Industrial centres Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmenm, Huizhou and Zhaoqing are to be merged in a six year plan to create the world’s largest metropolis. 42million of China’s 1.3bn population are currently located within the boundaries set out for the ‘Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One’ scheme, in cities that comprise approximately 10% of the country’s economy.
The immense project aims to link the nine cities via water, energy, telecommunications and transport networks, with 29 new rail lines planned for the 16,000 sq mile site. Ma Xiangming, senior consultant on the project explains: “It will not be like Greater London or Greater Tokyo because there is no one city at the heart of this megalopolis...It will help spread industry and jobs more evenly across the region and public services will also be distributed more fairly.”
The area targeted is so vast that were it considered a country rather than a city, it would rank as the 32nd largest country in the world. New transport links will ensure that travel between the cities will not take more than one hour, and it has been suggested that the price of gasoline and electricity will be standardised. Xiangming continued: “The idea is that when the cities are integrated, the residents can travel around freely and use the healthcare and other facilities in the different areas.”