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Global Cities

This guide is intended to support the research activities of students in Dr. Koptiuch's Global Cities course.


Best Databases for Background Research

Credo Reference Online

This online encyclopedia provides background information on a variety of subjects from nearly every major discipline. Through Credo you can find articles, books, news, images, audio, and more.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

A searchable collection of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. Of particular interest to this course will be "Cities of the World" encyclopedia, a compilation of current information on cultural, geographic, and political conditions in 193 countries and their cities. 

SAGE Knowledge 

Large collection of online reference encyclopedias that cover a variety of subject areas including Urban planning and development, urban and rural geography, and more. 


Urban Studies Databases

Cities Alliance - The Cities Alliance website offers a variety of publications and knowledge resources related to slum upgrading and city development strategies.

PassPort GMID- this source will provide a great foundation for economic information

Cities and Buildings Database - a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web. Provides data for individual metropolitan areas, central cities, and suburbs as well as thematic maps and links to various data sets.

United Nations Population Information Network - developed by the United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Provides data on different topics including population, cities, and urbanization.

Demographia -- rich data in a variety of topics on large urban areas (e.g. urban development, urban land use policies) as well as census data from different countries.

Metropolis - web site of the World Association of major metropolitan cities and regions (population over one million). Provides data about urban agglomerations, cities population, and urban growth as well as a number of links to urban-related web sites.

Metropolitan Policy Program - online publication by the Brookings Institute on urban issues, with links to reports, citations, and abstracts of Brookings Institute publications; also a one-stop portal for interactive data and in-depth profiles of the U.S.'s 100 largest metro areas, and in many cases all 50 states.

Population Reference Bureau- provides both U.S. and international data and maps. The U.S. data in PRB's DataFinder are from the U.S. Census Bureau's decennial census, American Community Survey, and population estimates. The international data in PRB's DataFinder are from several Population Reference Bureau data sheets. Additional international indicators were compiled by PRB staff, primarily using national surveys.

Sources for each indicator appear as footnotes for that indicator. More detailed sources are available from PRB.

State of the Cities Data Systems - developed by the Policy Development & Research Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

UNdata -  Internet based data service for the global user community by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Users can search the UN statistical databases and download a variety of the statistical resources of the UN system.

UN-HABITAT - developed by the U.N. Human Settlements Programme. Provides city profiles as of 2001 about world cities. The data include social and economic development, environmental management and other indicators.


These resources provide contextual information.

Encyclopedia of Urban Studies

Encyclopedia of American Urban History

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