Thursday, April 25, 2013

Alpha Cities

Do you live in or near an Alpha city? Perhaps you worked in one once? How much of the economy, politics, and cultural aspects of your local community are affected by one of the world’s top alpha cities?

Less than 50 cities worldwide are known as “Alpha” cities in that amongst these few dozen metro areas the majority of all human commerce, cultural influences, politics, and even relative human populations reside. I’m always interested in how people interact with each other on a global scale, and living/working in a major Alpha city (San Francisco), I’m continually curious about how these major metropolises effect the ever converging mix of human cultures. Some of the most important Alpha cities you probably already know, cities such as New York and London, but everything from Beijing to Sydney are up there as well. See where your nearest urban city fits in on the list here.

So what are the unique cultural aspects of the place you live? How does its economy, politics, and unique way of thinking effect the way you live your life and write about it? If you could live in or near any Alpha city, which would it be? 


  1. Living so close to Mexico, most communities are Mexican. The big problems come from gangs.

  2. I live close to Salt Lake City which is known as one of the cleanest and friendliest cities, hopefully we can keep it that way :)
    About the copyright issue, yes you do need to take old pictures down. They are a libality it took me forever to do that, but I did and it was freaking hard.

  3. I lived in London and Tokyo, both major alpha cities. I live in the South now and most of it is a positive influence.

  4. Well, I live in LA, which can be considered an Alpha city. I mean, I don't consider my life any different from that of any else.

  5. I love London. Even though it's a huge city, it's really accessible. It's so easy to get around! Much easier than driving the highway to get into Denver, which is a nightmare for traffic. But I live closer to Boulder, and it's a smallish city with a cool vibe and beautiful scenery, so I like where I live too. :)

  6. The major city I'm near is Miami. I don't want to live too close, but happy I'm an hour away.

  7. If I could live in ANY Alpha city? I'd have to think about that one for a while . . . there are so many interesting ones.

  8. My nearest city, Glasgow, made Gamma+. I think I'm just affected by the Scottish vibe, where people are more friendly and open, it's affected me coming from England where people can be downright rude. Especially when driving!

  9. That was fun! I live in a "High Sufficiency" city, LOL. I totally found this fascinating, Mark. Really cool!

  10. I live in Sydney. I love it. One of the best Alpha Cities in the world (Think I might be a little biased, lol)

  11. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, a high efficiency city. Interesting. I'd never heard of this.

  12. How interesting. I went to high school in San Francisco, so I do know about that. It was funny because I'd lived in Sacramento before then (and then after). The people from San Fran thought of Sacto as a cow town even though it was the state capital.

  13. Hi Mark! I found your comment on my blog, so I thought I would swing by and visit yours! I live in Aurora, which is part of the Denver Metro area. For me, this area is all about the outdoors and the climate. I am always amazed to see what one can find on Wikipedia. Have a good one!

  14. Alpha cities are cool. From the looks of your map, I'm familiar with at least a few of them.

  15. I can guarantee I don't live in an alpha city. Not even close. :(

  16. Apparently, San Diego is "Beta-" -- which suits me fine. I try to avoid Los Angeles as much as possible. My favorite spots are on the beach and in the mountains, so I guess I'm not much of an urbanite.

  17. Whatever anyone's location, each has its special place, but I'd definitely like to hit up all the Alpha cities at some point in time:)

  18. Lived near Singapore for 9 months once and son was married there. Their mass rapid transit systems made transportation a breeze. Bangkok to the north is a different story. Crazy, noisy and confusing to get around. Both are alpha cities, and the closest I've ever been to one. (I live in rural eastern Washington)

  19. Interesting post. But I don't live near or in an alpha city! But I have visited some!


  20. Aloha Mark,

    What a cool post.. I'd never heard of an Alpha city, but after checking the list, I've either lived in (or at least visited) sixteen and I was born in one, Dublin :)

    Does that make me an Alpha nomad :)

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