Interview: Edward Leman

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The difference is that mega-cities are generally cities over ten million people.
The term has never been terribly well defined, but it generally refers to the city proper. So the core municipality.
So for example in Manila, the mega-city would be metro Manila. It would not include the surrounding cities in Rizal or Cavite provinces.
Metropolitan regions are quite different. They’re anchored on a city with at least one million urban residents but they encompass the satellite cities and towns within a one-hour travel time, which is generally about a 50-kilometer radius.
都市区则完全不同。其主要城市通常包含至少一百万城市居民,周边环绕诸多卫星城镇,距离市中心一小时车程。区域辐射半径通常为 50 公里。
And this is really where the metropolitan economy is working. It’s not within the core city only but includes satellite cities and the towns.
In my view, China needs to concentrate on the metropolitan regions including the three or four mega-city regions of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. 
But there are about 50 metropolitan regions in China. They account for about 57 percent of China’s GDP which is up from 52 percent in the year 2000.
但现阶段,中国拥有约 50 个都市区,总 GDP 占全国 GDP 总额的 57%,2000 年这一数字为 52%。
So they are the real engines of growth and they the main magnets, attractors of the migrant populations coming from the countryside and from smaller cities and towns.
There are several things that need to be done. To begin with, these smaller cities and towns need to grow.
Their populations need to grow. They need to grow with much higher densities than they are at right now because they are at very low densities and the city is sprawling out.
They need to be connected. They need to be connected with the core city. They need to be connected between themselves. And by connected it means having physical accessibility of roads but also the means to use those roads.
So that means bus systems, Jeepney equivalent, shared taxi, these services have to be put in place to connect these satellite cities and towns.
The next thing that needs to be done is that the level of public service and infrastructure in these satellite towns and cities needs to converge, needs to increase to approach that of the core city.
Because people are not going to move, industries are not going to move to these satellite cities unless the infrastructure and public services are in place.
Finally, they need to be much better managed and governed.
Generally in these satellite cities and towns the level of governance and urban management is relatively weak and that needs to be improved quite dramatically.
And related to that, the metropolitan region as a whole somehow needs to be governed or managed better.
Because right now we have all these competing municipalities. There is no agreement in place, or government in place, or institution in place that can help address metropolitan regional management and development.