12 January 2014, Cluj: Better Quality of Life for Locals, Gamma City for the World


We propose to introduce in the vision of Cluj-Napoca: to become one of the Gamma cities of the world.

This is one thing we proposed today as an answer to the request of Cluj-Napoca European Capital of Culture Association (responsible entity for the creation of the mid-term vision of the city) and we proposed several completions for the draft of this vision.

The coordinators of the elaboration process of the General Strategy of Cluj-Napoca for 2014-2020 propose an original form of defining and measuring development based on the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants. What we propose is to complete the vision for locals with a component defining Cluj’s relations with the outside world. We think the best way of defining this path is through the classification of cities based on the GAWC Study.

Global city status is considered to be beneficial and desired, and because of this many groups have tried to classify and rank which cities are seen as world cities or non-world cities.[4] Although there is a consensus upon leading world cities,[5] the criteria upon which a classification is made can affect which other cities are included.[4] The criteria for identification tend either to be based on a yardstick value (e.g., if the producer-service sector is the largest sector then city X is a world city)[4] or on an imminent determination (if the producer-service sector of city X is greater than the combined producer-service sectors of N other cities then city X is a world city.)[4]

Economic characteristics: Provide a variety of international financial services, notably in the FIRE industriesbankingaccountancy, and marketing.

Cultural characteristics: Educational institutions; e.g., renowned universities, international student attendance, research facilities

We present a brief explanation of the GaWC Study (from Wikipedia).

Globalization and World Cities Research Network study

The first attempt to define, categorize and rank global cities using relational data was made in 1998 by Jon Beaverstock, Richard G. Smith and Peter J. Taylor, who all worked at the time atLoughborough University in the United Kingdom.[8] Together, Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor established the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. A roster of world cities was outlined in the GaWC Research Bulletin 5 and ranked cities based on their connectivity through four “advanced producer services”: accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, and law.[5] The GaWC inventory identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks.[9]

The 2004 rankings acknowledged several new indicators while continuing to rank city economics more heavily than political or cultural factors. The 2008 roster, similar to the 1998 version, is sorted into categories of “Alpha” world cities (with four sub-categories), “Beta” world cities (three sub-categories), “Gamma” world cities (three sub-categories) and additional cities with “High sufficiency” or “Sufficiency” presence. The following is a general guide to the rankings:[9]

  • Alpha++ cities are New York City and London, which are vastly more integrated with the global economy than any other cities.
  • Alpha+ cities complement New York City and London by filling advanced service niches for the global economy.
  • Alpha & Alpha- cities are cities that link major economic regions into the world economy.
  • Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions into the world economy.
  • Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
  • Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as to not be obviously dependent on world cities.

According to the last published list of cities only Bucharest is present in this ranking. The capital of Romania is considered to be a Beta city. What we propose is to add a perspective of working on connecting Cluj to European and global economic, cultural and other networks. We think the city needs an important boost of internationalization in order to improve quality of life of its own inhabitants. This process can bring further innovation and a broader set of perspectives for companies, public institutions and non-governmental organizations. All of this will add to a process that will result in a wider access to knowledge and to a path of organizational development leading to better career perspectives, new jobs and a higher recognition of individual and collective performance.