Revisiting the Megaregion
About a decade ago, the idea of megalopolises or megaregions was a major topic of discussion for city planners and sociologists trying to understand industry and economies. This framework doesn’t carry the same currency today, but Alon Levy argues the concept remains useful for understanding some regions, even if it might have been applied too liberally in the past. Levy argues that the employment and social ties in the American Northeast make the region that stretches from Boston to Washington useful for considering other American population centers that do not fit the idea concept so neatly.
“To the extent that there’s a link between megaregions and wealth, it’s that in developing countries, or even in midcentury America, poorer regions are mostly rural, and their cities tend to be small and less likely to interlink to form large metro areas,” Levy argues in Pedestrian Observations. Levy sees density as a better indicator of a megaregion. If two cities share suburbs, for example, that shows their connection.