chapter  1
26 Pages

Governance and planning of mega-city regions: Diverse processes and reconstituted state spaces


Cities are increasingly at the center of global production and consumption as well as social and political transformation. Over the past several decades, their role as important nodes of global networks of commercial, social, and cultural transactions has expanded, creating new types of sprawling, often multicentered, urban agglomeration. Various labels have been employed to describe this phenomenon of large-scale urbanization, such as the metropolis, the conurbation, the megalopolis, and the global city region (Sassen 2001; Scott 2001). The idea of the “mega-city region” represents a new phase of develop - ment of this theoretical lineage to designate a novel spatial format. As defined by Hall and Pain (2006), a mega-city region is a cluster of contiguous cities or metropolitan areas that are administratively separate but intensively networked, and clustered around one or more larger central cities. These places exist both as separate jurisdictional entities, in which most residents work locally, and as parts of a wider functional urban region connected by dense flows of people and information (Hall and Pain 2006). In this sense, the megacity region represents a “new scale of urban agglomeration” because of its highly polycentric nature, its wide geographical coverage, and its privileged position in the global economy.