spacer image
spacer image

Welcome! You're looking at an archived Snarkmarket entry. We've got a fresh look—and more new ideas every day—on the front page.

November 10, 2007

<< City Life | Mailer and McLuhan >>


More city stuff: a big, global project on the city-state-centric 21st century led by Richard Saul Wurman, who did the terrific Understanding USA book.

That might actually be the best-executed Flash site I have ever seen — no exaggeration.

Posted November 10, 2007 at 10:07 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Society/Culture


I'm telling you. Flash pamphlets.

Flash. Pamphlets.

It seems so simple. yet he's really throwing out some mind blowing stuff is a well delivered way.

and yes cool flashyness

Where can I find his sources? Hard to take it seriously when it doesn't even mention Chongqing, which will almost certainly be the largest city in the world by 2020.

Via Wikipedia it sounds like Chongqing is populous but a) sprawling and b) mostly rural, with an urban population of ~4MM.


Yes -- the phrase "roughly the size of Austria" does suggest that Chongqing somewhat stretches our habitual definition of "city."

Austria? I don't know. It is about 130miles x 130miles.

Chongqing is essentially a city under creation by the Chinese administration. The entire Chinese West is congealing around the emerging city. I was there this year and have no doubt it will become largest.

The official statement is that chinese "Planners estimate that Chongqing will have a population of 30 million, 16.15 million of them in urban areas, representing an urbanization rate of 53.8 percent by 2010. The urban population will be 21.6 million of the city's total population of 31 million by 2020, representing an urbanization rate of 70 percent."

Some more coverage:

The Guardian - The biggest city you've never heard of". Chongqing is the fastest-growing urban centre on the planet."

Time Magazine - The World's Largest City

Chicago Tribune - Rural Exodus to Chongqing

Forget Chongqing. My main point was what are his sources and criteria. Hard to take the site seriously without that.

The 192021 website appears to have taken some of its content from but not all. Note that 192021 says the 26th largest city today is Berlin with 3.4m but in the aforementioned article it is only 86th. eg, Sydney has 4.3 million but has been apparently discounted because of its sprawl. But consider Dhaka, Bangladesh which has the same population as LA at 12.4m in 1/3 the area, but is not listed on 192021. Plenty more discrepancies.

But what makes a city? Tokyo has 35m in 12,000 sqkm but that is the urban area, not city. Tokyo city has 12.8m in 2200 sqkm.

It's a good point, Jake. The real definition of 'urban' is actually pretty loose, so for starters, when people say 'for the first time 50% of humans live in urban environments!' it tends to be misleading. We think high-rises or at least, you know, brownstones -- but in fact even the mildest, farthest-flung suburbs all qualify.

And you pushed the right button with Dhaka -- I actually had the same thought myself!

Okay, I'm in. The data is wacky. I still like the vibe & intent of the project, though.

spacer image
spacer image