I read Thomas L. Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded, and in trying to illustrate the explosive population growth we have to deal with, he mentions the number of cities in China with more than a million inhabitants. The number is a staggering 53 (according to this list as of today). Friedman retorically asks the reader how many he can name. I knew 3; Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. I was amazed and decided to plot them all into a map and put it up here for you to browse around in (click the link below). By the way, I have another question for you: How many U.S. cities do you think have a population of more than 1 000 000? The answer is 9.
In his book, Friedman is concerned with the challenges climate change (hot), economic development (flat), and population growth (crowded) poses for the human race in general and the American nation (the what?) in particular. The outlook is not good, I must admit. (Seen Al Gore’s movie? I haven’t, but now I think I need to, inconvenient or not.) I’m only half-way through Friedman’s book yet, though, and Friedman has promised, maybe not the solution, but at least some hope in the second half of the book; I can’t wait!