Metropolises

Metropolises

A metropolis is a large city with a population of over 1 million people.

Geography

Keywords

metropolis, settlement, features, population, social problems, social services, structure, settlement structure, catchment area, agglomeration, place of residence, global city, geography, society, human geography

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Metropolis

Settlements with a population between 1 and 10 million are called metropolises. They are internationally significant centers of politics, administration, management of the economy, industry, finance, trade, transportation, science and culture. Their sphere of influence depend on the international standing of the given country. One of their characteristics is the tendency to grow upwards to make better use of space. Their townscape, with skyscrapers, towering high buildings, makes them instantly recognizable.

Functions

  • financial district - banks, stock market, insurance companies, office buildings, centers of trading, transportation and telecommunication companies
  • political and administrative district - large squares, monuments, palaces, public buildings
  • university, museum, scientific research district
  • commercial district - department stores, shopping centers, small businesses (clothes, luxury goods, salons, services)
  • religious bulding
  • park
  • cultural institutions - theaters, concert halls, movie theaters, entertainment venues
  • healthcare
  • bus station
  • train station
  • residential area (high income)
  • residential area (medium income)
  • residential area (low income)
  • slum - typical of metropolises in developing countries, an area inhabited by impoverished people who live in poor-quality buildings
  • sports facilities - stadiums, sports facilities, swimming pools
  • industrial plants, factories
  • commercial distribution centers, warehouses
  • port
  • airport
  • hypermarkets, shopping centers
  • satellite cities - Smaller metropolitan areas that are located close to, sometimes even merge with larger metropolitan areas. Some of the metropolitan functions are concentrated here. They serve as the residence of commuters.

Most metropolises have great influence or administrative control over the political, economic and cultural life of their region, or even the country they are located in.

Other functions, such as industrial production, services and transportation, are related to the size of the metropolis. All metropolises are commercial centers. Providing public services for millions of residents is the everyday task of a metropolis’ administration, but their influence extends to an even larger region due to their resources.

Metropolises are transportation hubs as well. Their role in tourism develops dynamically. Education offers a wide choice at every level and in most professional fields. Healthcare is wide-ranging and of high standards. The services and opportunities metropolises can offer have the power to attract people from across borders.

Other types of settlements

  • Metropolises
  • Cities
  • Villages

In the common sense of the word, a settlement is an inhabited area. It includes any man-made constructions and the inhabitants within a particular natural environment modified by human activity. That is, it provides residence for a group of people and plays at least one other role that can be economic, social or infrastructural.

Settlements can be classified by their layout, functions, population or their connection to other settlements. According to their size, four types of settlements are usually distinguished: villages, cities, metropolises and metropolitan areas (megalopolis) consisting of multiple metropolises.

City structure

  • satellite cities - Smaller metropolitan areas that are located close to, sometimes even merge with larger metropolitan areas. Some of the metropolitan functions are concentrated here. They serve as the residence of commuters.
  • main road
  • main railroad line

Although metropolises around the world vary, there are many similarities in their layout. It is typical of metropolises that their geographic extent is very large.

All metropolises have a center which is smaller in size but the administrative and financial management is concentrated there. The residential areas are clearly separated from the center. There is a transitional zone between the two. Due to their enormous size, metropolises can have several smaller centers. Sports facilities, large industrial sites and airports are located in the suburbs.

Metropolitan areas around the world

  • Tokyo
  • Delhi
  • Shanghai
  • Jakarta
  • Seoul-Incheon
  • Sao Paulo
  • Mexico City
  • Schenzhen
  • New York
  • Guangzhou-Fosan
  • Cairo
  • Mumbai
  • Beijing
  • Dhaka
  • Moscow
  • Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
  • Karachi
  • Buenos Aires
  • Istanbul
  • Tehran
  • Bangkok
  • Calcutta
  • London
  • Lagos
  • Manila
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Kinshasa
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Tianjin
  • Los Angeles
  • Paris
  • Lahore
  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Lima
  • Nagoya

Currently, there are 30 metropolises on Earth with a population reaching 10 million (including that of the urban area and its surrounding suburbs). The population of some have been stagnating for decades, while that of others has been growing exponentially. Whereas in the 1950s, New York City was the most populous metropolis, today its population of 21 million people has been exceeded by several other metropolises. In the 1950s, Delhi had a population of 2 million people, by today it has increased to 30 million.

Because of the huge size and high density of the population, overcrowding is a common problem, it puts a strain on the road network, and causes serious environmental pollution. Slums appear and the crime rate grows. Therefore solutions must be found to these problems to make metropolises more livable.

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