Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
How to measure the world’s largest cities
February 3rd, 2012 by Susan Smith
Scholars are having trouble measuring the world’s largest cities – largely because the terms the cities are measured by differ from place to place. They have come up with a total of 30 largest cities in the world.
Richard Greene, associate professor of geography at Northern Illinois University in the United States, says even the most authoritative list, from the UN, “compares apples with pears”.
“We tend to think of 3 concepts of the city,” he says.
“One being a municipal definition – the legal city if you will. A second we call the urbanised area, or the physical city – the built-up portion. A third we call the metropolitan area, which some people refer to as the influence of the city – how far out does the city go in terms of its influence, such as commuting patterns.”