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] The latter is sometimes called the "BosNYWash megalopolis".


A megalopolis is a Western deformation of the Greek word that derived from Greek: μέγας - great and Greek: πόλις - city therefore literally a great city. Because 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 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]


(8,500,000)[citation needed]

India / South Asia[edit]


Southeast Asia[edit]

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


The Blue Banana
The Golden Banana


RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Blue Banana110[24]LiverpoolManchesterLeedsBirminghamLondonBrusselsAntwerpAmsterdamRotterdamThe HagueLuxembourgRhine-RuhrFrankfurt am MainMunichStuttgartStrasbourgBaselZürichTurinMilan
2Golden Banana30[25]TurinGenoaLyonMonacoNiceToulonMarseilleNîmesMontpellierNarbonnePerpignanToulouseAndorra

GironaBarcelonaTarragonaCastellón de la PlanaSaguntValenciaAlicanteMurciaCartagena

3Green Banana11[26]OstravaOlomucBrnoWienBratislavaBudapest


RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Paris metropolitan area12,3[27]Paris & most of Île-de-France
2Lyon economic region5,5[25]Lyon & Rhône-Alpes river area
3Marseille metropolitan region1,8[25]Marseille, Aix-en-Provence
4Toulouse economic region1,5[25]Toulouse, Andorra (independent state, not part of France
5Nice economic region1,1[25]Nice, Monaco (independent city state, not part of France


RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Rhine-Ruhr13,5Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen
2Berlin-Brandenburg5,95Berlin, Potsdam
3Frankfurt Rhine-Main5,52Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Mainz
4Stuttgart Metropolitan Region5,29[25]Stuttgart
5Munich Metropolitan Region5,2[25]Munich
6Hamburg Metropolitan Region5,0Hamburg
7Saxon triangle4,36[25]Leipzig, Halle, Dresden
8Hannover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg EMR3,91[25]Hannover, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Wolfsburg
9Nuremberg Metropolitan Region3,5[25]Nuremburg
10Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region2,37[25]Bremen, Oldenburg


RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Grande Milano7,5Milan
2Naples metropolitan area4,46Naples
3Rome metropolitan area4,3Rome
4Turin economic region4,1Turin & Piedmont centre and south area
5Genoa metropolitan region1,5Genoa

Low Countries[25][edit]

Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg:

RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Randstad7,5Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht
2Flemish Diamond5,5Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven
3Brabantse Stedenrij2,0Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, Helmond


RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1Greater Barcelona5,0Barcelona & coastal towns of Catalonia
2Madrid region6,3Madrid
3Valencia2,2Valencia, Sagunto
3Murcia-Alicante2,2Murcia, Alicante, Cartagena, Benidorm

United Kingdom[edit]

RankMegalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
1London commuter belt21,0[30]London, Southend-on-Sea, Chatham, Luton, Reading
2Northern England9,4[25][31]Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Warrington, Bradford, Birkenhead, Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool
3English midlands6,3[25][32]Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Derby, Stoke-on-Trent
4Central Belt3,6[33]Glasgow, Edinburgh
5South Hampshire-Brighton2,8[25][34]Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bournemouth
6Tyne & Wear Region2,2[25][35]Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough
7Cardiff-Bristol-Swansea2,2[25][36]Cardiff, Bristol, Swansea, Newport

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
Calgary-Edmonton Corridor24100%Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, St. Albert, AirdrieCalgary-Edmonton Corridor, Calgary Region, Edmonton Capital Region, Central Alberta


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

United States[6][37][edit]

Megalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major citiesRelated articles
Arizona Sun Corridor[38][39]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, Ann Arbor, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Des Moines, Detroit, Duluth, Erie, Flint, Fort Wayne, Green Bay, Grand Rapids, Hamilton, Indianapolis, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Lansing, London, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oshawa, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Quad Cities, Rochester (NY), Rochester (MN), Rockford, Saginaw, St. Louis, Saint Paul, Toledo, Toronto, WindsorGreat Lakes region, Midwestern United States
Northeast49.658.117.1%Allentown-Bethlehem, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Harrisburg, Nashua, Newark, New York, Norfolk, Ocean City, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Richmond, Knowledge Corridor (Springfield and Hartford), Trenton, Virginia Beach, Washington, Wilmington, WorcesterNortheast megalopolis, Northeast Corridor, New England, Middle Atlantic
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-SalemPiedmont, 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



Megalopolis NamePopulation
in millions
Major cities
Sydney Region5.6[40]Greater Sydney (including Central Coast and Blue Mountains) (4.75 million), Newcastle (365,000), Wollongong (294,000)
South East Queensland3.5[40]Greater Brisbane (2.2 million), Gold Coast-Tweed Heads (681,000), Sunshine Coast (330,000), Toowoomba (149,000)

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
Greater Buenos Aires13,641,973Buenos Aires, Merlo, Buenos Aires, Quilmes, Banfield, Buenos AiresLanús, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires , and Avellaneda


Megalopolis NamePopulation
Major citiesOther cities
Lima-Callao Megalopolis10,523,796Lima and CallaoProvincias Lima Norte, Provincias Lima Sur, and Provincias Lima Este


Megalopolis NamePopulation
Major citiesOther cities
Rio-São Paulo Megalopolis45,678,990São Paulo and Rio de JaneiroSantos, Campinas, Niterói and São José dos Campos
Expanded Metropolitan Complex of São Paulo30 millionsSão Paulo and CampinasSorocaba, Jundiaí, São José dos Campos and Piracicaba

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. doi:10.2307/142307. 
  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 "Megaregions". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Who's Your City?: What Is a Megaregion?". 19 March 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Cities: Capital for the New Megalopolis.Time magazine, November 4, 1966. Retrieved on July 19, 2010.
  9. ^ "About Us - America 2050". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  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. ^
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  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. ^ "关于长江三角洲构建世界第六大城市群的思考". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  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. ^ A government publication states that on 1 November 2010, the population of “Seoul Metropolitan Area” stood at 23,616 thousand, which is the sum of the figures given for Gyeonggi-do (11,270 thousand), Seoul (9,708 thousand) and Incheon (2,638 thousand), apparently including the periphery.
    Source: “Preliminary Results of the 2010 Population and Housing Census” (PDF). Statistics Korea. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  22. ^ "广西北部湾经济区概况". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Chinese Cities on Beibu Gulf Increase Cooperation". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Ina Schmidt. "The European Blue Banana". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "From Territorial Cohesion to the New Regionalized Europe". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "INSEE - Paris". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  28. ^ EMR
  29. ^ "Brookings". The Brookings Institution. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Greater London Authority". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  31. ^ ESPON
  32. ^ ESPON
  33. ^ ESPON
  34. ^ ESPON
  35. ^ ESPON
  36. ^ ESPON
  37. ^ Regional Plan Association (2008). America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America. New York: Regional Plan Association.
  38. ^ "Megapolitan: Arizona's Sun Corridor". Morrison Institute for Public Policy. May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  39. ^ "When Phoenix, Tucson Merge". The Arizona Republic. 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  40. ^ a b 3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2012-13, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 19 September 2014, retrieved 19 September 2014