UN reports the rise of mega-regions

A recent article in The Guardian reports on the UN Habitat's latest State of World Cities report.  Among the findings:

+ Over half the world's population now live in cities, and that will grow to 70% by 2050.
+ Cities are drivers of economic activity; the five largest cities in India and China now account for 50% of those countries' wealth, and many rural areas are now surviving off of remittances from urban areas.
+ Corridors of major cities, or "mega-regions," are even more powerful; right now they account for fewer than 18% of the world's population, but 66% of all economic activity and about 85% of technological and scientific innovation.
+ As these "endless cities" form, the challenges of urban sprawl, slums, inequality and social unrest will increase.

The biggest mega-regions, which are at the forefront of the rapid urbanisation sweeping the world, are:

+ Hong Kong-Shenhzen-Guangzhou, China, home to about 120 million people;
+ Nagoya-Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe, Japan, expected to grow to 60 million people by 2015;
+ Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo region with 43 million people in Brazil.

Other "urban corridors" are:

+ West Africa: 600km of urbanisation linking Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, and driving the entire region's economy;
+ India: From Mumbai to Dehli;
+ East Asia: Four connected megalopolises and 77 separate cities of over 200,000 people each occur from Beijing to Tokyo via Pyongyang and Seoul.


Addendum 13 May 2010: 

ABC News has also responded to the UN report and reported on the phenomenon & challenges of mega-cities, covering Mumbai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Beijing, & Tokyo. Read their article entitled, "Will We All Live in Megacities Soon?"