Introduction to Megacities

A megacity is a city with a population exceeding 10 million. A minimum level for population density is also set at 2,000 persons per square km. Through the years, cities which have been classified has megacities have increased dramatically. In 1950, only London and New York were megacities. In 2000, there were 28, 22 of which were located in less economically developed countries.

The only megatcity to lose its 'megacity' status was London. This was because of the flight of people moving from the inner cities of London to the surburbs. Another reason was that there has been strong counter-urbanistaion to market towns and rural areas all over South-Eastern England.

By 2025, there is another expected increase in the number of megacities with different cities all over the world dramatically increasing in population number. Asia alone will also have up to 10 hypercities (cities with a population of 20,000,000 or more).

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How Megacities developed

There are a number of factors which influence the growth into megacities:

1. Many megacities develop from historically important sities, for example sites such as former colonial trading ports (eg. Shanghai, China), and then were re-assigned capital city status post-independence.

2. Some megacities spearheaded industrialisation (eg. Sao Paulo)

3. Large cities become hosts to international investment.

4. A city with favourable conditions become the primate city and the most important city in a country (eg. Mexico City)

5. The city develops due to a rapid net growth in their population. This is most common in megacities in less economically developed countries (e.g Lagos or Delhi).

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Extra Information on Megacities

Some megacities in the end develop into world cities. World cities can be defined as the command and control points for global capitalism. They are distinguished by size and by the range and extent of their economic power.

Megacities also have a number of advantages and disadvantages. The number of disadvantages tends to increase and become worse when the size of the megacity increases. Some megacities have alos become unsustainable (eg. Los Angeles and Mexico City) due to the fact that because they spread over a large area, demand for energy is huge.

Some examples of Megacities:

Tokyo - Japan , New York City - USA , Mumbai - India , Sao Paulo - Brazil , Cairo - Egypt , Moscow - Russia , Seoul - South Korea , Beijing - China , Dhaka - Bangladesh , Paris - France , Istanbul - Turkey , Delhi - India

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