The Pearl River region — made up of Guangzhou, Foshan, Shenzhen and Dongguan — has surpassed Tokyo in urban area and population and become the largest metropolis in the world, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing a World Bank report.
The region has 42 million people, more than the population of Australia, Canada or Argentina.
The World Bank has called for policymakers in East Asia to promote sustainable urbanization as people have moved to cities at an accelerating pace during the past decade.
In a report titled East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Spatial Growth covering the decade from 2000 to 2010, the bank said policymakers in East Asia should strive for the balanced development of large, small and medium-sized cities so as to avoid an excessive concentration of the population in a single metropolis.
It also urged governments to address the gap between the rich and the poor in the process of urbanization.
The urban land area in East Asia expanded at an average of 2.4 percent per year during the decade to 134,800 square kilometers by 2010.
Urban populations grew even faster, mainly owing to urbanization in China.
There are 869 urban areas in East Asia with more than 100,000 people, of which 600 are in China.
The report said eight cities in the region had a population of more than 10 million, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Osaka.
Hong Kong still has the greatest population density in East Asia, with 32,000 people per square kilometer in 2010, the World Bank report said.
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