Mega Cities of the 21st Century
Some time over the past few years, the world’s population shifted from being mostly rural to mostly urban.
This global move from countryside to cityscape created urban environments the likes of which have never been experienced – at least not on the scale now witnessed – and gave rise to the modern phenomenon of the mega city.
The United Nations defines a mega city as an “urban agglomeration with ten million inhabitants or more”. In 1950, the world had but two population centres fitting that bill: New York and Tokyo. A quarter century later only one other metropolis, Mexico City, was added to the list. Then from 1975 to 2000, 15 more cities grew to have populations greater than ten million. Today, there are an estimated 26 agglomerations with at least ten million inhabitants.
Mega City Photo seeks to exhibit professional and amateur street photographs which examine the conditions inherent to life in the 21st century mega city:
- disparity between rich and poor;
- the juxtaposition of traditional folkways and contemporary urban life;
- the overwhelming crush of millions of people living in shared urban spaces;
- alienation versus new ways for city dwellers to connect and communicate in the digital age; and
- the effects, ramifications and opportunities caused by mega cities, globalization and increased world travel.
Mega City Photo will be exhibited at Leeds College of Art January to February 2012.
World’s 26 Mega Cities (source):
New York City
Rio de Janeiro