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The International City Hypothesis: An Approach to the Recent History of U.S. Cities
Journal of Urban History
  • Carl Abbott, Portland State University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Urban land use -- United States -- History,
  • Urban policy,
  • City planning,
  • Cities and towns -- Models -- Evaluation
Differentiates between the concepts of world cities and international cities, asserting that study of international cities offers greater opportunities for research and analysis of major urban regions of the latter 20th century. The world city model emphasizes hierarchy and status based on influence and power. The international city model emphasizes numerous indicators that demonstrate a broader range of international connections, including foreign tourists, new immigration, sister-city affiliations, and multinational corporation offices. They may function as production centers, gateway cities, or transactional cities. At present, statistical data are thin, and the topic invites research by urban historians.

This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, has been published in Journal of Urban History and is copyright by Sage Publications, available online at:

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Citation Information
Carl Abbott. "The International City Hypothesis: An Approach to the Recent History of U.S. Cities" Journal of Urban History (1997)
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