Do Mega-regions own the Future?
Posted by Mathew Klie-Cribb
on Friday, March 26, 2010
The biggest cities in the world are merging! A new UN report says that mega-cities are forming mega-regions that stretch hundreds of kilometers and can be home to more than 100-million people.
The biggest of these, a combination of Hong Kong, Shenhzen, and Guangzhou in China, is home to 120-million people.
This explosion in urban growth is one reason why the earth passed a significant tipping point last year; more people now live in cities than in rural areas.
These new mega-regions are contributing more to the world economy than any other area.
"Research shows that the world's 40 largest mega-regions cover only a tiny fraction of the habitable surface of our planet and are home to fewer than 18 per cent of the world's population," says the report's co-author Eduardo Lopez Moreno. But these areas account for 66 per cent of all economic activity and about 85 per cent of technological and scientific innovation, he told The Guardian.
This means that mega-cities and regions are creating unbalanced development and income inequalities.
The UN surveyed cities around the world and found that the largest inequities between large urban areas and rural life are found in South Africa. Although the U.S. emerged high on the list as well.