2 productive activity, no matter whether in manufacturing or services, inhigh-technology or lowtechnology sectors. As these changes have begun to run their course, it has become increasingly apparent that that city in the narrow sense is less an appropriate or viable unit of local social organization than the city or networks of cities in regional context. One tangible expression of this idea can be observed in the forms of consolidation that are beginning to occur as adjacentunits of local political organization (provinces, Länder, counties, metropolitan areas, municipalities, départements, and so on) search for region-wide coalitions as a means of dealing with the threats and the opportunities of globalization. In this process, we argue, global city-regions have emerged of late years as a new and critically important kind of geographic and institutional phenomenon onthe world stage. In what follows, we attempt to bring these remarks into closer conceptual focus. Our discussion is driven by five main questions, i.e., 1. Why are global city-regions growing rapidly precisely at a moment in history when some analysts are claiming that the end of geography is in sight, and that the world is turning into a placeless space of flows? 2. How have forms of economic andsocial organization in city-regions responded to globalization, and what new problems have been created as a consequence? 3. What main governance tasks do global city-regions face as they seek to preserve and enhance their wealth and well-being? 4. Is it possible for the less economically advanced parts of the world to harness the potential benefits of global city-region development to their ownadvantage, and what are the main drawbacks of such development for them? 5. How can we define the public interest in culturally heterogeneous global city-regions? In particular,
3 how are traditional notions of democracy and citizenship being challenged by the emergence of global city-regions and in what ways can they be made more effective in this new context? Cutting across all of...