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Global Urban Connectivity through Architectural Design Firms

Authors: ASLI CEYLAN ONER*, Izmir University of Economics, Onur Mengi, Izmir University of Economics, Hazal Okumus, Izmir University of Economics, Irem Calisir, Izmir University of Economics
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: architecture firms, globalization, global urban networks, connectivity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:15 PM
Room: Virtual Track 1
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this research, we focus on world city connectivity through multinational architectural design firms. In recent years, in order to provide services to globalizing clients, the offices of major architecture firms have been globalized with offices in multiple cities. The largest firms, like Nikken Sekkei, HOK and Gensler, have overseas projects across every continent. Their operations also require presence in different cities to enable the command and control functions. For this reason, architecture firms have been increasingly globalized and this trend is continuing to rise based on the global construction market. In this regard, this research project presents an analysis of the world city network through architecture firms’ office connectivity profile by making use of the GaWC research methodology. The firms are selected from the BDOnline’s annual survey of the world's largest architectural design practices; top 20 firms are selected based on the number of architects employed to better reflect the functional diversity and the size of the offices. The data collection method involves constructing a matrix, arraying the offices of selected firms, across cities worldwide. The “architectural practice values” are coded as numeric scores ranging from 1 to 4; 1 (small branch in that city), 2 (large office), 3 (regional or country headquarters), 4 (the city housing the firm’s global headquarters). These scores measure how important a city is to a firm’s network and overall in the network of global architectural practice.

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