Broadcast Centre at the London 2012 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Programme: Intensive and inspiring…

We will have discussion sessions where every participant will have the chance to present her or his research. International professors and experts will then provide individual feedback; in plenary sessions ideas will be discussed. Additional keynote speeches, small field trips, and common social activities round off the program. Particularly for young academics and PhD-students this Summer School provides a unique opportunity.

For further questions, please contact Dr. Andreas Klee (, Michael Hoyler ( or Dr. John Harrison (

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