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Old 02-17-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Another thing, I notice a lot of third world mega-cities, while they are teeming with people, seem to have poorly defined downtown or central business districts, I guess because of a lack of zoning. But even Ho Chi Minh City, with 7 million it's metro, actually felt like a smallish city in the central area. The shopping malls were just really small, and I don't know, everything felt small scale.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Singapore has some of the best Indian food outside India, for instance.
I would say some of the best Indian food, including against India. The average and finer Indian food establishments in Singapore draw circles around Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.

Singapore is more unified, a city where both south Indian and north Indian cuisines come together as well as better cooks and more talented people, not to mention more cleaner work ethic.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:07 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by valentro View Post
I would say some of the best Indian food, including against India. The average and finer Indian food establishments in Singapore draw circles around Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.

Singapore is more unified, a city where both south Indian and north Indian cuisines come together as well as better cooks and more talented people, not to mention more cleaner work ethic.
Yes maybe you're right, haha, I always love going to Little India when in Singapore. Not just South Indian, as you say, but cuisine from all of India.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:23 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Hong Kong is a city of less than 10 million in the sense that many other cities in the world are less than 10 million--by not including the metro figures. Hong Kong as an entity within China does have fairly porous borders if not to the extent among states in the US and though human movement across it is only in the hundreds of thousands a day, the actual exchange of communications, capital, and goods is vast. Singapore has a somewhat analogous situation but with a much less porous border which makes sense as it's a separate country and there is no direct land connection.

Chicago makes sense as candidates with metros smaller than 10 million but are pretty much megacities at this point. Madrid and Barcelona both have the feel of megacities to me because while they aren't that close to the 10 million mark, they are densely packed and have the sort of urban amenities of other megacities (such as the extensive mass transit system including a fantastic high speed rail system between cities). Toronto is getting up there as well. Berlin should probably be given some consideration but the good amount of leafy areas (arguably just good design and planning) means it doesn't feel as crushed and bustling as the Spanish cities.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
In terms of their overall stature, size of the skyline, vastness of the metro area, international prominence, cultural impact, GDP, visitors.etc?

The most obvious I can think of is Hong Kong. Ranked an alpha+ along with Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore, it still seems the business hub of Asia in a way. It's skyline is now no. 1 in the world, and more spectacular than NYC's.

The only other one I would truly nominate is Chicago. With a MSA of about 9.5 million, it's already near there. It's skyline is no. 3 in the world, and has a bigger impact than NY's. It's a major financial and transportation hub, and the 'heart of America.'

I would say Singapore is not quite there yet, and I wonder if it ever will be, since it can't really grow much. It definitely feels like a city of 8 million rather than 5 million though. The Klang Valley has 7 million, as does Saigon, but neither feels quite as big either.

In Europe, Madrid has 6.5-7 million, but still doesn't feel like a MEGA-city. I think Moscow already has 10 million but feels fairly borderline to me actually.

So I'd say only really HK and Chicago. HK is also restricted in terms of space, like Singapore, and if not for the restrictions I think it would have passed the 10 million mark. In a way you could argue HK is already a mega-city despite not having the 10 million. In fact I would say it's one of the few megacities with fewer than 10 million in it's metro, as it's metro area includes the Pearl River delta in general.
Have you been to Moscow? There is nothing borderline about it. 15 million urban area, third busiest subway network in the world and a scale of built environment that can easily go up against any city in the world. Moscow is a beast.

Agree that Hong Kong and Chicago are the best candidates for this query. I remember the first time I visited Chicago (as a 16 yr old) I was totally floored. Definitely felt like a megacity to me.

Also agree with Oy that Madrid (and to a lesser extent Barcelona) should be in the conversation. Their city centers are built on a very grand scale and are very vibrant. Their infrastructure is superb. Nevertheless they are quite a bit smaller than the true mega cities of Europe (London, Paris, Moscow, Istanbul) and, even though they can compete with (and even surpass) them on many metrics, the size difference does become apparent if you spend enough time there.

Also was gonna say Bangkok, but I guess its metro population is over 10 million.

Kuala Lumpur? Taipei?
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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KL and Taipei both have metro regions of around 7 million. They're one notch below mega-cities IMO, but both definitely do feel like big cities. Madrid probably feels bigger than i expected.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Ranked an alpha+ along with Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore, it still seems the business hub of Asia in a way. It's skyline is now no. 1 in the world, and more spectacular than NYC's.
The alpha, beta, gamma strata is a failed project and an admitted failure. GaWC's global cities index was created to measure which cities have the most economic ties to London and nothing more. It's a count of only satellite campuses to GaWC's sponsor and business firms. It was always sort of obvious, I mean this city index was the only one in the world that ever dared putting Dubai and Paris in the same strata tier... sort of common sense to suspect a red flag there.

You can read the message GaWC's global city index author (his name is P.J. Taylor) wrote himself about how he feels for it and he admits that for the last 14 years his charts have been taken out of context to show a city's relevance when that was never his intention
Quote:
I have begun with this little rant because it addresses challenges to world city network analysis at their most overt level. Of course, ill-informed discussion in the blogosphere is an easy target but such academic smugness is not my intention here. Quite the opposite in fact: my purpose is to show that peer-reviewed knowledge is by no means immune from the basic assumptions underpinning list-mania. I have personally been caught up in this process through an early research project on how London related economically with other world cities. The latter had to be identified and a ‘roster of cities' was devised by counting numbers of selected firms in a range of cities (Beaverstock et al 1999). The variation in numbers was simplified by dividing cities into strata labelled alpha, beta and gamma. This essentially petty exercise, just a first step in investigating London's external links, has had immense influence: personally it is my most cited article and, with hundreds of citations, it is the most cited article ever published in the journal Cities. I interpret this astonishing success as my ‘alpha-beta-gamma misgiving'.

Why a misgiving? This most successful paper is a very simple taxonomic exercise in which relational thinking is conspicuous by its absence. Hence we have made a major contribution to cities considered as merely separate entities to be ranked and compared. As all my subsequent writings show (deriving from Taylor 2001), such modes of thinking eliminate a crucial part of the complexity of cities and thereby misunderstand them. Hence the alpha-beta-gamma misgiving is just about as large a research embarrassment as can be imagined
. What can we learn from it? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with simplification, in fact it is a necessity: simplifying complex reality is precisely the task of social science research as it tries to make sense of society continuously changing in myriad ways. However, in this basic pursuit, it is often relations between entities that are over-overlooked or largely ignored. To understand how such unhelpful simplification comes about requires thinking about the way research begins – what presumptions are brought to a subject?

- P.J. Taylor
GaWC Research Bulletin 409

P.J. Taylor is right, no other city index has been as widely cited as his GaWC global cities index and its been taken out of context to mean something it isn't for 14 years and his firm has received lots of criticisms, he felt that he had to respond and explain himself, as he should because he's been misguiding blogospheres (like city data forum) for over a decade.

The other surveys like Foreign Policy, AT Kearney, Citi, etc are ok though.

Last edited by scrantiX; 02-18-2013 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
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Hong Kong and Chicago are the best nonmegacities in the world with the largest economy, especially Chicago. Chicago's reach in architecture has been relevant for over 130 years, Chicago based architects designed Australia's capital city Canberra and they have designed over 15 airports around the world and 40 of the worlds 75 tallest buildings including the worlds tallest in Burj Khalifa. Skyscrapers were born in Chicago. The culture in the city is second to none and it feels like a megacity easily. FWIW, Chicago already feels like a megacity... I dont even want to get started about Chicago's corporate shadow over the world and it's culinary achievements, it has the highest regarded restaurant in the western hemisphere and it's joined by 112 others for the worlds best restaurants.

If you leave out the economy and keep the rest of your criteria then Berlin, Madrid, etc can also make an argument IMO.

Last edited by scrantiX; 02-18-2013 at 10:48 PM..
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:11 AM
 
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Hong Kong definitely feels like a mega city. It's the commercial center of the Pearl River Delta whose population is in the tens of millions! The sub-10 million mark is only there because of the SAR borders (established during the British colonial times). If we just include Shenzhen to HK's metropolitan area, we're way pass the 10 million mark.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:23 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,163 posts, read 21,760,655 times
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Originally Posted by scrantiX View Post
Hong Kong and Chicago are the best nonmegacities in the world with the largest economy, especially Chicago. Chicago's reach in architecture has been relevant for over 130 years, Chicago based architects designed Australia's capital city Canberra and they have designed over 15 airports around the world and 40 of the worlds 75 tallest buildings including the worlds tallest in Burj Khalifa. Skyscrapers were born in Chicago. The culture in the city is second to none and it feels like a megacity easily. FWIW, Chicago already feels like a megacity... I dont even want to get started about Chicago's corporate shadow over the world and it's culinary achievements, it has the highest regarded restaurant in the western hemisphere and it's joined by 112 others for the worlds best restaurants.

If you leave out the economy and keep the rest of your criteria then Berlin, Madrid, etc can also make an argument IMO.
Agreed about Chicago being incredible. I still think votes for Hong Kong are ignoring that it is really the hub of a vast megapolis even if there are some restrictions on moving from other parts of China (though still quite porous, especially for Hong Kongese going to China).

I think the last statement should be amended to if GMP and corporate clout is your main criteria then Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, etc. then have less of an argument.

Taipei also has a pretty strong argument as a megalopolis.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 02-19-2013 at 08:33 PM..
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