Megalopolis (city type)

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A megalopolis (sometimes improperly called a megapolis) or megaregion is typically defined as a chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. The term was used by Patrick Geddes in his 1915 book "Cities in Evolution",[1] 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 social decline. Later, it was used by Jean Gottmann in 1954, to describe the chain of metropolitan areas along the northeastern seaboard of the U.S. extending from Boston, Massachusetts through New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and ending in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.[2][3][4]


A megapolis is a Western deformation of the Greek word that derived from Greek: μέγας - great and Greek: πόλις - city therefore literally a great city. Since in Greek: πόλις is feminine, the correct term is "megalopolis". The metric prefix mega- represents the number of million (1,000,000) in the metric system.

A megalopolis, also known as a megaregion, is a clustered network of cities. Gottmann defined its population as 25 million.[5] Doxiadis defined a small megalopolis a similar cluster with a population of about 10 million.[6][7][8] America 2050,[9] a program of the Regional Plan Association, lists 11 megaregions in the United States and Canada.[6] Literally, megalopolis in Greek means a city of exaggerated size where the prefix megalo- represents a quantity of exaggerated size.[10] Megapolitan areas were explored in a July 2005 report by Robert E. Lang and Dawn Dhavale of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.[11] A later 2007 article by Lang and Nelson uses 20 megapolitan areas grouped into 10 megaregions.[12] The concept is based on the original Megalopolis model.[8]

Modern interlinked ground transportation corridors, such as rail and highway, often aid in the development of megalopolises. Using these commuter passageways to travel throughout the megalopolis is informally called megaloping. This term was coined by Davide Gadren and Stefan Berteau.[13]



East Asia[edit]


Emerging megacities and megalopolises in China (in decreasing order of population):

In July 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit brought out a report entitled; Supersized cities: China’s 13 megalopolises, which pinpoints the 13 emerging megalopolises in China, and highlights the demographic and income trends that are shaping their development.


South Korea[edit]

(24,000,000)[citation needed]

(8,500,000)[citation needed]

South Asia[edit]


Southeast Asia[edit]

Largest megalopolis in South East Asia (in decreasing order of population):


The Blue Banana
The Golden Banana
The Green Banana.

"Blue Banana" (also known as Hot Banana, Dorsal, European Megalopolis or European Backbone):[23] LiverpoolManchesterLeedsBirminghamLondonBrusselsAntwerpAmsterdamRotterdamThe HagueLuxembourgRhine-RuhrFrankfurt am MainMunichStuttgartStrasbourgBaselZürichTurinMilan (110,000,000).[24]

"Golden Banana" (or European Sunbelt):[23] TurinGenoaLyonMonacoNiceToulonMarseilleNîmesMontpellierNarbonnePerpignanToulouseAndorra
ManresaGironaBarcelonaTarragonaCastellón de la PlanaSaguntValenciaAlicanteMurciaCartagena (30,000,000).

"Green Banana" (also known as East Banana, New Banana, Young Banana, East Poland-Centrope-Adriatic or Vistula-Danube Economic River): GdańskBydgoszczWarsawŁódźKielceKrakówKatowiceOstravaOlomucBrnoWienBratislavaBudapestZagrebLjubljanaTriesteKoper (21,000,000).

  • Centrope in Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, usually included is Budapest but is not officially part of it (11,000,000).

North America[edit]



Megalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major citiesRelated articles
Quebec City – Windsor Corridor182116.7%Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Montreal, Oshawa, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, WindsorQuebec City – Windsor Corridor, Southern Ontario


Greater Mexico City
Megalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major citiesRelated articles
Bajío5.1 ? ?%León, Queretaro, Aguascalientes, San Francisco del RincónBajío
Greater Mexico City28 ? ?%Mexico City, Puebla, Cuernavaca, Toluca and PachucaCentral Mexico

United States[6][28][edit]

Megalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major citiesRelated articles
Arizona Sun Corridor[29][30]5.77.429.8%Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, PrescottArizona Sun Corridor, Arizona, Valley of the Sun
Cascadia10.310.2-1.0%Abbotsford, Boise, Eugene, Portland (OR), Salem, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver (BC), Vancouver (WA), VictoriaPacific Northwest, Metro Vancouver
Florida14.721.445.6%Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, TampaSouth Florida, Central Florida, North Florida
Front Range4.76.844.7%Albuquerque, Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, TaosFront Range Urban Corridor
Gulf Coast11.715.835.0%Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Houston, Mobile, Gulfport, Biloxi, New Orleans, PensacolaGulf Coast
Great Lakes54.164.318.9%Akron, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Des Moines, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Duluth, Madison Green Bay, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Ann Arbor, Hamilton, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, London, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Quad Cities, Rochester (NY), Rochester (MN), St. Louis, Saint Paul, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor, Great Lakes region, Midwestern United States
Northeast49.658.117.1%Allentown-Bethlehem, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Harrisburg, Nashua, Newark, New York City, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Richmond, Knowledge Corridor (Springfield and Hartford), Trenton, Virginia Beach, Washington, Wilmington, WorcesterNortheast megalopolis, Northeast Corridor
Northern California12.717.336.2%Fresno, Modesto, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, StocktonCalifornia megapolitan areas
Piedmont Atlantic14.920.537.6%Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Huntsville, Knoxville, Memphis, Montgomery, Nashville, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Piedmont, New South, South Atlantic States, I-85 Corridor, Piedmont Crescent
Southern California24.934.739.4%Anaheim, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, TijuanaCalifornia megapolitan areas
Texas Triangle16.526.862.4%Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San AntonioTTC-35, I-35 Corridor


South America[edit]

Composite image of the Earth at night, created by NASA and NOAA. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. It is possible to see various metropolises close to each other in South America, but to the exception of a few central Argentine cities close to Buenos Aires, only in between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo there is a continual strip of urbanization (that is not as thin as the Argentine ones).


Megalopolis NamePopulation
Major citiesOther cities
Rio-São Paulo Megalopolis45,678,990São Paulo and Rio de JaneiroSantos, Campinas, Niterói and São José dos Campos

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geddes, Patrick (1915). Cities in Evolution. London: Williams & Norgate. 
  2. ^ Gottmann, Jean (1954). L'Amerique. Paris: Hachette. 
  3. ^ Gottmann, Jean (1957). "Megalopolis, or the urbanization of the Northeastern Seaboard". Economic Geography 33 (3): 189–200. 
  4. ^ Gottmann, Jean (1961). Megalopolis. The Urbanized Northeastern seaboard of the United States. New York: The Twentieth Century Fund. 
  5. ^ Gottmann, Jean (1989). Since Megalopolis. The Urban Writings of Jean Gottmann. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 163. 
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Cities: Capital for the New Megalopolis.Time magazine, November 4, 1966. Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Definition of the prefix megalo-. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
  11. ^ "Beyond Megalopolis" by the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech
  12. ^
  13. ^ Tremble, Sam (May 30, 2007). "Fumbling Toward Portland". Philadelphia City Paper. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ M Shilowa to debate Gauteng's position on global city region, 29 Aug
  17. ^ report: World's biggest cities merging into 'mega-regions'
  18. ^
  19. ^ Vidal, John (2010-03-22). "UN report: World's biggest cities merging into 'mega-regions'". The Guardian (London). 
  20. ^ "Foreign investment shows trend of "moving northward"". 2004-05-14. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b From Territorial Cohesion to the New Regionalized Europe
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Population and living conditions in Urban Audit cities, larger urban zone (LUZ) (tgs00080)". Eurostat. July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  26. ^ Italian Ministry of Environment: the metropolitan area of Milan
  27. ^ Murcia–Alicante metropolitan region. El País.
  28. ^ Regional Plan Association (2008). America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America. New York: Regional Plan Association.
  29. ^ "Megapolitan: Arizona's Sun Corridor". Morrison Institute for Public Policy. May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  30. ^ "When Phoenix, Tucson Merge". The Arizona Republic. 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2008-06-03.