Iscuss the claim that to understand any one citys fortunes fully it is necessary to follow the interconnections between cities.

Book used: City Worlds (Understanding Cities)  Edited by Doreen Massey, John Allen and Steve Pile. Open University Book. ISBN 0-415-20070-9

This question invites you to think geographically about the nature and variety of connections that help to make cities. To think spatially about cities is to recognise that cities are the focus of a wider geography, as Chapter 3 of Book 1 reminds us, and thus to understand city futures these wider connections into and out of any city must be followed. So in answering this question you should show an awareness of the need to look, not solely within cities, but between cities, at the connections that feed into and make cities, in order to understand the fortunes of any one city. The main sources for this question are Chapters 1 and 3 of Book 1. Chapter 1 will help you to feel for what a city is and will remind you of the importance of connections to the growth and shape of a city, while Chapter 3, with its emphasis on  cities in the world and cities are being  set in networks , also speaks to this question. Both chapters provide you with ample material to engage critically with the question.

In your answer you may wish to raise a few issues that arise from the question s emphasis on  fully . For sure, the full recognition of cities, and what cities are, calls for acknowledgement of the connections that feed into them (Chapter 1), yet as Chapter 3 points out, there is also need to say something of what happens to the range of connections within cities (see also Chapter 2). What a city does, what groups within cities do with the ingredients that connections may contain is equally decisive in shaping a city s fortunes. Relatedly, the question is also a prompt to think about what certain connections and networks mean for the development of any one city, for not all cities form part of the same networks, hence the emphasis on  following the interconnections . For example, connections and networks may change quite dramatically and thus have significant impact on the fortune of any one city. There is much in Book 1 about connections and what they contain, people, money, influences, for example  which will help you say more about how these impact on the social, economic and environmental fortunes of cities. Similarly, you may like to note the tensions generated by connections as they work themselves through a mix of geographies within cities. How do these connections generate effects  both positive and negative  and thus influence a city s future? As Chapter 4 of Book 1 reminds us, any one city s future, its fortunes, is not predetermined. To recognise and to follow the multiplicity of city connections is also to draw back from saying that all cities have the same future.