In 2009, cities are more important to the global system than ever. Urbanization is spreading, with people moving from villages and farms into towns and cities. It is estimated that half of the world's population now lives in urban areas. The world's largest cities demonstrate the benefits and problems with this trend. This article will take an in-depth look at the top three: Tokyo, Mexico City, and New York City. The next seven largest cities are So Paulo, Brazil; Mumbai, India; Delhi, India; Kolkata (Calcutta), India; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Shanghai, China; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
The world's largest city is Tokyo, with 35.7 million people. Tokyo is the capital of Japan and is one of the most densely-populated areas in the world. It is a major global economic hub, attracting foreign workers and immigrants. It is also a major tourism destination and has a flourishing culture. The city has a strong economy, which is based on service industries. A major problem in the city is crowding. Some areas contain 13,000 people per square kilometre (33,670 per square mile). Resulting problems include traffic congestion, a high cost of living, and air and noise pollution.
Mexico City is the world's second-largest city. With a population of 19 million people, it is the dominant area of Mexico. The city is the nation's capital as well as being an economic and cultural centre. However, within the city are sharp contrasts between rich and poor. The city has expanded greatly over the last hundred years, mostly through the process of urban sprawl. The growth was not well-planned, and has resulted in issues such as insufficient housing, inadequate sanitation, and undependable water supplies. Like Tokyo, it also suffers from pollution. The Mexican government has acknowledged that the capital city's size is a problem, introducing a population control policy and encouraging job creation in other regions of the country.
The world's third-largest city is New York City, with a population of 19 million. This city is well-known for its diversity, cultural richness, and economic significance. For many people, it has an iconic status. Its skyline is instantly recognizable. The city is home to over 100 institutions of higher education, including Columbia and New York University. New York is also well-known for its excellent public transportation system, which minimizes traffic and pollution problems common to other large cities. It does, however, suffer from problems of depersonalization and high costs of living.
Tokyo, Mexico City, and New York are the world's three largest cities. They are all business and cultural hubs, but their size also creates various problems.