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Thread: How Big Is a City?

  1. #31

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    Amazingly enough, they have Sydney and Perth transposed on their key map.



    (Wonder how many oher errors the book contains.)

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Amazingly enough, they have Sydney and Perth transposed on their key map.



    (Wonder how many oher errors the book contains.)
    I've just noticed that too. Maybe it was just an error made during the printing process? Most of the other information seems pretty accurate, although of course by now the populations will have changed. I read the other day Mumbai's population is increasing by 10,000 every day, which doesn't surprise me - its the most crowded place i've ever been.

  3. #33

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    Just found an interesting page on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city.
    Looks like you're method for assessing the size / importance of world cities has been adopted by someone else!

  4. #34

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    London is surrounded by a 'Green Belt' to curb the rise of the suburbs since the 1930s. Below you can see how the dense peppering of towns and commuter belts is the result, rather than a blanket low density sprawl. The city contiguous counts 9 million, with the peppering of satellite areas it ups to 18 million. This whole area is part of the densest stretch of urbanity on earth, the 'Blue Banana' megalopolis that stretches across Western Europe and counts 90 million (read: CSA). Average density for the entire country of England is 1000ppsm (tho' the area below is far far higher):

    Last edited by zupermaus; November 14th, 2007 at 08:23 PM.

  5. #35

    Thumbs up

    ^^^^
    I've just bought reprints of old ordinance survey maps of London (which have been resized to the modern 1:50,000 scale) for 1822, 1897, 1920 and 1948. The growth of the suburbs between 1920 and 1948 is astonishing - London practically doubled in size in just 30 years. They are available from Stanfords map shop if you're interested Zupermaus - i like maps and i find them fascinating. Here's a link to the publishers:

    http://www.cassinimaps.co.uk/

  6. #36

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    oh yep, I could happily wile away many a rainy day poring over some map discovering the funny place names eg The Wrythe, Green Street Green, Cyprus etc, street names such as Fasion Street, Paternoster Square, St Mary Axe, Bleeding Heart Alley (named for a mysterious murder of a woman found without one), Morocco (one of those old docks where amazingly you can still smell the centuries of spice soaked into the brickwork last used in the 1920s). Also churches like St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, St Ethelburga's, All-Hallows-by-the-Tower etc.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by zupermaus View Post
    London is surrounded by a 'Green Belt' to curb the rise of the suburbs since the 1930s. Below you can see how the dense peppering of towns and commuter belts is the result, rather than a blanket low density sprawl. The city contiguous counts 9 million, with the peppering of satellite areas it ups to 18 million. This whole area is part of the densest stretch of urbanity on earth, the 'Blue Banana' megalopolis that stretches across Western Europe and counts 90 million (read: CSA). Average density for the entire country of England is 1000ppsm (tho' the area below is far far higher):


    emporis.com which seems the most generous to world cities in terms of population estimates only gives metro London between 11 and 12 million.

    emporis population estimates for some other cities
    Toronto about 6.2 million
    Sydney about 4.2 million
    Chicago 9.7 million

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meerkat View Post
    Just found an interesting page on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city.
    Looks like you're method for assessing the size / importance of world cities has been adopted by someone else!

    that list doesn't seem right. for example if Boston was in Australia it would probably be higher on the list.

    the list might have changed a lot since 2004 with cities like Toronto, Madrid moving up the list.

  9. #39

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    Canguy if you were to project the CSA style population counts (the ones that inflate NYC from 17 million in a contiguous urban area to 19-20 million in an area the size of Scotland) onto other cities around the globe you would increase them even more dramatically. For example Kong Kong would jump from 7 million to over 40 million in an area smaller than LA ( aka the Pearl River Delta metropolis), Tokyo even higher.

    I think CSA is based on commuting and densities of over 1000 ppsm.

    In the pic below of London the 9/10 million would be the city contiguous, the immediate satellite towns another few million - this is what Emporis refers to as a 'metro' count.
    If however you were to take into account those myriad smaller settlements peppered all around the railway lines - the worlds biggest commuter belt - the count would be 18 million, and also what would be referred to as the 'metro' count if it were NYC. The average pop. density for the entire country of England as a whole is 1000ppsm btw (thats 50 million people):



    The thing with Emporis and alot of other sites they dont point out when they are counting CSA's based on commuting patterns / densities or just contiguous urban counts. Even worse they list them together without that differentiation.


    Certain places round the world, if they had CSA style counting would look like this:

    Ganges Delta (read: Bangladesh) 120 million




    Nile River Valley 60 million


    Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka-Kobe 50 million


    Yangtze Delta 70 million (the picture below only actually counts the area between Shanghai-Hangzhou as the Yangtze Delta cities, a total count for the all cities in the picture would be over 120 million)


    Pearl River Delta 45 million
    Last edited by zupermaus; November 14th, 2007 at 08:30 PM.

  10. #40

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    "Canguy if you were to project the CSA style population counts (the ones that inflate NYC from 17 million in a contiguous urban area to 19-20 million in an area the size of Scotland) onto other cities around the globe you would increase them even more dramatically. For example Kong Kong would jump from 7 million to over 40 million in an area smaller than LA ( aka the Pearl River Delta metropolis), Tokyo even higher"


    the United States seems to be the only country that inflates its cities' population in that way.

    I know in Canada cities like Vancouver, Toronto have metro areas that only cover a small fraction of area that US metro areas of cities like Denver, Chicago cover. (even though Toronto could inflate its population just as easily as Chicago does, by just increasing the metro area).
    In other countries like Australia the whole metro area is just called the city and so on stat sheets that compare city populations they list places like Melbourne as having more people than LA.
    Last edited by canguy23m; November 14th, 2007 at 10:14 PM. Reason: change something

  11. #41

    Default the official wikipedia answer

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agglomerations

    I think the second list strikes me as the most accurate relative ranking of city size based on places I've travelled and how big they seem to be in practice. The US also computes agglomerations which are reasonably accurate but probably understate the size of places like London which has unconnected rail towns. But - I think you could argue that if we're counting greenbelt separated commuting areas you could argue that most of the NE corridor between New Haven and Wilmington was one city. (no one computes all the way of course, but except for a few miles of green space in New Jersey, its pretty much contiguous rail connected commuters with especially big hubs around Center City Philadelphia and Manhattan. At some point, its subjective - but I think the list above gives London its proper due, just as it properly recognizes there aren't really 40 million people in Hong Kong, even though you could find a way to count it that way geographically.

  12. #42

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    The Greenbelt seperated areas that would take in a count of 18 million are tiny in the distances between them - check out the Landsat view of London to see how dense the peppering is (read: there is no real belt in the Greenbelt). In other words its much more dense than the current NYC CSA (which is Scotland sized, and by the latest count is even larger with trying to subsume Philly too).

    If one were to measure even just Philly-NYC into one (let alone the whole NE corridor) - you could just as conceivably measure most of England (which btw the entire country would fit the CSA density criteria of 1000 ppsm). In other words if you were to juxtapose the crowded part of England onto USA it would be considered a single CSA, 47 million in an area the size of Maine and well above 1000 ppsm.

    On the scale of the NE corridor though, London is a small part of the 90 million 'Blue Banana' megalopolis (thats what it looks like from space apparently). This swathe of urbanity is the densest connected one even though it jumps the 25 mile English Channel (which is smaller than gaps in the Honshu and NE Corridor megalopoli), taking in a big arc through the Benelux, industrial Germany all the way to the North Italian Triangle:

    (interesting to note, Paris isnt considered part of the Blue Banana but is part of the Golden Triangle)


    Last edited by zupermaus; November 16th, 2007 at 09:31 AM.

  13. #43

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    At the end of the day, fair enough measure a city whichever way we want to, just dont list them together if we're measuring them on different criteria.

    It would be good if we all had one standard of measuring cities.

    So far there are many, often lumped together in the same stats:

    City proper (official boundaries)
    Urban contiguous city / aka 'metropolitan area' if it goes beyond the official city proper
    agglomeration or CSA (increasingly referred to in US as metro)
    City State (as in China's main cities)
    megalopolis

  14. #44

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    I always thought it was strange that the NY Metro area extended all the way to southern Ocean County in New Jersey. That's just a few miles north of Atlantic City.


  15. #45

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    ^ Why is Staten Island not green on that map?

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