Transport is at the heart of development of world cities, as the advantages in carrying out economic activities in proximity (often called “economies of agglomeration”) justify the very existence of cities. Transport is the means to achieving this proximity and increasing the extent to which a city’s activities are easily linked to each other, and therefore, in a world of many competing cities, those with more efficient transport systems have an advantage.
Health care throughout the world is under extreme pressure to reorganize and improve outcomes for their populations with increased demand through the development of new technologies and the ageing population. As the population ages the number of people with at least one long-term condition is predicted to rise dramatically as the lifetime prevalence of a number of conditions are age related. Diseases such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) have been identified as key conditions leading to the increased costs of managing long term conditions.
World cities act as global cultural incubators. They are characterized to a significant degree by the particular mix they achieve between local cultural activity and the intersections of that activity with national and international cultural flows and networks. These flows may be manifested in people (cultural workers such as artists, musicians, designers, etc.), products (symbolic goods such as paintings, shows, films etc.), technology (computer games and other digital artefacts), or education (resulting in the production and exchange of cultural knowledge). Culture characterises and enriches the everyday experience of those who live in world cities, providing stimulation and entertainment, as well as functioning as an important marker of individual, group and civic identities. Additionally, the cultural and creative industries are increasingly recognised as important drivers of economic growth and urban regeneration, and cultural policy is vigorously debated by both metropolitan and state politicians.
The industrial world has reached a point in its development where the undisciplined exploitation of natural resources and the predominant generation of energy utilising fossil fuels is no longer an option. Coupled with continued population growth and expanding industrialisation, new solutions regarding the management of our natural resources and the means and methods for generation of energy are urgently needed. Furthermore, the impact of climate change requires nations to create a new model for the consumption and generation of power which necessitates a change in methodology and strategic planning. The consortium of universities of the WC2 University Network is committed to addressing these issues and the Eco-campus group of WC2 is engaged in research designed to find specific solutions.
Business is one of the crucial topics in World Cities and therefore a focus area for research within universities.