Metropolitan Areas - Megalopolis

For further information see Megalopolis.

This concept of a "megalopolis" was first proposed by the French geographer Jean Gottmann in his book Megalopolis, a study of the northeastern United States. One prominent example of a megalopolis is the Northeast megalopolis consisting of Boston, Hartford, Greater New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and their vicinities. Two other prominent megalopolises in North America are as follows:

  1. In California and Baja California, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, part of Riverside County, part of San Bernardino County, Tijuana Municipality, Rosarito Beach Municipality, Mexicali Municipality, and Tecate Municipality. There are hundreds of cities and towns in this megalopolis, with the largest ones being Los Angeles, Long Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, San Diego, and Tijuana.
  2. The bi-national Great Lakes Megalopolis consists of the group of North American metropolitan areas surrounding the Great Lakes region within the Midwestern United States, Southern Ontario, and parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and Quebec. The region extends from the Milwaukee–Chicago corridor to the Detroit–Toronto corridor, and includes Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Erie, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Louisville, Ottawa, Rochester, and Toledo, reaching as far as Pittsburgh and St. Louis. The region had an estimated population of 54 million for the 2000 Census and is projected to reach about 65 million by 2025.

The world's largest megalopolis is probably the Taiheiyō Belt (the Pacific megalopolis) of Japan on southeastern Honshu that consists of the metropolis of Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Shizuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kure, and their surrounding cities and towns. Major means of ground transportation in Japan such as its railroad network (for both passengers and freight), many expressways, and the "Shinkansen" bullet train are concentrated in this region, which also includes the northern shore of the Inland Sea of Japan. This is a highly-industrialized part of Japan, and it is also the location of its most important seaports in Japan - such as at Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Kure - and its most important international airports - such as at Tokyo and Osaka. The population of this megalopolis can be considered to be as high as 83 million people, depending on where one draws its boundaries.

Guangdong Province's Pearl River Delta is a megalopolis with a population of 48 million that extends from Hong Kong and Shenzhen to Guangzhou. Some projections assume that by 2030 up to 1 billion people will live in China's urban areas. Even rather conservative projections predict an urban population of up to 800 million people. In its most recent assessment, the UN Population Division estimated an urban population of 1 billion in 2050.

The megalopolises in Europe are the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (pop. 11.5 million) in Germany, the Milan metropolitan area (pop. 7.4 million) in Italy, the Randstad in the Netherlands (pop. 7.4 million), the Silesian metropolitan region in Poland and Czech Republic (pop. 7.0 million, consisting of the Upper Silesian metropolitan area: 5.3 million, Kraków metropolitan area: 1.3 million and Częstochowa metropolitan area: 0.4 million), the Flemish Diamond in Belgium (pop. 5.5 million), Île-de-France in France and the metropolitan area of London and Moscow, as well as several 'smaller' agglomerations, such as the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, the Ems-Dollart Region and the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai Euregion. Together this megalopolis has an estimated population of around 50 million. In Turkey, multiple cities around Istanbul, Istanbul-Kocaeli-Sakarya-Yalova-Bursa metropolitan areas, almost continuously inhabited, form one single megalopolitan area to the east of Istanbul around the eastern part of Marmara Sea, with total population of almost 20 Million and with the combined economy of US$750 Billion.

It has been suggested that most of southeastern England, the Midlands and parts of northern England will someday evolve into a megalopolis dominated by London. Clearly when usage is stretched this far, it is remote from the traditional conception of a city.

Africa's first megalopolis is situated in the urban portion of Gauteng Province in South Africa, comprising the conurbation of Johannesburg, and the metropolitan areas of Pretoria and the Vaal Triangle, otherwise known as the PWV.

Megacity is a general term for metropolitan areas which usually have a total population in excess of ten million people. In Canada, "megacity" can also refer informally to the results of merging a central city with its suburbs to form one large municipality. A Canadian "megacity", however, is not necessarily an entirely urbanized area, since many of its named "cities" have both rural and urban portions. Also, 10 million inhabitants is an unreasonably high number for Canada. Moreover, Canadian "megacities" do not constitute large metropolitan areas in a global sense. For example, Toronto has a metropolitan population of about five million people, but is part of a much larger metropolitan region called the Golden Horseshoe, which has about eight million people.

The census population of a metro area is not the city population. However, it better demonstrates the population of the city. Los Angeles may only have a city population of slightly less than four million, but depending on the definition, it has a metropolitan area population of either 13 million, or 18 million people in its combined statistical area. A major question is whether or not to include San Diego and Tijuana.

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