Cities as networks within networks of cities: the evolution of the city/firm-duality in the world city network, 2000-2010

We explore the temporal evolution of cities and firms (i.e. both modes) in a two-mode intercity corporate network formed by 50 leading advanced producer service firms across 154 cities for the years 2000 and 2010. Drawing upon one-mode network projection and three network centralities, we assess the shifting positions of individual cities and firms in the one-mode intercity and interfirm networks. Major findings include: (1) the intercity network is more stable and hierarchical than the interfirm network; (2) brokerage functions, as captured by betweenness centrality, remain highly uneven for both cities and firms. For example, New York and London’s distinct positions as the world’s leading producer service centres remain intact; and (3) regional and sectoral tendencies are evident in terms of growth rates of centralities.