Source: adapted from World Bank (2009) World Development Report 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography.
Perspectives about the Urban Spatial Structure: From Dichotomy to Continuum
Conventional perspectives about the urban spatial structure usually represent the urban and rural spaces as a dichotomy. They were considered two separate entities, albeit interacting. However, the urban spatial structure is better understood as a continuum composed of a variety of transitional structures between what can be considered purely rural and urban. The firsts are villages representing basic forms of urbanism in a rural setting. Then, a whole range of urban settlements ranging from towns to large urban agglomerations. The Extended Metropolitan Region (EMR; often labeled a metropolis) is a continuum of urban activities, often interwoven with rural activities, that includes a large urban agglomeration and a network of secondary (satellite) cities. At a higher level, mega-urban regions are massive urban conurbations often encompassing several EMRs structured along a corridor, such as BostWash (Boston - Washington), Tokaido (Tokyo - Osaka), the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong - Guangzhou) or Shanghai - Nanjing.