Based on the concept of Informational Cities, which are the highly developed prototypical cities of the 21st century, we conducted a regional comparison of four Japanese cities in terms of their “cityness” and “informativeness”. The purpose of our articles is to specify the theoretical framework for measuring the informativeness and cityness level of any desired city, to quantify the chosen indicators in order to compare the investigated cities, and finally, to conclude what is their advancement level in terms of a modern city of the knowledge society. Our methodology is based on a new approach to measure the position of a city in a national or a global scale, originating from information science and its indicators of the knowledge society. It includes such procedures as desktop research and bibliometrics, ethnographic field study, or grounded theory method. The investigated aspects under the notion of the informativeness level are the distinct labour market and mix of companies located in the city, as well as the progressive e-governance and advanced e-government. The notion of cityness level oscillates around the concept of space of flows in the city, including the flow of money, power, information, and human capital. In order to make our model practical and grounded on available evidence, we have chosen four Japanese cities to undergo the process. Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto are big and economically significant Japanese metropolises. However, our results show that they differ from each other regarding many important aspects. We were able to quantify their performances and create a ranking. The limitation of our approach appears to be the strict quantification method that makes the cityness and informativeness levels of the cities dependent on other cities’ performances, and that does not precisely reflect the actual dimension of the differences between them. Hence, in the future work we will develop a more flexible and independent approach, enabling us to make more accurate statements on cities’ advancement unregarded the advancement level of the other metropolises.
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DOI 10.2478/cks-2014-0002
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