A metropolis of humongous purportions is said to be in the works for southern China, although there are reports on this being false. The cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Huizhou and Zhaoqing would merge together, theoretically, amalgamating various public services, including: health care, job opportunities, communication networks, transportation, natural resources, etc. With one big city they would eliminate long-distance calling fees and reduce over-burdened facilities, such as hospitals. Merging into one unit, with a completed high-speed train network, would allow citizens to travel to other city areas when their current location is overwhelmed by local demand.
The “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One” plan, if it exists, has actually been underway for quite some time. More than 150 major infrastructure projects will serve to bring the cities together at a cost of $300 billion.[*] But, after my conversation with some Chinese businesswomen today in Zhuhai, I realized that it would be more of a political re-positioning than anything else. Leaders’ roles and titles would change slightly and, most likely, the size of the bureaucracy would increase. This super-megacity would not be one fluid organism, although it is very exciting to think of it that way.
With pressure building in cities like Guangzhou (11.7m pop.) and Shenzhen (8.9m pop.), as compared to neighboring cities such as Zhongshan (2.4m pop.) and Zhuhai (1.5m pop.), there is an understandable push toward this kind of linked–megalopolis model. But, can it actually happen? That remains to be seen…
What do you think? Please leave your comments below!