British-German Review, The Journal of the British-German Association, Vol.20, Number 2, April 2002


Comparing London and Frankfurt as World Cities

A relational study of contemporary urban change

By Dr F. Hamblin


This is a fascinating survey of the two cities and the way they have developed since the Second World War and makes compulsive reading. Frankfurt was more heavily affected by the war and was virtually closed down by its end. London, however, in spite of the Blitz and the heavy drains on its recources remained a major financial centre with worldwide connections. Frankfurt took steps to catch up and today is the major financial centre but the report concludes that it is not yet equal to London that is still supreme all round world city with a global presence whereas Frankfurt is more an international financial service centre with a large European remit. At the present time whilst Frankfurt's position in Europe is strengthening it is not at the expense of London that continues to remain Europe's principal financial centre. This is encouraging to this country but the full effect of the adoption of the Euro in so many countries has still to be felt. That this was not the major factor but "we shall see".

With the Federal System in Germany Frankfurt gets considerable competition from other German cities. This could be a disadvantage in dispersing the financial effort put into some issues in Germany but it may serve to keep Frankfurt on its toes. London, on the other hand has no real competition in the UK and its absence is sometimes apparent in the way it conducts business.

This report is packed with information in the changes which have occured in the two cities and the reader is able to judge for himself what effect they have had and may have in the future on Frankfurt/London relations.



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