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Metropolitan area
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Metropolitan area

For metro areas in the US, see United States metropolitan area

A metropolitan area or conurbation is a large population center that consists of several cities or towns clustered together with one or more large cities serving as its hub or hubs.

A conurbation (short for: continuous urbanisation) is an urban area consisting of a series of towns or cities, which through expansion, have merged together to form one continuous built up area.

A metropolitan area usually combines a conurbation proper (the contiguous built-up area) with peripheral zones not themselves necessarily urban in character but closely bound to the conurbation by employment or commerce; these zones are also sometimes known as a commuter belt. In France the official term for a metropolitan area is an aire urbaine.

The term metropolitan area is sometimes abbreviated to 'metro', for example in Metro Manila and Washington, DC Metro Area, and then should not be mistaken to mean the metro rail system of the city.

If several metropolitan areas are located in succession, metropolitan areas are sometimes grouped together as a megalopolis. A megalopolis consists of several interconnected cities (and their suburbs), between which people commute, and which are so close together that suburbs can claim to be suburbs of more than one city. This concept was first proposed by the French geographer Jean Gottmann in his book Megalopolis, who studied the northeastern United States. One famous example is the BosWash megalopolis consisting of New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Hartford, and vicinity. Other megalopolis are Tokyo, Osaka, the Ruhr Area, the Low Countries, and the south east region of England centred on London.

Megacity is a general term for cities together with their suburbs or recognized metropolitan area usually with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Whereas the term city includes importance, density and legal status of a place, the term megacity concentrates on size only.

In 1950 New York was the only such area; there are currently (2002) twenty, with twelve of those areas having exceeded 10 million since 1990. This has happened as the entire world population moves towards the high (75-85%) urbanization levels of North America and Western Europe. It is not clear that any city exclusive of its suburbs exceeds 10 million.

As well as all these cities experiencing some growth, by 2015 there could be a further six megacities. However the expansion of megalopolis is probably a greater trend, such as the previously mentioned Tokyo-Osaka, or Baltimore-Washington or Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo.

In Canada, megacity refers informally to the results of having merged the suburbs of an urban region into one large municipality. Cities so merged include Winnipeg, Manitoba (this merger antedates the term, and was called "Unicity" at the time), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau, Quebec, Longueuil, Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Saguenay, Quebec, and Lévis, Quebec. A Canadian "megacity", however, is not necessarily an entirely urban area, as many cities so named have both rural and urban portions.

In Japan, individual cities remain rather small but they form metropolitan areas or conurbations such as the capital zone in Tokyo or keihan zone in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto.

Table of contents
1 Megacities in fiction
2 See also
3 External link

Megacities in fiction

Fictional mega-cities feature in much dystopian science fiction, with cities such as the Sprawl and Mega-City One. In the comic 2000 A.D, the fictional Mega-City One is a megalopolis of 800 million people across the east coast of the United States, policed by Judge Dredd.

See also

External link