adapted from World Bank (2009) World Development Report 2009:
Reshaping Economic Geography.
Perspectives about the Urban Spatial Structure: From Dichotomy
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.