Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Globalisation - Tale of two cities

An interesting story of two cities affected by globalisation - Arlington, USA and Shenzhen, China is found here.
Cities like Arlington and Shenzhen have become global centers by virtue of their strategic importance and adaptive capabilities. Resources, both human and technological, have converged, localized, and united to create a common global identity.
Both Arlington and Shenzhen had much smaller populations 20 years ago; both cities thrived under the development of public transportation infrastructure. In Arlington, the “smart development” in transportation depended on its metro stations. Shenzhen thrived under the development of one of the largest ports in the world, which brings in commerce and supplies fuel for economic activities to the city.
Technology was at the core of these developments, which brought people to the cities in search of employment and to build communities. Lewis Mumford, the renowned historian and political scientist, said that in order for cities to thrive an energetic mass of people must be assembled under a strong leadership “for regimenting men and mastering nature, directing the community itself to the service of the good.”
Stressing on the primacy of innovation, technology and investment in the globalised world, the two cities are characterised by the commonality of investment in high quality educational institutions.

"  Arlington and Shenzhen are not two cities divided by their geographical boundaries. The confluence of innovation, technology, and competition has connected their two continents – Asia and North America.This interconnectivity redefines the nature of global relationships. According to Khanna, this new relationship is called “inter-imperial relations – not international or inter-civilizational,” and it is these relationships that shape the world.
 The two cities hold more similarities than differences. Both are thriving as a result of technological innovation, free market activities, and growth of their human capital. And both cities are now united under a common banner of globalization which promotes growth and prosperity. For cities across the globe to prosper, they must embrace innovative technologies. The adaptation requires continued investments in high-caliber educational institutions and a diverse population."
The critics of globalization argue that it leads to homogenisation of the world, its cultures and lifestyles. The tale of these two cities is a good example of this? Is homogenisation bad per se if it leads to better living standards and incomes? Is diversity, albeit unequal better than a homogenised, global world?

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