This innovative volume offers an in-depth analysis of the many ways in which new forms of capitalism in the 21st century are affecting and altering the processes of urbanization. Beginning with the recent history of capitalism and urbanization and moving into a thorough and complex discussion of the modern city, this book outlines the dynamics of what the author calls the third wave of urbanization, characterized by global capitalism's increasing turn to forms of production revolving around technology-intensive artifacts, financial services, and creative commodities such as film, music, and fashion. The author explores how this shift toward a cognitive and cultural economy has caused dramatic changes in the modern economic landscape in general and in the form and function of world cities in particular. Armed with cutting-edge research and decades of expertise, Allen J. Scott breaks new ground in identifying and explaining how the cities of the past are being reshaped into a complex system of global economic spaces marked by intense relationships of competition and cooperation. Professors and students in areas such as geography, urban planning, sociology, and economics will find much to admire in this pioneering volume, as will journalists, policy-makers, and other professionals with an interest in urban studies.