With just under half of its population living in cities, the world is already urbanized. When measured in knowledge, attitude, aspiration, commercial sense, technology, travel and access to information, even most rural societies are, to one extent or another, woven into a global network of cities.
Globalization seriously took off during the industrial revolution of the late 18th century. Since then, the steam engine, the telephone, the elevator, and now, the Internet and cheap air transport, have conveyed people, goods and ideas both horizontally and vertically at an unprecedented volume and velocity. The focal point of these activities has invariably been the city, a place of deals and decisions, take-offs and landings - a place less concerned with the rhythms of nature, where everything can be bought or sold, especially one's ideas and labour.