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200 million people moved to cities in East Asia in decade

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Almost 200 million people in East Asia moved to urban areas in the decade to 2010, the World Bank said Monday, creating a massive challenge to the region’s planners.

About 36 percent of people in the region — which under the World Bank’s definition includes Northeast and Southeast Asia — were living in urban areas as of 2010, up from 29 percent ten years before.

This suggests the region will see decades more of further population shifts, it said in a report released Monday.

The report contains data gathered through satellite imagery and “geospatial” mapping which the bank said should help planners ensure that policies will benefit a larger number of those moving to cities, especially the poor.

“For the first time, the data compares urban areas and their population in a consistent manner across East Asia, providing governments and local leaders with a better understanding of the shape and scale of the growth so they can get urbanization right — creating opportunities for all,” the bank said.

The data shows that urban areas in East Asia expanded at an average rate of 2.4 percent per year during the decade, with urban land reaching 134,800 square kilometers in 2010.

Urban populations rose at a faster rate of 3.0 percent, according to the report, which also found a direct link between urbanization and income growth.

The region had 869 urban areas with more than 100,000 people, including eight “megacities” with a population of over 10 million as of 2010, according to the report.

China’s Pearl River Delta, which includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan, has overtaken Tokyo as the world’s largest urban area both in size and population, it said.

As of 2010, the report stated that there were 42 million inhabitants in the Pearl River Delta, a population larger than that of Argentina, Canada or Malaysia.

World Bank urban development expert Abhas Jha said he hopes the report will push policy makers to a shift from a “car centric” to a “people centric” strategy in growing cities like Jakarta and Bangkok.

“Massive traffic congestions in urban cities calls for a new paradigm shift in urban planning to move from a car-centric to people-centric urban plan,” he told reporters in a video conference from Singapore, adding that a more efficient public transportation system could be one way to alleviate this problem.

The report however said that despite the population shift, data shows that only less than one percent of the total area studied is urbanized.

“Only 36 percent of the total population is urban — suggesting that the region’s urban expansion has only just begun,” it said.

Jakarta post

10 Comments on "200 million people moved to cities in East Asia in decade"

  1. bobinget on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 6:48 am 

    Since 1/1/15 the world added three Toronto’s
    worth of babies. While I’ve yet to locate all these babies there are at least half million in my little adopted fishing village on Nicaragua’s lovely
    Pacific coastline.

    By the time these 500,000 babies grow old enough
    to drink beer in the US, little San Juan del Sur
    will flood twice a day, every day.

    By the time San Juan’s babies have grandchildren,
    Miami, their new home, will also flood, twice daily.
    Only the poorest Central American climate refugees live in Miami. The Everglades flooded in 2045 leaving South Florida with no fresh water.

    Last weeks Detroit Auto Show displayed a new
    500 HP Corvette, the darling of this year’s show.

  2. Davy on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 8:31 am 

    Asia is a great human example of civilization that until its embracing of the human pollution from the western growth meme was relatively sustainable and resilient. Much of the highest levels of human civilization started out in Asia. Some of the highest of spirituality with showing respect for human and nature is found in Asia. Asia now has fully embraced western growth and overconsumption policies. Asia is now the single worst example of growth gone cancerous. Asia is in hyper overshoot to carrying capacity. It is practicing global environmental suicide with the burning of coal and hyper industrialization sucking ecosystems dry of resources.

    Asia is in a hyper growth phase with population and consumption. Asia is now vastly in carrying capacity overshoot and the likely location for a cascade of systematic and social failures. Anyone in a mega Asian city is facing a horrible choice at some point becoming a BAU decay refugee. The whole global world is in this position but Asia has 4BIL people in an area smaller than Russia with 130MIL people. There is just no historic precedence for such a large and growing population using ever more energy and embracing ever more complexity. Asian urbanization is taking human complexity to the very peak of what it is capable of.

    I am sorry for folks like Mak that constantly preach how great Asia and his adopted P’s are. They were once paradises and now are paradises lost. Mak will be swallowed up in the mellay of a huge population desperately on the move like a swarm of locust. This will be true for areas of North America, Europe, and South America. It is Asia along with the budding Africa that have the most to fear currently. They have the sheer numbers and concentrations to make this horrible. Asia has the hinterlands that are destroyed brownfields that have been developed for hyper industrialization. Vast stretches of water resources and food producing soils have been destroyed by pollution and development. IMA some of the best farmland on the globe. These areas are no longer available to support a vast population on the move.

  3. noobtube on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 10:51 am 

    The only places in Asia that will suffer are the areas infected by the waste (I mean “the West”) degenerate lifestyles.

    Everywhere Americans go to spread its gospel of capitalism, materialism, and christianity, it destroys another culture and another people.

    Americans are a plague on the planet.

    Someone needs to evangelize traditional lands of this Earth, to the threat and insidiousness of McDonalds, Mickey Mouse, and Mansions.

    But, it looks like that is already beginning to happen. The American Way will be rejected by the worldwide younger generations as being the stupid, idiotic, nonsense, it has always been.

  4. Plantagenet on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 11:04 am 

    Population growth is the fundamental problem facing Asia and the world. As long as population keeps increasing, cites will keep growing and resource depletion will continue unabated.

  5. noobtube on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 12:53 pm 

    –> AMERICAN <– growth is the fundamental problem facing Asia and the world.

    See how that works.

  6. bobinget on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 1:02 pm 

    Once again I’m forced to partially agree with HRH.

    Cities are much kinder to resource depletion then
    one might, at first blush, believe.

    My view:

    HRH Plantagenet’s view:

    Obviously, siting cities where there’s insufficient
    water, where every single building requires air-conditioning, non stop 24/7/52, are disasters waiting to happen. Lost Vages immediately comes
    to mind.

    Cities built during eras before Air-conditioning
    have a better chance of survival.

  7. Makati1 on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 6:51 pm 

    Philippines: 49% Urbanized (2011)

    World: 52%

    USA: 82%

  8. Davy on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 7:08 pm 

    Nice try Mak. Try explainin 100MIL in the space of Arizona. That gives clarity to the Philipean situation. IMA the P’s rank 170 out 172 in the environmental category.

  9. JuanP on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 7:31 pm 

    Talking about urbanized populations, I take the chance to point out that Uruguay, my country, is the 11th most urbanized country in the world with 92.5% of the population living in urban areas.

    When you visit the countryside and small country towns the devastation is obvious, these places have been depopulating for more than a hundred years. The only people left are the old farmers and a bunch of old people in the towns with no money, nothing to do and nowhere to go. All the young people leave for the capital, the coast, or migrate abroad like my wife and I did.

    I believe we can expect this global increasing urbanization trend to be reversed in the future.

  10. Makati1 on Mon, 26th Jan 2015 9:28 pm 

    JuanP, you are correct, but it is the manner and speed that it happens that counts. If they just go back to their homes and skills in the countryside, it will be ok. If they have no place to go and no skills, it will be drastic/chaos.

    A country with a long culture of living off the land has a better chance of surviving than one that doesn’t. I suspect Uruguay is better positioned to survive than the West and especially the US. The US has no culture and few survival skills to fall back on. Chaos will rule.

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