002 - Megacity


Geographic knowledge and understanding

The consequences of megacity growth for individuals and societies.


The process of urban growth creates impacts on people and place.


To be able to use one case study of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth to examine the consequences of megacity growth.

Case Study

  • One case study of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth.

Key Terminology

            • Megacity

            • Urbanisation

            • Metropolis

            • Informal Settlements

Watch the youtube clip below to help you to define the term megacity and use the 'Useful Links' for the other terms.

Activity One - Discussion

It is important to discuss the reasons why people migrate to live in urban environments, but what are those reasons. Using the padlet below record your thoughts on what the pull factors are of a city and the push of a more rural area.

Activity Two - Overview of Shanghai

This syllabus point specifically asks you to develop a case study of the growth and impact of one megactiy. Our focus is going to be Shanghai in China. You should already know the location of Shanghai as it was hopefully included on your hand-drawn map from a previous lesson, but just in case you don't there is a map to the side of this text to remind you.

  1. Watch the time-lapse video below to show the colossal growth of Shanghai since 1984.

  2. Now watch the YouYube clip and make notes on the historical growth of the city.

Useful Resources

Growth of Shanghai through time lapse

The Transformation of Shanghai

Activity Three - A Case Study of Megacity Growth - Shanghai

Your task is to develop a case study of Shanghai using Mindmeister. Remember to upload a copy of the map below to be able to make your own personal notes.

          1. Open Mindmeister first.

          2. Then click on the link below the image of the map below.

          3. Download the mindmap using the cloud button with the arrow in it below the map.

          4. Click on the mindmaps format option and then choose export as a Mindmeister file (first one).

          5. Then in your Mindmeister click on the import button to upload a copy of this map.

          6. You will be given the choice of how to layout your mindmeister but it would be good to consider the following headings:

                  • Why has the urban growth occurred?

                  • What has been the impact? - Social, Economic, Environmental

                  • Have any solutions been put in place? Are they working?

Useful Resources

Extension - Watch

I have used this with my Year 11 classes in the past to show them why megacities should be included in our MYP curriculum in Individuals and Societies. It does discuss well that our megacities help to improve global communication, trade and energy links. In short, megacities are changing the face of the world and could become more powerful than nation-states.

Exam Style Question

Using a named contemporary megacity, examine the geographical consequences of megacity growth [10 marks]