METROPOLITAN AREA NETWORK
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions andmunicipalities: neighborhoods, townships, cities, exurbs, counties, and even states. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.
A metropolitan area combines an urban agglomeration (the contiguous, built-up area) with zones not necessarily urban in character, but closely bound to the center by employment or other commerce. These outlying zones are sometimes known as a commuter belt, and may extend well beyond the urban zone, to other political entities. For example, El Monte, California is considered part of the Los Angeles' metro area.
In practice, the parameters of metropolitan areas, in both official and unofficial usage, are not consistent. Sometimes they are little different from an urban area, and in other cases they cover broad regions that have little relation to a single urban settlement; comparative statistics for metropolitan area should take this into account. Population figures given for one metro area can vary by millions, and there is a tendency for people to promote the highest figure available for their own "city". However the most ambitious metropolitan area population figures are often better seen as the population of a "metropolitan region" than of a "city".
There has been no significant change in the basic concept of metropolitan areas since its adoption in 1950, although significant changes in geographic distributions have occurred since then, and more are expected. Because of the fluidity of the term "metropolitan statistical area," the term used colloquially is more often "metro service area," "metro area," or "MSA" taken to include not only a city, but also surrounding suburban, exurban and sometimes rural areas, all which it is presumed to influence.
A polycentric metropolitan area is one not connected by continuous development or conurbation, which requires urban contiguity. In defining a metropolitan area, it is sufficient that a city or cities constitute a nucleus with which other areas have a high degree of integration.
This concept of a "megalopolis" was first proposed by the French geographer Jean Gottmann in his book Megalopolis, a study of the northeastern United States. One prominent example of a megalopolis is the Northeast megalopolis consisting of Boston, Hartford, Greater New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and their vicinities. Two other prominent megalopolises in North America are as follows:
- . In California and Baja California, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, part of Riverside County, part ofSan Bernardino County, Tijuana Municipality, Rosarito Beach Municipality, Mexicali Municipality, and Tecate Municipality. There are hundreds of cities and towns in this megalopolis, with the largest ones being Los Angeles, Long Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, San Diego, and Tijuana.
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like counties or sovereign entities like states. As such the precise definition of any given metropolitan area can vary with the source. A typical metropolitan area is centered around a single large city that wields substantial influence over the region (e.g. Chicago). However, some metropolitan areas contain more than one large city with no single municipality holding a substantially dominant position (e.g. Minneapolis – Saint Paul).
MSAs are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget only, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other U.S. government agencies for statistical purposes only.
Here is a list of metroplexes that overlap multiple countries:
- Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, lies directly across the Congo River from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Livingstone, Zambia, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- City of Lomé, the capital of Togo, extends over the border to Ghana
- Aqaba, Jordan; Eilat, Israel; and Taba, Egypt
- Al Ain, UAE and Al Buraimi, Oman
- The capital of Laos, Vientiane, spills over the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge (Saphan Mittaphap) to Nong Khai province, Thailand
- Singapore together with Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Riau Islands in Indonesia, also called the Sijori Growth Triangle.
- Hong Kong's metropolitan area spills over its border with Mainland China into Shenzhen and Dongguan.
Within the European Union
- Vienna-Bratislava metropolitan area overlaps Austria and Slovakia
- Strasbourg-Ortenau metropolitan area, France and Germany
- San Sebastian metropolitan area, Spain and France
- Meuse-Rhine Euroregion extends over Maastricht, Netherlands, Liège, Belgium and Aachen, Germany
- Oresund Region extends over northeast Zealand (Copenhagen), Denmark and western part of Scania, Sweden
- Silesian metropolitan area extends from Katowice with Upper Silesian Metropolis, Poland to Ostrava, Czech Republic. This metropolitan area lies within Upper Silesian Coal Basin.
- Lille metropolitan area, France and Mouscron and Kortrijk, Belgium
- Luxembourg metropolitan area, extends into Belgium, France, and Germany
- Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Slubice, Poland are one city divided by the river Oder
- Görlitz, Germany and Zgorzelec, Poland are one city divided by the river Nysa
- Cieszyn in Southern Poland and Český Těšín in the Czech Republic are one city divided by the Olza River
- Salzburg in Austria extends to Freilassing, Germany
- Gorizia in Italy and Nova Gorica in Slovenia
- Nice (France) metropolitan area extends from Grasse (France) to Ventimiglia (Italy), also including the Principality of Monaco.
- Komárno in Slovakia and Komárom in Hungary
- Valga in Estonia and Valka in Latvia are one city historically, divided in 1920 by national border
- Saarbrücken metropolitan area, Germany extends into France ( Forbach, Sarreguemines ) .
- Derry metropolitan area, Northern Ireland extends into County Donegal, Republic of Ireland
- Tornio, Finland and Haparanda, Sweden
- Nicosia, Cyprus metropolitan area extends from Republic of Cyprus to the unrecognised Turkish Northern Nicosia.