Global Cities are Coastal Cities Too: Paradox in Sustainability?

Urban Studies Online, October 30, 2012

Posted: 31 Oct 2017

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Date Written: OCTOBER 30, 2012


Worldwide, most global cities are located in coastal zones, but the paradox of sustainability is especially striking for US global cities. This article examines such a paradox, drawn between globalization-induced development and coastal ecosystems. It focuses on two developmental components found principally in global cities: the agglomeration of foreign waterborne commerce and global business services; and, the accelerated activity and mobility habits of a global professional class. Despite formidable gaps in research, some anecdotal evidence suggests that unique hazards exist for the coastal ecology as globalization pressures expand a global city's urban fingerprint.

Keywords: global city, ecological sustainability, seaport, waterborne commerce, coastal zone, globalization, business services, urban public policy

Suggested Citation

Boschken, Herman L., Global Cities are Coastal Cities Too: Paradox in Sustainability? (OCTOBER 30, 2012). Urban Studies Online, October 30, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Herman L. Boschken (Contact Author)

San Jose State University ( email )

One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0070
United States

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