Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Metropolitan World Areas

Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Metropolitan World Areas

Article excerpt

Metropolitan World Areas, Arjen van Susteren, Rotterdam, 010 Publishers, 2005, 310 pp., [euro]34.50 (h/b)

In Metropolitan World Areas, the author condenses maps and essential statistical data for 101 metropolitan areas into a 310- page book. The atlas is divided into two sections: in the first, two pages are dedicated to each area giving essential data and a map; in the second section, two pages are dedicated to the comparison of each of 38 demographic, economic and social characteristics for the metropolitan areas. The book opens with seven general tables and finishes with a list of online sources and a short bibliography.

The author and the scientific committee have chosen to define the metropolitan areas as 'regions where global relationships dominate over local ones and which are characterised by a high concentration of global connection and a high concentration of people'. The choice is based on this definition; 89 areas were selected from six rankings based on population size and the interaction of global air transport, shipping and telecommunication networks; another 12 areas were added because of their political, cultural or religious status.

Depending upon the available sources, the data presented with the maps cover numerous characteristics of each metropolitan area, but the same data are not always available for each area, because to avoid distortion it was decided to use only a limited number of sources per topic. Population, employment and income data are usually updated to 2001. A built-up area and a residential area (both in km2) are used to calculate the respective densities. A comparison between the metropolitan development in 1965 and 2001 (or approximate years) is offered, and a distinction between the core and periphery shares is made. …

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