Metropolitan area

Metropolitan area

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The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, and housing
House
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, cities, exurbs, counties, and even state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

s. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.

General definition


A metropolitan area combines an urban agglomeration (the contiguous, built-up area) with zones not necessarily urban in character, but closely bound to the center by employment or other commerce. These outlying zones are sometimes known as a commuter belt, and may extend well beyond the urban zone, to other political entities. For example, El Monte, California
El Monte, California
El Monte is a residential, industrial, and commercial city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city's slogan is "Welcome to Friendly El Monte," and historically is known as "The End of the Santa Fe Trail." As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 113,475,...

 is considered part of the Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

' metro area.

In practice, the parameters of metropolitan areas, in both official and unofficial usage, are not consistent. Sometimes they are little different from an urban area, and in other cases they cover broad regions that have little relation to a single urban settlement; comparative statistics for metropolitan area should take this into account. Population figures given for one metro area can vary by millions, and there is a tendency for people to promote the highest figure available for their own "city". However the most ambitious metropolitan area population figures are often better seen as the population of a "metropolitan region" than of a "city".

There has been no significant change in the basic concept of metropolitan areas since its adoption in 1950, although significant changes in geographic distributions have occurred since then, and more are expected. Because of the fluidity of the term "metropolitan statistical area," the term used colloquially is more often "metro service area," "metro area," or "MSA" taken to include not only a city, but also surrounding suburban, exurban and sometimes rural areas, all which it is presumed to influence.

A polycentric metropolitan area is one not connected by continuous development or conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

, which requires urban contiguity. In defining a metropolitan area, it is sufficient that a city or cities constitute a nucleus with which other areas have a high degree of integration.

Country official unique definitions






Australia


"Statistical divisions" are defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is Australia's national statistical agency. It was created as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics on 8 December 1905, when the Census and Statistics Act 1905 was given Royal assent. It had its beginnings in section 51 of the Constitution of Australia...

 as areas under the unifying influence of one or more major town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

s or a major city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

. Each of the state and territory
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 capital cities as well as the national capital, Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, forms its own statistical division, and the population of the statistical division is the figure most often quoted for that city's population.

The statistical divisions that encompass the seven capital cities are commonly, though unofficially, called "metropolitan areas", borrowing the common term that is used in the United States and in Canada.

Contiguous urban areas also exist around smaller regional cities, the largest of which are the Gold Coast
Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast is a coastal city of Australia located in South East Queensland, 94km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 in 2010, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous...

, Newcastle
Newcastle, New South Wales
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

, Wollongong, Geelong, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba.

Canada


Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada is the Canadian federal government agency commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture. Its headquarters is in Ottawa....

 defines a census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA) as areas consisting of one or more adjacent municipalities situated around a major urban core. To form a CMA, the urban core must have a population of at least 100,000, at least half within the urban core. To form a CA, the urban core must have a population of at least 10,000. To be included in the CMA or CA, adjacent municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the core, as measured by commuter flows derived from census data.

European Union


The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

's statistical agency, Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

, has created a concept named Larger Urban Zone (LUZ). The LUZ represents an attempt at a harmonised definition of the metropolitan area, and the goal was to have an area from a significant share of the resident commute into the city, a concept known as the “functional urban region”.

France


In France the term for the region around an urban core linked by commuting ties is an aire urbaine
Aire urbaine
The aire urbaine is a statistical region created by the INSEE that comprises a commuter belt surrounding a contiguous urban core...

(officially translated as "urban area").

Turkey


The word metropolitan, describes a major city in Turkey, a city which is dominant to others both in financially and socially.

India


In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, the Census Commission defines a metropolitan city one having a population of over 4 million. Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

, Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

, Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, Kolkata
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

,Cochin, Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

, Patna
Patna
Paṭnā , is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the second largest city in Eastern India . Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world...

, , Lucknow
Lucknow
Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in India. Lucknow is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division....

 and Nagpur
Nagpur
Nāgpur is a city and winter capital of the state of Maharashtra, the largest city in central India and third largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune...

  are the Indian cities that qualify. Residents of these cities are also entitled to a higher House rent allowance. The figure only applies to the city region and not the conurbation.

Japan


In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 a metropolitan area would be .

United States


The Office of Management and Budget defines "Core Based Statistical Areas" used for statistics purposes among federal agencies. Each CBSA is based on a core urban area and is composed of the counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 which comprise that core as well as any surrounding counties that are tightly socially or economically integrated with it. These areas are designated as either metropolitan
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

 or micropolitan statistical area
United States micropolitan area
United States Micropolitan Statistical Areas , as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, are urban areas in the United States based around a core city or town with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. The micropolitan area designation was created in 2003...

s, based on population size; a "metro" area has an urban core of at least 50,000 residents, while a "micro" area has fewer than 50,000 but at least 10,000.

Megalopolis


This concept of a "megalopolis" was first proposed by the French geographer Jean Gottmann
Jean Gottmann
Jean Gottmann FRS was a French geographer who was most widely known for his seminal study on the urban region of the Northeast Megalopolis. His main contributions to human geography were in the sub-fields of urban, political, economic, historical and regional geography...

 in his book Megalopolis, a study of the northeastern United States. One prominent example of a megalopolis is the Northeast megalopolis
Northeast megalopolis
The Northeast megalopolis or Boston–Washington megalopolis is the heavily urbanized area of the United States stretching from the the northern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts to the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C. On a map, the region appears almost as a perfectly straight line. As of 2000,...

 consisting of Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Hartford, Greater New York City
New York metropolitan area
The New York metropolitan area, also known as Greater New York, or the Tri-State area, is the region that composes of New York City and the surrounding region...

, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States, and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley...

, Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and their vicinities. Two other prominent megalopolises in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 are as follows:

1. In California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and Baja California
Baja California
Baja California officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is both the northernmost and westernmost state of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North...

, 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
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, Irvine
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...

, Anaheim, San Diego, and Tijuana
Tijuana
Tijuana is the largest city on the Baja California Peninsula and center of the Tijuana metropolitan area, part of the international San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. An industrial and financial center of Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence on economics, education, culture, art, and politics...

.

2. In Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, its largest city, Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, is a component of Ontario's Golden Horseshoe
Golden Horseshoe
The Golden Horseshoe is a densely populated and industrialized region centred around the Greater Toronto Area at the western end of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, with outer boundaries stretching south to Lake Erie and north to Georgian Bay. Most of it is also part of the Quebec City...

, which includes other major cities in Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario
Southern Ontario is a region of the province of Ontario, Canada that lies south of the French River and Algonquin Park. Depending on the inclusion of the Parry Sound and Muskoka districts, its surface area would cover between 14 to 15% of the province. It is the southernmost region of...

 such as Mississauga, Oakville
Oakville, Ontario
Oakville is a town in Halton Region, on Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, and is part of the Greater Toronto Area. As of the 2006 census the population was 165,613.-History:In 1793, Dundas Street was surveyed for a military road...

, Hamilton
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

, Brantford, and Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls is a Canadian city on the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. The municipality was incorporated on June 12, 1903...

. The Golden Horseshoe has about eight million people, which is about a quarter of the entire population of Canada. Also, adjoining the Golden Horseshoe is the metropolis of Buffalo in the State of New York.

The world's largest megalopolis is probably is the Taiheiyō Belt
Taiheiyo Belt
The also known as Tokaido corridor is the name for the megalopolis in Japan extending from Ibaraki Prefecture in the north all the way to Fukuoka Prefecture in the south, running for almost...

 (the Pacific megalopolis) of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 on southeastern Honshu
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

 that consists of the metropolis of Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

, Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

, Nagoya, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

, Kobe
Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

, Okayama, Yokosuka, Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka
Fukuoka most often refers to the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture.It can also refer to:-Locations:* Fukuoka, Gifu, a town in Gifu Prefecture, Japan* Fukuoka, Toyama, a town in Toyama Prefecture, Japan...

, Kure
Kure
Kure can refer to:*KURE, a radio station in Ames, Iowa*Kure Software Koubou, Japanese video game development company*Kure, Hiroshima , a city in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan**Kure Line, a rail line in the city...

, and their surrounding cities and towns. Major means of ground transportation
Ground transportation
Ground transportation refers to the public and private movement of people via land vehicles in association with airports.This term can include references to vehicles or infrastructure, such as roads or railways and is often used in connection with airline travel...

 in Japan such as its railroad network (for both passengers and freight), many expressway
Controlled-access highway
A controlled-access highway is a highway designed exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and ingress/egress regulated...

s, and the "Shinkansen
Shinkansen
The , also known as THE BULLET TRAIN, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the network has expanded to currently consist of of lines with maximum speeds of , of Mini-shinkansen with a...

" 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 airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

s - 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
Pearl River Delta
The Pearl River Delta , Zhujiang Delta or Zhusanjiao in Guangdong province, People's Republic of China is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea...

 is a megalopolis with a population of 48 million that extends from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Shenzhen
Shenzhen
Shenzhen is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. The area became China's first—and one of the most successful—Special Economic Zones...

 to Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

. Some projections assume that by 2030 up to 1 billion people will live in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

'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
Rhine-Ruhr
The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region is the largest metropolitan region in Germany with about 10,100,000 inhabitants. It is of polycentric nature and the only megacity in Germany. It covers an area of 7,110 square kilometers and lies entirely within the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia...

 metropolitan region
Metropolitan regions in Germany
The Metropolitan regions in Germany are eleven densely populated areas in the Federal Republic of Germany. They comprise the major German cities and their surrounding catchment areas and form the political, commercial and cultural centers of the country...

 (pop. 11.5 million) in Germany, the Milan metropolitan area
Milan metropolitan area
The Milan metropolitan area, known as Grande Milano , is the urban agglomeration around the city of Milan, Italy.The spatial spread of the Milan metropolitan area has greatly accelerated over recent decades...

 (pop. 7.4 million) in Italy, the Randstad
Randstad
Image:Randstad_with_scale.png|400px|thumb|right|Clickable schematic map of the Randstadcircle 528 380 26 Schipholrect 426 356 498 436 Haarlemmermeerrect 399 166 479 245 Velsencircle 250 716 32 Delftcircle 220 642 60 The Hague...

 in the Netherlands (pop. 7.4 million), the Flemish Diamond
Flemish Diamond
The Flemish Diamond is one of the larger European metropolitan regions, situated in the central provinces of Flanders and the capital region of Belgium.Herman Deweerdt : Het is zeker waar dat de Vlaamse ruit een centrum van economische activiteit is en dus een zeer belangrijke basis vormt voor de...

 in Belgium (pop. 5.5 million), Ile de France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

 in France and the metropolitan area of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, as well as several 'smaller' agglomeration
Agglomeration
In the study of human settlements, an urban agglomeration is an extended city or town area comprising the built-up area of a central place and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area. In France, INSEE the French Statistical Institute, translate it as "Unité urbaine" which means continuous...

s, such as the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, the Ems-Dollart Region
Ems Dollart Region
Established in 1977, the Ems Dollart Region is a cross-border organisation located in the northern Dutch-German border area. Its aim is to establish and improve contacts and levels of interaction between people, companies and organisations within the border region. The organization is based in the...

, the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai Euregion and Metropoly of Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

 in Poland (17 cities around Katowice with a total population of over 2 million). Together this megalopolis has an estimated population of around 50 million.

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
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Clearly when usage is stretched this far, it is remote from the traditional conception of a city.

Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

's first megalopolis is situated in the urban portion of Gauteng
Gauteng
Gauteng is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994...

 Province in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, comprising the conurbation of Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

, and the metropolitan areas of Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

 and the Vaal Triangle
Vaal Triangle
The Vaal Triangle is a triangular area of land formed by Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark and Sasolburg - together they comprise a substantial urban complex in South Africa...

, otherwise known as the PWV.

Megacity
Megacity
A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

 is a general term for metropolitan areas which usually have a total population in excess of ten million people. In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, "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
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 has a metropolitan population of about five million people, but is part of a much larger metropolitan region called the Golden Horseshoe
Golden Horseshoe
The Golden Horseshoe is a densely populated and industrialized region centred around the Greater Toronto Area at the western end of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, with outer boundaries stretching south to Lake Erie and north to Georgian Bay. Most of it is also part of the Quebec City...

, 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
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 may only have a city population of slightly over 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
Tijuana
Tijuana is the largest city on the Baja California Peninsula and center of the Tijuana metropolitan area, part of the international San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. An industrial and financial center of Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence on economics, education, culture, art, and politics...

.

See also

  • Developed environments
    Developed environments
    Developed environments are environments in geography. Different kinds of developed lands are developed environments. The main developed environments are Urban, Suburban, Rural and Exurban communities....

  • Economic restructuring
    Economic restructuring
    Economic restructuring refers to the phenomenon of Western urban areas shifting from a manufacturing to a service sector economic base. This transformation has affected demographics including income distribution, employment, and social hierarchy; institutional arrangements including the growth of...

  • Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • metropolitan economy
    Metropolitan economy
    A metropolitan economy refers to the cohesive, naturally evolving concentration of industries, commerce, markets, firms, housing, human capital, infrastructure and other economic elements that are comprised in a particular metropolitan area...

  • Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...


Metropolitan Planning Theories

  • New Urbanism
    New urbanism
    New Urbanism is an urban design movement, which promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually continued to reform many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use...

  • Smart growth
    Smart growth
    Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a...

  • Transit-oriented development
    Transit-oriented development
    A transit-oriented development is a mixed-use residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership...


Terms



  • Amalgamation (politics)
    Amalgamation (politics)
    A merger or amalgamation in a political or administrative sense is the combination of two or more political or administrative entities such as municipalities , counties, districts, etc. into a single entity. This term is used when the process occurs within a sovereign entity...

  • Census metropolitan area
  • Combined statistical area
    Combined Statistical Area
    The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

  • Consolidated city-county
    Consolidated city-county
    In United States local government, a consolidated city–county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state...

  • Conurbation
    Conurbation
    A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

  • Ecumenopolis
    Ecumenopolis
    Ecumenopolis is a word invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to represent the idea that in the future urban areas and megalopolises would eventually fuse and there would be a single continuous worldwide city as a...

  • Industrial region
    Industrial region
    Industrial region or industrial area refers to a region with extremely dense industry. It is usually heavily urbanized.-Brazil:*ABCD Region, sometimes called ABC is an industrial region made up of seven municipalities with the greater metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil.-Korea:*Kaesŏng...

  • Larger Urban Zones (LUZ)

  • Megacity
    Megacity
    A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

  • Megalopolis (city type)
    Megalopolis (city type)
    A megalopolis is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Oswald Spengler in his 1918 book, The Decline of the West, and Lewis Mumford in his 1938 book, The Culture of Cities, which described it as the first stage in urban overdevelopment and...

  • Metrobus
    Metrobus
    Metrobus may refer to:* MCW Metrobus, a bus model manufactured by MCW in the 1970s and 1980s* Metrobus a bus operator in south-east England* M-é-t-r-o-b-u-s, the bus and metro operator Tramway de Rouen in Rouen, France...

  • Metropolis
    Metropolis
    A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

  • Overpopulation
    Overpopulation
    Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

  • Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

  • Urban area
    Urban area
    An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

  • World's largest cities
    World's largest cities
    This article ranks the world's largest cities, in population or land area, using a variety of ranking methods.-Ambiguities in measuring the "size" of a city:...



Lists of metropolitan areas



  • List of metropolitan areas in Asia
  • List of metropolitan areas in Africa
  • List of metropolitan areas in the Americas
    • Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas
      Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas
      thumb|An enlargeable map of the 942 [[Core Based Statistical Area]]s of the [[United States]]. The 367 [[Metropolitan Statistical Area]]s are shown in red....

  • List of metropolitan areas in Europe
    • List of metropolitan areas (LUZ) in the European Union
    • List of the largest urban areas of the European Union
      Largest urban areas of the European Union
      This is a list of all the urban areas of the European Union which have greater than 750,000 inhabitants each in 2011.This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for urban areas in the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.-Important...



External links