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".


Megapolis is a Western deformation of the Greek word that derived from Greek: μέγας - 'great' and Greek: πόλις - 'city', therefore literally a 'great city'. This term is closer in meaning to megacity. 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]

South Asia[edit]

Dhaka, Bangladesh; part of the emerging chain of cities in the Bengal region


  • Greater Tehran: A region located in Iranian Tehran and Alborz Province in central Northern Iran with its influence expanding in Qom Province, Qazvin Province and Mazandaran Province, home for at least 15 million people, it is one of the most populous urban areas in the Greater Middle East and the surrounding regions. Tehran was a small village 200 years ago when it was first chosen as the Capital city and it has been growing at a very fast rate.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Rank Megalopolis Name Country Population
in millions
Major cities
1 West Java  Indonesia 45+ Jakarta, Bandung, Sukabumi, Serang
2 Mega Manila  Philippines 40+ Manila, Angeles, Baguio, Batangas, Dagupan, Olongapo, Cebu
3 Central Thailand  Thailand 20+ Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Pattaya
4 Southeast Economic Zone  Vietnam 15+ Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Ho Chi Minh City, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, Long An, Tiền Giang
5 East Java  Indonesia 13+ Kediri, Malang, Surabaya


The Blue Banana
The Golden Banana
The Green Banana


Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Blue Banana 110–130[24] LiverpoolManchesterLeedsBirminghamLondonLilleBrusselsAntwerpAmsterdamRotterdamThe HagueLuxembourgRhine-RuhrFrankfurt am MainMunichStuttgartStrasbourgBaselZürichTurinMilan
2 Golden Banana 30–35[25] TurinGenoaLyonMonacoNiceToulonMarseilleNîmesMontpellierNarbonnePerpignanToulouseAndorra
ManresaGironaBarcelonaTarragonaCastellón de la PlanaSaguntValenciaAlicanteMurciaCartagena
3 Green Banana 40 GdańskKatowiceOstravaOlomucBrnoWienBratislavaBudapestLjubljanaZagrebTrieste


Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Paris metropolitan area 12.3[26] Paris & most of Île-de-France
2 Lyon economic region 5.5[25] Lyon & Rhône-Alpes river area
3 Marseille metropolitan region 1.8[25] Marseille, Aix-en-Provence
4 Toulouse economic region 1.5[25] Toulouse, Andorra (independent state, not part of France
5 Nice economic region 1.1[25] Nice, Monaco (independent city state, not part of France



Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Rhine-Ruhr 13.5 Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen
2 Berlin-Brandenburg 5.95 Berlin, Potsdam
3 Frankfurt Rhine-Main 5.52 Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Mainz
4 Stuttgart Metropolitan Region 5.29[25] Stuttgart
5 Munich Metropolitan Region 5.2[25] Munich
6 Hamburg Metropolitan Region 5.0 Hamburg
7 Saxon triangle 4.36[25] Leipzig, Halle, Dresden
8 Hannover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg EMR 3.91[25] Hannover, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Wolfsburg
9 Nuremberg Metropolitan Region 3.5[25] Nuremberg
10 Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region 2.37[25] Bremen, Oldenburg



Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Grande Milano 7.5 Milan
2 Naples metropolitan area 4.46 Naples
3 Rome metropolitan area 4.3 Rome
4 Turin economic region 4.1 Turin & Piedmont centre and south area
5 Genoa metropolitan region 1.5 Genoa
6 Conca d'Oro 1.1 Palermo and neighboring cities

Low Countries[edit]

Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg:[25]

Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Randstad 7.5 Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht
2 Flemish Diamond 5.5 Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven
3 Brabantse Stedenrij 2.0 Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, Helmond



Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 Barcelona 6.7 Barcelona & coastal towns of Catalonia (from Tarragona to Figueres)
2 Madrid region 6.3 Madrid
3 Valencia 2.2 Valencia, Sagunto
3 Murcia-Alicante 2.2 Murcia, Alicante, Cartagena, Benidorm

United Kingdom[edit]

Rank Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
1 London commuter belt 21.0[29] London, Southend-on-Sea, Chatham, Luton, Reading
2 Northern England 9.4[25][30] Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Warrington, Bradford, Birkenhead, Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool
3 English midlands 6.3[25][30] Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Derby, Stoke-on-Trent
4 Central Belt 3.6[30] Glasgow, Edinburgh
5 South Hampshire-Brighton 2.8[25][30] Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bournemouth
6 Tyne & Wear Region 2.2[25][30] Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough
7 Cardiff-Bristol-Swansea 2.2[25][30] Cardiff, Bristol, Swansea, Newport

North America[edit]


Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major cities Related articles
Quebec City – Windsor Corridor 18 21 16.7% Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Montreal, Oshawa, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, Windsor Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, Southern Ontario
Calgary-Edmonton Corridor 2 4 100% Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, St. Albert, Airdrie Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, Calgary Region, Edmonton Capital Region, Central Alberta


Greater Mexico City
Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2000 - 2025 (projected)
Major cities Related articles
Bajío 8.5  ?  ?% León, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, Celaya, Irapuato, Salamanca Bajío
Greater Mexico City 28  ?  ?% Mexico City, Puebla, Cuernavaca, Toluca, Pachuca, Tula, Tlaxcala, Cuautla, Tulancingo

United States[edit]



Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Percent of U.S. Population (2010) Population
in millions
2025 (projected)
percent growth 2010 - 2025 (projected)
Major cities
Arizona Sun Corridor[32][33] 5.6 2% 7.8 39.3% Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott
Cascadia 8.4 3% 8.8 5.0% Abbotsford, Boise, Eugene, Portland (OR), Salem, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver (BC), Vancouver (WA), Victoria
Florida 17.3 6% 21.5 24.3% Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa
Front Range 5.5 2% 6.9 26% Albuquerque, Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Taos
Great Lakes 55.5 18% 60.7 9.4% 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, Omaha, Oshawa, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Quad Cities, Rochester (NY), Rochester (MN), Rockford, Saginaw, St. Louis, Saint Paul, Toledo, Toronto, Windsor
Gulf Coast 13.4 4% 16.3 21.6% Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Houston, Mobile, Gulfport, Biloxi, New Orleans, Pensacola
Northeast 52.3 17% 58.4 11.7% Allentown-Bethlehem, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Nashua, Newark, New York, Norfolk, Ocean City, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Pottsville, Providence, Richmond, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Knowledge Corridor (Springfield and Hartford), Trenton, Virginia Beach, Washington, Wilmington, Worcester
Northern California 14 5% 16.4 17.1% Fresno, Modesto, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Stockton
Piedmont Atlantic 17.6 6% 21.7 23.3% Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Greenville, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Montgomery, Nashville, Raleigh, Winston-Salem
Southern California 24.4 8% 29 18.9% Anaheim, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tijuana
Texas Triangle 19.7 6% 24.8 25.9% Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio

Note that one city, Houston, is listed in two different Megalopolis regions (the Gulf Coast and Texas Triangle).



Megalopolis Name Population
in millions
Major cities
Sydney Region 5.6[34] Greater Sydney (including Central Coast and Blue Mountains) (4.75 million), Newcastle (365,000), Wollongong (294,000)
South East Queensland 3.5[34] 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 Name Population
Major cities Other cities
Bogota National Capital Metropolis +15,000,000 Bogotá, Soacha, Facatativá, Chía, Fusagasuga and Zipaquirá Madrid, Funza, Cajica, Ubate, Sibate, Guaduas, and Tocancipá
Northeast Atlantic Region +6,000,000 Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta Ciénaga, Malambo, Baranoa and Turbaco
Medellín Valley Metropolis +4,500,000 Medellin, Bello, Itagui, and Envigado Caldas, Copacabana, La Estrella, Sabaneta, and Girardota
Greater Cali +3,800,000 Cali, Yumbo, and Palmira Candelaria, El Calmero, and La Cumbre


Megalopolis Name Population
Major cities Other cities
Caracas-Valencia Megalopolis +9,000,000 Caracas, Valencia, and Maracay Cagua, Maiquetia, and Guatire


Megalopolis Name Population
Major cities Other cities
Greater Buenos Aires 13,641,973 Buenos Aires, Merlo, Buenos Aires, Quilmes, Banfield, Buenos Aires Lanús, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires , and Avellaneda


Megalopolis Name Population
Major cities Other cities
Lima-Callao Megalopolis 10,523,796 Lima and Callao Provincias Lima Norte, Provincias Lima Sur, and Provincias Lima Este


Imagem de satélite view metropolitans areas of the São Paulo (center), Campinas (high) end Baixada Santista night, of the Estação Espacial Internacional
Imagem de satélite of the megalopolis night. The Região Metropolitana de São Paulo is on the left end the Região Metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro is on the right.
Megalopolis Name Population
Major cities Other cities
Megalópole Rio-São Paulo 45,678,990 São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro Santos, Campinas, Niterói and São José dos Campos
Expanded Metropolitan Complex of São Paulo +32,200,000 São Paulo and Campinas Sorocaba, Jundiaí, São José dos Campos, Piracicaba end Santos
City end total metropolitan area in São Paulo
Position metropolitan area inhabitants City inhabitants
1 Região Metropolitana de São Paulo 20,935,204 São Paulo 11,895,893
2 Região Metropolitana de Campinas 3,043,217 Campinas 1,154,617
3 Região Metropolitana do Vale do Paraíba e Litoral Norte 2,430,392 São José dos Campos 681,036
4 Região Metropolitana de Sorocaba 1,805,473 Sorocaba 637,187
5 Região Metropolitana da Baixada Santista 1,781,620 Santos 433,565
6 Aglomeração Urbana de Piracicaba 1,195,904 Piracicaba 388,412
7 Aglomeração Urbana de Jundiaí 705,000 Jundiaí 397,965
População (2013)
Belford Roxo 619.487
Cachoeiras de Macacu 54.370
Duque de Caxias 856.167
Guapimirim 53.411
Itaboraí 231.749
Itaguaí 94.835
Japeri 61.243
Magé 219.405
Maricá 130.663
Mesquita 197.361
Nilópolis 181.575
Niterói 497.507
Nova Iguaçu 804.815
Paracambi 50.536
Queimados 69.906
Rio Bonito 55.586
Rio de Janeiro 6.595.105
São Gonçalo 1.025.507
São João de Meriti 468.309
Seropédica 83.561
Tanguá 30.741
Total 12.890.607

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. ^
  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. ^ "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. ^ "INSEE - Paris". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  27. ^ EMR
  28. ^ "Brookings". The Brookings Institution. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Greater London Authority". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f ESPON
  31. ^ Regional Plan Association (2008). America 2050: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America. New York: Regional Plan Association.
  32. ^ "Megapolitan: Arizona's Sun Corridor". Morrison Institute for Public Policy. May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  33. ^ "When Phoenix, Tucson Merge". The Arizona Republic. 2006-04-09. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  34. ^ a b 3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2012-13, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 19 September 2014, retrieved 19 September 2014 
  35. ^ Lei Complementar Estadual nº133 de 2009