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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of course the answer to the question of this thread is no. Paris metro area is indeed of 11.5 million people and certainly not of 16 million people. However, it would be if it was calculated in the same way used by those considering London metro area representing 18 million people.

The purpose of this thread is actually simply to prove by the absurd, in using another city example, that the theory about the South East of England being London metro area is a non sense. So I'll start in giving my arguments on why Paris metro area is at 16 million people... and those are exactly the same which are advocated for a London metro area of 18 million people. Afterwards, I'll explain why this reasoning is wrong.


So, let's start the game. Paris metro area is indeed at 16 million people for the simple reason that this figure is the result of grouping several satellite cities of Paris which are linked to the main core by a large proportion of commuters (40%). Indeed, those satellite cities are all sharing commuters with Paris, and the best way to prove it is to look at an official map published by the INSEE, the body issuing official statistics in France :



As you can see in that map, in dark orange are pictured the urban cores, in light orange are pictured the periurban belt centered on one urban core, and in yellow are pictured the periurban belt shared by at least two urban cores. If we group them altogether, we obtain what is in the red circle : a region sharing commuters at a very high level (more than 40% commuters). As this region is linked by the 40% commuter criteria, it represents Paris metropolitan area : An area of 16.7 million people.


Now the arguments have been given, but there's a flaw among them making the whole reasoning irrelevant. What is that flaw ? That flaw is simply that the purpose of metropolitan areas is not to group together various cities of hundreds of thousands people, the purpose of metropolitan areas is to determine a periurban belt around an urban core.

A periurban belt is made of sparsely peopled areas which are not part of the urban area, but which have enough commuters to be directly associate with it. To give you an example, that's exactly the reason why San Francisco and San José are not part of the same metropolitan area. Indeed there are certainly more than 40% commuters between both places, but San José is an enough big and densely populated area to be considered as being on its own an urban core.

In my Paris example, all the areas in dark oranges are enough large urban cores to have their own metropolitan areas, and the fact they are 40% of commuters between those cores or not is completely irrelevant to the question whether or not they belong to the same metro area.

As such, the map above do not picture Paris metro area, but it actually also pictures the metro areas of Creil, Senlis, Provins, Nemours, Chartres, Dreux, Vernon, Evreux, Rouen and all the other satellite cities (and not satellite periurban areas) around Paris.

As a result, Paris metropolitan area is indeed of 11.5 million people, just like London metropolitan area is between 12 and 13 million people.
 

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Actually you could also add Lille, Le Mans, and Tours, which are less than 1 hour from central Paris by TGV train... Then voila!, Paris metro area becomes the 3rd largest in the world with 20 million+ people.
 

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I don't think London (or Paris) can be considered to have these huge populations on the basis of American measurements because European and American cities behave in very different fashions. Los Angeles sprawled and sprawled whereas London grew taking over older villages. I find this makes it more difficult for an individual town to feel part of a great urban bloc although I'd argue that places like Guildford and Staines could be called part of London's metro area. But Brighton, Dover? No.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BenL said:
I don't think London (or Paris) can be considered to have these huge populations on the basis of American measurements because European and American cities behave in very different fashions. Los Angeles sprawled and sprawled whereas London grew taking over older villages. I find this makes it more difficult for an individual town to feel part of a great urban bloc although I'd argue that places like Guildford and Staines could be called part of London's metro area. But Brighton, Dover? No.
The difference is I believe in the way those regions have been inhabitated. The European continent has been inhabitated during a long time and at the industrial revolution, when the demographics have boomed, the population have spread in various towns and cities of average size all over the territory.

In the US, as much as in Latin America, in Africa or in Australia, when the demographics have boomed, the population has tend to concentrate in a smaller number of cities, making them growing a lot. In considering the same amount of population, for 10 cities booming in Germany there was only one in the US.

If you compare Europe and North America. You'll realize that there are more cities over 2 million people in North America than in Europe ; however, there are a lot more cities over 100,000 people in Europe than in North America. That's simply the result of History and the specificities of the demographic process in both regions.
 

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What INSEE study is that map from?
Several metro areas making a continuous multi-metro area does not mean that we can consider the whole area as a huge metro area (Paris one for instance).
Daily commuting people have to be taken into account and there the top figure is 12 million people at best in 2006. the 16 million figure only underlines a mostly (peri)urban zone whose most towns have nothing to do with Paris or even Ile de France. Do some people from Caen commute everyday to Paris urban area ? I really do no think so.
 

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BenL said:
I don't think London (or Paris) can be considered to have these huge populations on the basis of American measurements because European and American cities behave in very different fashions. Los Angeles sprawled and sprawled whereas London grew taking over older villages. I find this makes it more difficult for an individual town to feel part of a great urban bloc although I'd argue that places like Guildford and Staines could be called part of London's metro area. But Brighton, Dover? No.
Actually, LA grew by taking over smaller villages as well. That's why there is no clearly defined center in LA, and why we refer to places like "Hollywood", "Encino", and "Van Nuys" even though these places are incorporated into LA. The takeover predates the sprawl. The major difference between LA's growth and London's is the speed with which LA grew.
 

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Dare I say some people will even cite the north east of France as part of the London commuter belt (because there are people who live there and work in London)!

I wouldnt get too worked up by Metros. I refuse to believe that those in a metro (not urban core) such as school children, the elderly, the unemployed, those who work within a metro (but not in the urban core) etc... can actually contribute to either London or Paris in any significant way.

London and Paris probably both have combined urban and commute populations of around 9/10 million. Even in saying this, both cities function differently. I mean look at tube in London - some lines act more like the RER in Paris, whereas Paris has a MASSIVE population density at its core.

I think it's best to stick with local country based estimates when you talk about big urban areas. Having a huge sprawling tenuous population doesnt automatically make a city anymore significant or indeed more desireable to work or do business in.
 

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I posted this in the other thread about London as well....
50 Largest World Metropolitan Areas Ranked:
2000 Estimates


Rank Metropolitan Area Nation Population

1 Tokyo-Yokohama Japan 33,190,000
2 New York United States 21,362,000
3 Seoul-Inchon South Korea 19,920,000
4 Mexico City Mexico 19,620,000
5 Sao Paulo Brazil 17,720,000
6 Mumbai (Bombay) India 17,580,000
7 Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Japan 16,930,000
8 Los Angeles United States 16,374,000
9 Manila Phillipines 14,140,000
10 Cairo Egypt 14,000,000
11 Calcutta India 13,940,000
12 Delhi India 13,720,000
13 Shanghai China 13,580,000
14 Buenos Aires Argentina 13,390,000
15 Jakarta Indonesia 13,330,000
16 Beijing China 13,160,000
17 Moscow Russia 13,100,000
18 London United Kingdom 12,130,000
19 Karachi Pakistan 11,020,000
20 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 10,810,000
21 Teheran Iran 10,740,000
22 Paris France 10,600,000
23 Istanbul Turkey 10,430,000
24 Lagos Nigeria 10,030,000
25 Tianjin China 9,920,000
26 Chicago United States 9,312,000
27 Nagoya Japan 8,837,000
28 Dhaka Bengladesh 8,610,000
29 Washington-Baltimore United States 7,563,000
30 Essen-Dusseldorf Germany 7,500,000
31 Lima Peru 7,420,000
32 Taipei Taiwan 7,260,000
33 Bangkok Thailand 7,250,000
34 San Francisco United States 7,093,000
35 Bogata Colombia 6,990,000
36 Chennai (Madras) India 6,700,000
37 Hong Kong China 6,610,000
38 Hyderabad India 6,390,000
39 Lahore Pakistan 5,920,000
40 Philadelphia United States 5,834,000
41 Kinshasa Congo 5,750,000
42 Boston United States 5,716,000
43 Santiago Chile 5,610,000
44 Johannesburg South Africa 5,530,000
45 Toronto-Hamilton-Oshawa Canada 5,470,000
46 Bangalore India 5,430,000
47 St. Petersburg Russia 5,410,000
48 Dallas-Fort Worth United States 5,377,000
49 Detroit United States 5,358,000
50 Miami-West Palm Beach United States 5,008,000
Source: Prepared by Demographia based upon multiple sources, the most important being national census administrations in the Canada, Japan and the United States, Rand McNally, Thomas Brinkhoff: Principal Agglomerations and Cities of the World and local sources.
 

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brisavoine said:
Actually you could also add Lille, Le Mans, and Tours, which are less than 1 hour from central Paris by TGV train... Then voila!, Paris metro area becomes the 3rd largest in the world with 20 million+ people.
:rofl: :rofl: Then Tokyo, including the area less than 1 h. away by high speed train, it would be 100.000.000 people!!
:D :colgate:
 

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chicagogeorge said:

50 Largest World Metropolitan Areas Ranked:
2000 Estimates
Hmmmm, it's funny reviewing all these rankings of the world's bulging cities that I often come across listed on skyscrapercity's message boards. These lists keep omitting loads of Chineses cities. A friend of mine got himself a new atlas a few years ago, and I remember studying its gazetteer where it listed cities and their populations. I summed 38 Chinese cities that outranked Detroit, which at the time had just under 5 million people in its greater area. At least one of the Chinese cities' populations outranked Shanghai with more than 15 million -- I can't remember its name other than the fact that it begins with our letter C.

I can't identify with North America's way of categorizing what outlying communities get included in the greater city's population. The habit here is to include many of them -- most of which strike me as being strays --while European customs more often exclude (omit) such communities. Timmins, ON, for example is an immense city of uhm trees.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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chicagogeorge said:
45 Toronto-Hamilton-Oshawa Canada 5,470,000
[/B]
For some reason, that's actually wrong. The 5.4 mil quoted for TO does not include Hamilton, Oshawa, or their metro areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cyril said:
What INSEE study is that map from?
Several metro areas making a continuous multi-metro area does not mean that we can consider the whole area as a huge metro area (Paris one for instance).
Daily commuting people have to be taken into account and there the top figure is 12 million people at best in 2006. the 16 million figure only underlines a mostly (peri)urban zone whose most towns have nothing to do with Paris or even Ile de France. Do some people from Caen commute everyday to Paris urban area ? I really do no think so.
Gisors, Beauvais, Laon, Reims, Orléans, Chateaudun, Chartres... all those cities are reached by Transilien suburban rails. That's not enough to make them part of the Paris metropolitan area. Those cities are exactly in the same situation than Brighton, Southampton, Dover, Cambridge or Peterborough. The point of this thread was to prove that neither Paris has a metro of 16.7 million people, nor London has a metro of 18 million people.

As for the INSEE map. It's simply a map of the "typologie urbaine". I've added by myself the red circle according to the limits of the metropolitan region (espace urbain) of the Grand Bassin Parisien which is determined by the INSEE and which indeed reaches Caen. The metropolitan region of South East England is not more the metro area of London than the metropolitan region of the Grand Bassin Parisien is the one of Paris. ;)
 

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ReddAlert said:
I am curious...how much do these trains cost from France to the U.K.? Is it cheap enough that a commute wouldnt break the bank?
You can get returns on the Eurostar for £59 ($90ish). I'd imagine those who live in France but work in England also have accomodation in England during the week (i.e. travel on Mondays and Fridays only). If not - then they might be some of those lucky people earning the big money in the city at the moment to justify spending on tickets everyday!

Also, train isn't the only way of getting to the UK - crossing by 90min Ferry is dead cheap these days.
 

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