The Example of Miami, a Global City

Miami could be the next major American city, and one that other global cities should try to emulate, according to this interview with economist Saskia Sassen.
September 10, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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Sassen argues that Miami's mix of cultures and socioeconomic groups has created a diversity and complexity that gives the city a global feel and global competitiveness in both business and quality of life. Other cities could learn from its example, according to Sassen.

"FP: So what's the future Miami of Africa?

SS: You have probably two cities that people could think of as complex places in sub-Saharan Africa. One is Nairobi, Kenya, where some of the architecture still reflects British colonial history. The other one is Johannesburg, South Africa. In recent years, I would say Jo'burg is more dynamic, but Nairobi has lost ground.

FP: And the Miamis of Asia?

SS: In China, there are fast-growing cities like Shenzhen, which is also a port and a place where things come together. But Chinese cities are too controlled to be equivalent to Miami.

Two similar cases might be Singapore and Dubai. Both have constructed themselves arduously, with a lot of resources and government-driven projects, mind you. The market alone could not have done it in either Singapore or Dubai. In a sense, the whole city is a government-driven project -- they have constructed themselves as global cities, and very significant ones."

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Published on Monday, September 27, 2010 in Foreign Policy
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