Why megacities continue to exist in this knowledge and internet age?

Professor Mario Polèse writes a superb article explaining the question (HT: Charter cities blog).

The information revolution, we used to hear, would break the shackles of geography and make cities irrelevant. Thanks to e-mail, the Internet, and an ever-widening array of technological devices, you would be able to work just as effectively in South Podunk as in the Big Apple. A new, post-metropolitan era would open in which creative and flexible firms could locate their operations anywhere. The age of the big city would come to an end.

But that hasn’t happened. Big cities have continued to grow. In rich nations today, urbanization levels are on the order of 80 percent or higher. China and India are urbanizing at breakneck speed, with Shanghai and Bombay racing each other to become the world’s largest metropolitan area and eclipse Tokyo (currently 33 million strong). Why is it that cities have lost none of their powers of attraction, despite the new freedom that information technology brings individuals and firms?

He points to seven pillars which lead to cities becoming bigger. Read the article for details.

Superbly written.


2 Responses to “Why megacities continue to exist in this knowledge and internet age?”

  1. A-resilient vs B-resilient cities « Mostly Economics Says:

    […] vs B-resilient cities By Amol Agrawal After reading this article from Mario Polèse, I checked other papers by the urban economist. I was impressed right […]

  2. Articles on urban and city economics « Mostly Economics Says:

    […] Mario Polèse on Why Big Cities Matter More than Ever (covered by this blog here) […]

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