The city that ate 9 other cities

This was already highlighted on BoingBoing and Gawker, but I’m fascinated by it, so I’m writing about it too.

China is planning to merge 9 cities into one megacity.  The 9 cities currently cluster around the Pearl River delta, and cover a huge range of industrial and manufacturing activities.

The plan will, in theory, allow for more integration of the health, social, safety and transportation infrastructures, and presumably create a larger, more stable economic base.

The sheer size of the megacity is mind-boggling.  It’s bigger than Wales.  It’s twice the size of New Jersey.  It’s the size of Switzerland.  The city will cover 16,000 square miles and have a population of 42 million people.  It doesn’t have a name yet, because no one city of is the central hub, unlike say “Greater London” or the “LA metro area” so a new name will be created for it.

On the one hand, I find this completely repellent.  Who would want to live in or visit such a horrid, unnatural place.  But on the other hand, the efficiency created by this merger is perhaps greener than keeping the cities separate (although since we’re talking about China, greener is quite relative).  And it would be super fun if they someday build a dome over the city and install those high-speed conveyor-belt transport systems like those in the Caves of Steel.

Posted on January 28th, 2011 by Katxena