From walking barefooted across fields to riding on city buses for work, giving up open spaces for living inside walls of brick and mortar, we as a civilization have moved up the urban ladder in a very short span of time. Across time, history has proved that people have been attracted to cities that serve as centers of culture, religion, learning, work and economics.
The first surge of urbanization took place in Europe and North America, gradually giving rise to megacities of today in the lesser known areas of Asia and Africa.While providing increased job opportunities, education and better pay, the Industrial Revolution has modified the agricultural societies. Going by the trends, Asia is leading the rank of emerging worldwide megacities, such as Tokyo, Delhi, Hong Kong, Dhaka and few others. According to city experts, with several million people living in a wonderful cultural mixture, megacities will continue to attract more wealth and population, which may someday recreate the global map.
The birth of a Megacity –
According to the UN, a megacity is a city which has exceeded 10 million in population and the number of megacities is accelerating dramatically. In today’s world, megacities and their surrounding economic areas are so pivotal to the global economy that they are being seen more like the city states of old. Some megacities today have economic outputs far in advance of entire countries and their global influence as a result makes them more important in many respects. Increasingly these cities are run in an autonomous fashion with their own governing bodies and budgets and as a result some are experiencing extraordinary levels of growth.
Growing urbanization –
Today, cities are expanding at such a rate that multiple cities are becoming difficult to distinguish from each other, creating vast areas of development called megalopolis. The Pearl River Delta area is a region of low-lying river basin around the pearl estuary in China and encompasses multiple megacities that are so geographically close it is effectively an emerging megalopolis. It includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Foshan and Macau extends as far as 7000 kilometers and has a population of 120m people. Being one of the very wealthiest areas in China and arguably the single most important economic area too, this region is critical to global growth, production and investment.
Bangladesh is expected to soon graduate from the ‘less developed country’ classification into ‘developed country’ by approximately 2021. Dhaka is central to economic development in the country, being the focus of international investment and industrial growth. While the progress of the city is predicted to be swift, the starting point is relatively low compared to other quick growing cities around the world. Despite this, difficulties remain. But these are also experiencing change and in the long-term will bring about further growth.
The economy of Karachi is expanding swiftly. Helped by a plentiful supply of cheap labor, the city has come to be regarded as an emerging economic power in the sub-continent region. Businesses are frequently uncompetitive, harming local economic growth; the country as a whole is too dependent on oil imports. Despite this, Karachi has a thriving start-up scene and the port has undergone substantial development, granting substance to the claims of being an emerging city economy.
With every step the world takes towards modernization, it will become a necessity to sustain a megacity with thorough planning. Areas with high-growth rates require strategic planning, which is tailored in accordance to a city’s history, culture and value system. In order to ensure the health and well-being of the future city inhabitants, the city planners need to keep an eye towards concerns pertaining to social justice, use of natural resource, environmental threats and other issues of a megacity.