Chapter 10: Megaregions reconsidered: urban futures and the future of the urban
We live in a world of competing urban, regional and other spatial imaginaries. This book’s chief concern has been with one such spatial imaginary – the megaregion. More particularly, its theme has been the assertion that the megaregion constitutes globalization’s new urban form. Yet, what is clear is that the intellectual and practical literatures underpinning the megaregion thesis are not internally coherent and this is the cause of considerable confusion over the precise role of megaregions in globalization. This book has offered one solution through its focus on the who, how and why of megaregions much more than the what and where of megaregions. In short, moving the debate forward from questions of definition, identification and delimitation to questions of agency (who or what is constructing megaregions), process (how are megaregions being constructed), and specific interests (why are megaregions being constructed) is the contribution of this book. The individual chapters have interrogated many of the claims and counter-claims made about megaregions through examples as diverse as California, the US Great Lakes, Texas and the Gulf Coast, Greater Paris, Northern England, Northern Europe, and China’s Pearl River Delta. But, as with any such volume, our approach has offered up as many new questions as it has provided answers. In this concluding chapter, we identify some of these questions as part of an ongoing reconsideration of megaregions and reformulation of a programme of research for those of us interested in megaregions and global urban studies more broadly.
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