This chapter takes a critical look at city regions from an urban geography perspective. As subject matter, it first identifies city regions that have evolved through the course of urban growth and expansion, representing an assemblage of an urban core and associated neighbour cities and suburbs that are functionally linked. Second, it also addresses the specialization of some of these city regions that host advanced services, political functions, higher education infrastructure or gateway functions, which make them being classified as ‘metropolitan’ regions. Further, it emphasizes the processes through which regions are labelled and thus created as metropolitan areas: ‘metropolization’. This labelling includes indicator-based observations, political manifestations and also discursive representations.
Maritime industries are very important enablers of global trade: ports have already been coined ‘frontline soldiers of globalisation’ (Ducruet and Lee, 2006), and global cities are often port cities. Likewise, port institutions can be viewed as ideal global city makers, in the way they are targeting global flows for serving local interests. In this context, this chapter explores the city and the port of Hamburg, Germany. As a paradigmatic case of local–global governance, the Albert Ballin Konsortium is discussed, which was founded in 2008 in order to ensure local stakes in the Hapag-Lloyd shipping line and to avoid its takeover by a global competitor. The chapter discusses the conflict between the increasing de-coupling of maritime services from the traditional mainport and local political strategies. The research reveals the not so common case of a somehow reluctant global (port) city, due to the city makers’ strong concern for local interests.
Potter Andrew and Hesse Markus
Markus Hesse and Evan McDonough
This chapter further develops the idea of maritime globalizations, and the role of actors such as national governments and local decision makers in strategically and successfully positioning their deep-sea and inland ports as connectors between sea, land and air, and within global shipping networks. Approaching these maritime networks from a relational perspective, we understand cities and regions as co-constituted by the global flows. In this context, the expansion of globally connected ports and logistics areas such as Rotterdam and Venlo, and local developments at the urban-regional level that cope with this demand, can be understood as the materalization of these globalization processes. From a supply-side perspective, we situate these global flows and their local interface within the unique trajectory of technological and regulatory change, and the global restructuring and redistribution of manufacturing platforms made possible by the dominance of the standard shipping container. The case study of Rotterdam, a product of the city’s unique history and the Netherlands’ 'mainport' strategy, illustrates the spatio-temporal dimensions of these global maritime spaces and flows, as does the example of case of Venlo, an inland port and freight distribution area that has recently capitalized on the city's location along corridors of shipping flows into the European hinterland. The chapter concludes with some remarks on possible changes to maritime globalizations that may occur in the near future, and briefly discusses the related consequences for further research.