The Globalization and World Cities Network (or GaWC) is the self-proclaimed "leading academic thinktank on cities in globalization." Spend some time on their website and you'll find a collection of research and participating researchers that would seem to back this up and then some. Each year, GaWC publishes their "World According to GaWC," a ranking system for world cities based on their connectivity and place among a global system (basically ignoring nation state boundaries). At the top of the global city food chain at 'Alpha++' level are New York and London, followed by 'Alpha+' cities like Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo and Chicago. Atlanta's classification? 'Alpha-' which denotes, "very important world cities that link major economic regions and states into the world economy." We keep respectable company there among Miami, Zurich, Barcelona and Bangkok, among others. What about our oft-touted 'regional rival' Charlotte? It ranks a paltry "Gamma +." So suck on that, Queen City. Thanks to our friends over at Covered Dish for the tip.
· Globalization and World Cities Research Network [official site]