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Within the global urban-rural dynamics, Asia is distinguished by the rapid growth of its giant cities, which are transforming their erstwhile non-urban and urbanizing hinterlands and giving rise to individual city-regions. This unique growth-spread areal entity—the Asian megacity region (MCR), a distinct urbanization phenomenon—is the focus of this volume. I see the MCR as a single system entity, one which is urbanizing the landscape around a core megacity, and is characterized by varying ‘urban-rural interfaces’ (URI) that span the entire region and evolve over time. I treat the MCR as a conceptual entity, distinct from the geographically diverse individual megacity regions of Asia. The argument inherent in this work is that the Asian MCR deserves more attention, in particular from the perspectives of sustainable development, than it has historically been accorded. Moreover, concerns such as conceptual and definitional ambiguities, conflated use of different scalar configurations of city-regions, data issues, fragmented governance, and the dearth of a unified multidimensional focus in city-regional planning will need to be addressed to optimize our understanding of the Asian MCR. These themes are touched on in this introductory chapter as I state the spirit and purpose of my endeavor, propose a three-pronged approach, and note that an application of this approach, an illustrative empirical analysis of the National Capital Region-Delhi (NCR-D), concludes this volume.




Mookherjee, D. (2020). Introduction. In Urban Book Series (pp. 1–11). Springer.

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