AskDefine | Define conurbation

Dictionary Definition

conurbation n : an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities [syn: urban sprawl]

User Contributed Dictionary



From the Latin com- "together" + urbanus "urban" derived from urbs "city"



  1. a collection of urban communities; urban sprawl

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A conurbation is an urban area comprising a number of cities, large towns and larger urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrial built up area. It is thus a polycentric form of agglomeration. In most cases, transportation has developed to link areas within the conurbation, to create a single urban labour market or travel to work area.
The term was coined as a neologism in 1915 by Patrick Geddes in his book Cities In Evolution. He drew attention to the ability of the (then) new technology of electric power and motorised transport to allow cities to spread and agglomerate together, and gave as examples "Midlandton" in England, the Ruhr in Germany, and New York-Boston in the USA.
A conurbation can be confused with a metropolitan area. A metropolitan area, as the term is used in North America, consists of many neighborhoods, while a conurbation consists of many different metropolitan areas that are connected with one another and are usually interdependent economically and socially.

Examples of Conurbations

The Randstad

The Randstad, which is a densely populated area in the Netherlands consisting of a cluster of the four biggest cities of the country and several smaller cities, towns and urbanized villages, is another appropriate example of a conurbation. The Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium, by contrast, is an ordinary type of agglomeration centered on one city.

Metro Manila, Philippines

The metropolitan Manila area is another good example, which includes the city of Manila proper as well as surrounding cities like Quezon City and Makati.

United Kingdom

Industrial and housing growth in the United Kingdom from the 19th century on has produced many conurbations. The most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom is the Greater London Urban Area, which totals approximately 8.2 million residents. Other examples include the West Midlands conurbation (which includes Birmingham and Wolverhampton); Greater Manchester; West Yorkshire (which includes Leeds and Bradford); South Yorkshire (which includes Sheffield and Rotherham); and Merseyside. In the mid-1950s the Green Belt was introduced to stem the further urbanisation of the countryside in England.

Greater Los Angeles Area

The Greater Los Angeles Area Conurbation in southern California has over 15 million inhabitants. It comprises more than 170 separate municipalities in five counties (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura).

Golden Horseshoe, Ontario, Canada

The Golden Horseshoe is a densely populated and industrialized region centred around the west end of Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada. Most of it is also part of the Windsor-Quebec City corridor. With a population of 8.1 million people, it makes up slightly over a quarter (25.6%) of the population of Canada and contains approximately 75% of Ontario's population, making it one of the largest population concentrations in North America. Although it is a geographically named sub-region of Southern Ontario, Greater Golden Horseshoe is more frequently used today to describe the metropolitan regions that stretch across the area in totality.


  • Edward Soja’s - "Postmetropolis"
conurbation in Czech: Souměstí
conurbation in Welsh: Cytref
conurbation in Danish: Konurbation
conurbation in German: Konurbation
conurbation in Spanish: Conurbación
conurbation in Esperanto: Kunurbejo
conurbation in French: Conurbation
conurbation in Indonesian: Konurbasi
conurbation in Italian: Conurbazione
conurbation in Hebrew: אגד ערים
conurbation in Hungarian: Konurbáció
conurbation in Dutch: Conurbatie
conurbation in Japanese: コナベーション
conurbation in Norwegian: Flerkjernebyregion
conurbation in Polish: Aglomeracja policentryczna
conurbation in Portuguese: Conurbação
conurbation in Simple English: Conurbation
conurbation in Slovak: Súmestie
conurbation in Finnish: Konurbaatio
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