Global Power Inner City Index 2010
Research of the "inner-city" in the eight cities.

Global Power Inner City Index2010


Since 2008, the Institute for Urban Strategies at the Mori Memorial Foundation has surveyed the "comprehensive power" of the world's major cities and released their findings in the form of the "Global Power City Index (GPCI)." The GPCI looks at 35 global cities of varying scales and assesses them based on 69 indicators. The resulting scores, however, do not always reflect the magnitude of city scale. A striking example of this is Paris, which has a population of around two million but is third in comprehensive ranking. Furthermore, examining various indicators in details reveals the fact that an extremely high percentage of cities concentrate their primary urban functions into a centrally located area: an "inner-city." In the case of Paris, it is safe to say that the “inner-city” is the entire city.

The Global Power Inner-City Index (GPICI) defines an “inner-city” as an area with a 5km radius from the city center, which is equivalent to the size of Paris. Of the 35 world major cities surveyed by the GPCI, seven cities, in addition to Paris, are selected for the GPICI and their inner-cities are surveyed and compared in order to identify each inner-city’s strengths. Furthermore, the GPICI seeks to examine the phenomenon of urban "polycentrism," whereby different urban functions are not centered in the same geographical location but are spread across multiple "centers." This phenomenon has become prevalent in many major cities since the 20th century, and areas of 10km radius are also examined in the same way as 5km radius area, and compared with the assumption that an area of this size will encompass the elements of polycentrism. This is done with the aim of ascertaining what sort of urban power weight distribution exists in inner-cities and inner-city-equivalent zones.

In recent years there has been a growing movement worldwide to tightly consolidate urban functions into inner-cities and to promote sustainable urban planning, inspired by "New Urbanism," the "Compact City" concept and other new ways of thinking. The GPICI compares the eight target cities’ "inner-cities" using a common scale and indicators, and the results then visually reveal the characteristics and challenges of each inner-city.

For the sake of convenience, the 20 indicators used in the GPICI are sorted into six groups; however, this does not mean that each indicator possesses only the attributes of its group. Here, there are six important urban elements, defined as “urban property”: 1) Vital Property, 2) Cultural Property, 3) Interactive Property, 4) Luxury Property, 5) Amenity Property, 6) Mobility Property. These are important particularly in “inner-city,” and GPICI uses these elements to analyze each inner-city’s urban power.

The "inner-city" region is established as both a target area with a 5km radius extending out from the city center (hereafter "5km target area") and a target area with a 10km radius extending out from the city center (hereafter "10km target area"). Based on the database described earlier, the data for the eight cities is tabulated for the 5km target area and 10km target area, and relative indicator scores on a 100 point scale are calculated for each inner-city. These indicator scores for the 20 indicators are added up for the 5km target area and the 10km target area, and a total score is obtained for each city.

These score calculations are important for identifying the relative strengths and weaknesses of each inner-city and, furthermore, for comparing the characteristics of each city's 5km and 10km target area. Additionally, by creating factor maps for each of the 20 indicators, the cities can be compared horizontally, which allows quick identification of both strong cities and weak cities for each indicator. Furthermore, it is possible to assess indicator distribution within each city and, thus, ascertain how each city uses its inner-city.

Tokyo's graph showing each power in each target area is the most irregularly shaped, with the red and blue areas overlapping in a jumbled fashion. For the 5km target area, "Top Companies," "Stadiums," "Top Restaurants," and "Highway" score extremely high. For the 10km target area, "Embassies and Consulates," "Brand-name Shops," "Large-scale Shopping Centers," "Large-scale Hospitals," and "Subway and Rail Transit" have quite high scores. On the other hand, its 5km and 10km target areas are weak in "Population," "Buildings over 100mh," "Theaters and Concert Halls," "Convention Centers," "International Schools," "5-star Hotels," "Green and Water Coverage," "Airport Access," "Airport Performance," etc., which fits with the weaknesses in such areas as cultural and international interaction and international airports which are brought out in the GPCI as well. Furthermore, when compared with the other cities, weaknesses characteristic of Tokyo's inner-city, including the population of inner-city residents, the lack of high-rise buildings and the lack of greenery, come into sharp relief.

In the case of Tokyo, the area around the city center located at the Imperial Palace is a large green space; however, just to the east, from Tokyo Station to Ginza and Shinbashi, is an extremely dense concentration. Furthermore, towards the southwest and extending beyond the 5km target area is a series of concentrations. Additionally, on the periphery of the 5km target area can be seen concentrations which indicate the presence of sub- centers, such as Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Asakusa; these spots can be seen as origins for dispersed factors stretching further out to the periphery of the city.


Price (Tax inclusive) JPY 2,160(Net Price JPY 2,000)/ ISBN 978-4-905249-03-0

【A4 size / Landscape / 80pages】


Institute for Urban Strategies
The Mori Memorial Foundation
Phone: +81-3-6406-6800

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