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Y8 Geography: Megacities: Home

This guide provides resources for the Year 8 Geography Megacities assignment

Key Terms

  • Economy: An economy is the large set of inter-related production, consumption, and exchange activities that aid in determining how scarce resources are allocated. The production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services are used to fulfill the needs of those living and operating within the economy, which is also referred to as an economic system.
  • Industrialisationgrowth of machine production and factories.
  • Industry: An industry is a group of companies that are related based on their primary business activities. In modern economies, there are dozens of industry classifications. Industry classification are typically grouped into larger categories called sectors. Individual companies are generally classified into an industry based on their largest sources of revenue. For example, while an automobile manufacturer might have a financing division that contributes 10% to the firm's overall revenues, the company would be classified in the automaker industry by most classification systems.
  • Megacitya very large city, especially one with more than 10 million people living in it. 
  • Ruralhaving to do with country life, or areas with few residents.
  • Urbanhaving to do with city life.
  • Urbanisation: process in which there is an increase in the number of people living and working in a city or metropolitan area.
  • Urban sprawlunplanned low-density development surrounding an urban area that often starts as rural land. Also called suburban sprawl.



Megacities uncovers the rapid growth, new forms of spatial density of population, formal and informal economics as well as poverty, crime, and high levels of social fragmentation.


00:22 Tokyo, Japan

12:07 São Paulo, Brazil

22:57 Cairo, Egypt

32:14 Mexico City, Mexico

40:42 New York City, New York, United States of America

53:49 Dhaka, Bangladesh

01:00:48 Paris, France


National Geographic: the age of megacities

Today the world has 28 megacities, according to the United Nations, and that figure is projected to increase. Explore 10 of today's largest cities with this ESRI story map.

Street view treks

Trek the world virtually with Google Maps Street View. Your online journeys can show you sites of cultural, historical, and geographic significance.

Where's the best place to live?

This collection of media resources focuses on the liveability of places, particularly cities. But what makes one place ‘more liveable' than the next? Find out about the factors that influence the liveability of different places and what can be done to improve the liveability of our urban environments.

Reset: megacities

An article from Reset defining a megacity and discussing some of the issues associated with megacities.

World Population History: Urbanization & the megacity

Discusses the history of urbanisation and how it led to the rise of the megacity, and some of the benefits and problems associated with megacities.

Water scarcity

Water is one of the world's most important resources and over seven billion people across the planet rely on it. This collection looks at why global scarcity of water is a serious concern and what we can do in our homes and gardens to conserve it.

Map Maker: Global Cities

City populations change sizes over time, some increase, and others decrease as industries or climate change. Select a city and explore how its population has changed and how experts expect it to change.

World Population Review

This site lists the most populous cities in the world in order.

MacroTrends Population Growth

This website provides charts and tables of population level and growth rate for different cities across time. United Nations population projections are also included through the year 2035.

The 100 million city: is 21st century urbanisation out of control?

Projections suggest cities will swell at an astonishing pace – but whether that means our salvation or an eco-disaster is by no means certain