London: A Global City

While abroad I was able to take a class that revolved around the idea that London is a “global city”. There are a lot of different criteria that a city must possess to be granted this status, and London is one of the only city that has a majority of these criteria. Cities that rival London really only include New York City and Tokyo. This class was very insightful, and showed that even though London is a great city, it’s success does cause a lot of inequalities.

One of the things London is known for and thrives upon is the city’s diverse population. When traveling through the city, one is able to get on the tube in China Town and travel 20 minutes to get to Brixton, an area known for its large Jamaican population. This diversity stems from the Imperial Empire, when England owned about 30% of the world’s conquered land and 25% of the world’s population. This presence in foreign areas attracted more and more people to the motherland. This empire also made England extremely prosperous, especially in the city of London since it was the main trading hub of the nation. This prosperity had attracted, and still attracts, migrants from all over the world to London. These migrants have made London one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Although this diversity attributes to a lot of positives of the city, it also has caused a lot of inequality. Many of the poorest areas of London are inhabited mainly by migrants. These areas are also being threatened by high-end contractors. Big chains and expensive developers are coming in to these areas quickly, changing their identity and stripping away these unique cultures and traditions.

When many people think of London, they mainly focus on the positives of the city. They picture the fancy Victorian houses, the different ethnic areas, and the royal family. Although London does possess these beautiful attributes, the city also is filled with negative qualities. Even with these inequalities, London is still a thriving city and still offers many opportunities. This class really opened my eyes to both the positives and negatives of the city, and showed me how they balance.