China to Create World's Largest Megacity With 42 Million People
From various articles in the London Telegraph
Over the next six years, around 150 major infrastructure projects will mesh the transport, energy, water and telecommunications networks of the nine cities together, at a cost of some 2 trillion yuan (£190 billion). An express rail line will also connect the hub with nearby Hong Kong.|
"The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around freely and use the health care and other facilities in the different areas," said Ma Xiangming, the chief planner at the Guangdong Rural and Urban Planning Institute and a senior consultant on the project.
However, he said no name had been chosen for the area. "It will not be like Greater London or Greater Tokyo because there is no one city at the heart of this megalopolis," he said. "We cannot just name it after one of the existing cities."
"It will help spread industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly," he added.
Mr Ma said that residents would be able to use universal rail cards and buy annual tickets to allow them to commute around the mega-city.
Twenty-nine rail lines, totalling 3,100 miles, will be added, cutting rail journeys around the urban area to a maximum of one hour between different city centres. According to planners, phone bills could also fall by 85 per cent and hospitals and schools will be improved.
"Residents will be able to choose where to get their services and will use the internet to find out which hospital, for example, is less busy," said Mr Ma.
Pollution, a key problem in the Pearl River Delta because of its industrialisation, will also be addressed with a united policy, and the price of petrol and electricity could also be unified.
The southern conglomeration is intended to wrestle back a competitive advantage from the growing urban areas around Beijing and Shanghai.
By the end of the decade, China plans to move ever greater numbers into its cities, creating some city zones with 50 million to 100 million people and "small" city clusters of 10 million to 25 million.
In the north, the area around Beijing and Tianjin, two of China's most important cities, is being ringed with a network of high-speed railways that will create a super-urban area known as the Bohai Economic Rim. Its population could be as high as 260 million.
The process of merging the Bohai region has already begun with the connection of Beijing to Tianjing by a high speed railway that completes the 75 mile journey in less than half an hour, providing an axis around which to create a network of feeder cities.
As the process gathers pace, total investment in urban infrastructure over the next five years is expected to hit £685 billion, according to an estimate by the British Chamber of Commerce, with an additional £300 billion spend on high speed rail and £70 billion on urban transport.
Including Hong Kong and Taiwan, there are over 160 cities in China with more than a million residents.
In addition, there are five cities with metropolitan areas with more than 10 million residents – qualifying them as "mega-cities". By 2025, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co., there will be more than 220 cities with more than a million people each.
Read also China's Boomtowns
The commercial center of W China, it commands a large river trade. Surrounded on three sides by water, it is situated on a rock promontory. A flourishing industrial city, it was opened for direct foreign trade in 1979. In the 1980s it became the site of an economic experiment, where factory managers were given more decision-making power and allowed to channel profits into expansion.|
The early 21st century saw Chongqing develop as China's largest inland urban area to provide economic opportunity for the surrounding region's poorer rural inhabitants.
Shanghai is one of the most important cities in China, being the country's financial center as well as a multi-cultural metropolis with modern as well as traditional features.|
One of the busiest ports in the world, Shanghai became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005. The city is also a popular tourist destination, owing to the presence of numerous museums, towers, gardens and temples.
Another attraction in the city is the ‘Forbidden City’, which is centrally located in Beijing. It is the ancient imperial palace of the emperors of China and is the world’s largest surviving palace complex.|
The Summer Palace is another astonishing and enjoyable attraction for visitors.
The city has an integrated steel complex, paper mills, a long-established textile industry (silk, cotton, jute, and more recently synthetic fibers), and factories producing tractors, machinery, machine tools, newsprint, refined sugar, small appliances, tires, bicycles, sports equipment, porcelain, cement and chemicals.|
Traditional arts and crafts, principally ivory and jade carvings, are still produced locally, and Guangzhou is one of the marketplaces for China's great national trade expositions. The city's enormous concentration of commerce also provides plenty of choice for visitors seeking nature, history and culture.
Guangzhou has a massive number of malls and retail stores, and the world's largest collection of true wholesale markets at which it is possible to purchase almost anything at very attractive prices. The city is a true shoppers' paradise.
Guangzhou has a worldwide reputation for good food. It has more restaurants and teahouses than any other city in China, and Cantonese cuisine is famous everywhere for its color, fragrance, taste and presentation.
Tianjin is located at northeast of North China Plain, facing Bohai River on east and bordering the Yanshan Mountain in north. It is a strategic location surrounding and protecting Beijing, only 120 kilometers from the capital and connected by a 380 Kph HSR train system.|
The third largest city in China, Tianjin is a port at the confluence of the Hai River with the Grand Canal. Tianjin is a leading international port of China and the collection and distribution center for the N China plain, connected by rail with much of China.
Tianjin is an important manufacturing center, with iron and steelworks, textile mills (cotton, woolen, and hemp), machine shops, a chemical industry based on salt, flour mills and other food-processing establishments, paper mills, and plants making heavy machinery, automobiles, precision instruments, cement, fertilizer, rubber products, carpets, lubricants, computers and computer components, and telecommunications equipment.
A mega-city is usually defined as a metropolitan area
with a total population of more than 10 million people.
Greater Tokyo – 34.2 million (population) 0.6 per cent growth (between 2009 and 2010)
Greater Shanghai – 28,800,000, 2.2pc
Guangzhou – 24,900,000, 4pc growth
Seoul – 24,500,000, 1.4pc growth
Delhi – 23,900,000, 4.60pc growth
Mumbai – 23,300,000, 2.9pc
Mexico City – 22,800,000, 2.00pc
New York City – 22,200,000, 0.3pc
Sao Paulo – 20,800,000, 1.4pc
Manila – 20,100,000, 2.5pc
Jakarta – 18,700,000, 2pc
Los Angeles – 17,900,000, 1.10pc
Osaka – 16,800,000, 0.15pc
Karachi – 16,700,000, 4.90pc
Calcutta – 16,600,000, 2.00pc
Cairo – 15,300,000, 2.6pc
Buenos Aires – 14,800,000, 1pc
Moscow – 14,800,000, 0.2pc
Dhaka – 14,000,000, 4.1pc
Beijing – 13,900,000, 2.7pc
Tehran – 13,100,000, 2.60pc
Istanbul – 13,000,000, 2.8pc
London – 12,500,000, 0.7pc
Rio de Janeiro – 12,500,000, 1pc
Lagos – 12,100,000, 3.2pc
*This list is an estimate due to the difficulty in defining some mega cities and accurately estimating some populations.