What is a Megacity?

A megalopolis is defined by the United Nations as a city that has a population of 10 million or more people. Currently, there are 37 megalopolises in the world. These cities include, among others, Tokyo, New York, Paris, Berlin and Bangkok. The UN statistics for 2017 indicate that the cities with the largest world population are Tokyo and Shanghai with 38.8 million and 35.5 million people respectively. Recently, the UN has predicted that the number of megalopolis will rise to 41 by the year 2030.

Background of the growth of megalopolis

In the 1st century BC, Rome was the largest and richest political city in Europe and had a population of one million. However, its population decreased to 20,000 during the High Middle Ages. Baghdad was the largest city of 762-1930 AD with a population of one million. Besides these two cities, Chang’an experienced the influx into its population after 1930. From 1825 to 1918, London was the largest city in the world with a population of over 5 million. This was followed by New York City which had a population of just over 10 million in the 1950s. Since then, the populations of the cities have grown tremendously. The number of megacities has grown from nine in 1985, to 19 in 2004, to 25 in 2010. Today the number of megalopolis is about 37 in the world.

Megacities Face Challenge

Due to their high population, megalopolises face different challenges. These challenges revolve around slums, crime, energy and material resources, homelessness and traffic congestion. The slums are settlement areas characterized by inadequate housing structures and poor hygiene. They were caused by population growth and massive local and international immigration. Individuals living in slums rarely receive access to adequate education, health care and housing. The slums are generally found in cities in developing countries. The increase in criminal activities due to the discontent of the city’s residents is another limitation of the megalopolis. A lack of satisfaction of basic needs like food, water and shelter can increase crime rates.

Some cities with high crime rates include Lagos, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. Megacities also face the challenge of managing limited energy and material resources such as electricity and water consumption, waste generation, transport energy and steel production. There are many children and families living on the streets in many megalopolises despite many attempts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to end the homeless. The final challenge is traffic congestion which refers to delays in transport occurring on the roads following the increase in use. One of the cities that suffers enormous traffic delays is Bangkok. Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. Megacities also face the challenge of managing limited energy and material resources such as electricity and water consumption, waste generation, transport energy and steel production.

There are many children and families living on the streets in many megalopolises despite many attempts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to end the homeless. The final challenge is traffic congestion which refers to delays in transport occurring on the roads following the increase in use. One of the cities that suffers enormous traffic delays is Bangkok. Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. Megacities also face the challenge of managing limited energy and material resources such as electricity and water consumption, waste generation, transport energy and steel production. There are many children and families living on the streets in many megalopolises despite many attempts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to end the homeless. The final challenge is traffic congestion which refers to delays in transport occurring on the roads following the increase in use. One of the cities that suffers enormous traffic delays is Bangkok. transport energy and steel production.

There are many children and families living on the streets in many megalopolises despite many attempts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to end the homeless. The final challenge is traffic congestion which refers to delays in transport occurring on the roads following the increase in use. One of the cities that suffers enormous traffic delays is Bangkok. transport energy and steel production. There are many children and families living on the streets in many megalopolises despite many attempts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to end the homeless. The final challenge is traffic congestion which refers to delays in transport occurring on the roads following the increase in use. One of the cities that suffers enormous traffic delays is Bangkok.

Solutions for the challenges faced by the megalopolis

Traffic congestion can be resolved by expanding the roads and minimizing the use of private cars when going to work. People can use public transport and leave their cars at home. The challenge of high crime rates can be reduced by offering job opportunities to individuals who are unable to guarantee jobs. Once employed, people are able to earn a decent living from their income. Increased job opportunities and encouraging citizens to engage in activities would also help solve the challenges of slums and homelessness.

Cities classified by the UN as a megalopolis

degree Megacity Population (millions)
1 Tokyo 38.1
2 Delhi 26.4
3 Shanghai 24.5
4 Mumbai 21.4
5 Sao Paulo 21.3
6 Beijing 21.2
7 Mexico City 21.2
8 Osaka 20.3
9 Cairo 19.1
10 New York 18.6
11 Dhaka 18.2
12 Karachi 17.1
13 Buenos Aires 15.3
14 Kolkata 15
15 Istanbul 14.4
16 Chongqing 13.7
17 Lagos 13.7
18 Manila 13.1
19 Guangzhou 13
20 Rio de Janeiro 13
21 Los Angeles 12.3
22 Moscow 12.3
23 Kinshasa 12
24 Tianjin 11.6
25 Paris 10.9
26 Shenzhen 10.8
27 Jakarta 10.5
28 Bangalore 10.5
29 London 10.4
30 Chennai 10.1
31 lime 10

 

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