East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape

(CC) Michael McDonough / FlickrThe World Bank has just published “East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Spatial Growth.”

According to the report, almost 200 million people moved to urban areas in East Asia from 2000-2010. For the first time, the data compares urban areas and their populations in a consistent manner across East Asia.

The study finds a direct link between urbanization and income growth, showing how economic output per capita increased throughout the region as the percentage of people living in urban areas went up.

The report says that there are 869 urban areas with more than 100,000 people in the East Asia region. They include eight megacities of more than 10 million people: the Pearl River Delta, Shanghai and Beijing in China; Tokyo and Osaka in Japan; and Jakarta, Seoul and Manila. China’s Pearl River Delta has overtaken Tokyo to become the largest urban area in the world in both size and population.

The new analysis provides vital data at a time when much of the region’s urban infrastructure is getting built as part of a physical and social transformation in East Asia.

This World Bank report offers a blueprint for research to help governments and urban planners ensure the population shifts from rural areas to cities contribute to poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity.

Download the East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape report here.