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More than 50% of the world's population live in urban areas . This number is increasing,
particularly in developing countries. Population growth in urban areas has increased the
number of big cities in the world.
The increasing percentage of people living in urban areas is called urbanisation. It plays a
key role in a country's process of industrialisation.
The most urbanised continents are Europe, North America, South America and Oceania; the
least urbanised are Asia and Africa. However, in terms of urban growth, the number of
urban dwellers is by far the largest in Asia, with 1.4 billion people living in towns and cities,
which is 40% of the population.
Urbanisation is increasing most rapidly in Africa and Asia. This trend is expected to continue,
so that by 2025 almost half the population of these continents will live in urban areas and
80% of urban dwellers will live in developing countries.
Increased global urbanisation has resulted in the development of many millionaire cities.
There are also a significant number of enormous megacities, some of which are classed as
Millionaire Cities An urban area with over a million people living there
Megacities An urban area with more than 10 million people
World Cities Those which have great influence on a global scale, because of
their financial status and worldwide commercial power
The world's ten largest cities, 1960 and 2008
Rank 1960 Population 2008 Population
1 New York 14.2 Tokyo-Yokohama 34.4
2 London 10.7 New York 20.3
3 Tokyo 10.7 Seoul-Incheon 20.1
4 Shanghai 10.7 Jakarta 19.9
5 Beijing 7.3 Mumbai 19.4
6 Paris 7.2 Sao Paulo 19.1
7 Buenos Aires 6.9 Mexico City 18.4
8 Los Angeles 6.6 Delhi 17.6
9 Moscow 6.0 Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto 17.2
10 Chicago 6.0 Manila 17.0
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The Development of World Cities
Among the world's largest urban areas are a select group of cities which have become
critical in terms of economic activity.
Just 100 cities account for 30% of the world's economy.
World cities play an important role in the global economic system. They allow global finance
and trade to function in a few strategic geographic locations.…read more
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A world city is politically central and influential
It must have power on a global scale
It's country may be part of a major group such as the G8
It should hold a seat of government
A world city is a place with excellent national and international transport and communications
links and required infrastructure
International airport hub
An airport which is home to at least one major international airline
Centre of rail and road network
Wi-Fi setup and fibre optic networks installed
Will have the…read more