Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 101


by : 
Rik Glauert

I’m definitely not a ‘country mouse’ but I grew up in a fairly quiet town not far from London. I went to University in a city called Exeter. It is perhaps one of the smallest in the UK, surrounded by green hills and home to only 100,000 people.

With this background, it’s been quite a challenge getting used to living in one of the world’s ‘megacities’. Guangzhou, in South China, is home to at least 14 million people. It’s hard to tell its exact size due to the migrant workers that come from all over China (and the world) to work here.

Furthermore, Guangzhou is part of the Pearl River Delta. This is an area of South China that is home to an unbelievable number of people – at least 50 million people. As these cities expand they are bleeding into each other, and will eventually be part of a sprawling metropolis that also includes Hong Kong and Macau.

As farming becomes more efficient and less people are needed in agriculture, this urbanisation is the story all over the world. Recently, it was revealed that for the first time in history, more people live in cities than live in the countryside. Although they cover only 3% of the world’s surface, 51% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. It is predicted that by 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in the city.

This shift is having a tremendous effect on people’s culture, psychology and health. In China alone, urbanisation has bought over 500 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years. People move to cities for better jobs and a better quality of life.

However, living in a city brings other problems. Pollution is often worse in urban areas and natural landscapes may be hard to find. China’s cities are famous for their smog and questionable tap water. As people leave the countryside and villages, local customs and languages are lost – it’s estimated that one of the world’s seven thousand languages dies out every week.

It's not all bad in the city, however. Due to everyone’s proximity and sharing of resources, cities are actually less bad for the environment than if people live spread over a large area. The city also gives you the chance to meet people from all over the world. In London over 500 different languages are spoken every day.

Humans' migration and the effect it is having on our planet are inevitable, so much so that academics believe we have entered a new geological age. It’s called the Anthropocene: the Age of Man. We are in a time when the biggest changes to the planet are not created by nature, but by human beings.


A 'megacity' usually has more than 10 million inhabitants. Do you live in a megacity? If so, what's it like? If not, would you like to?


Rockyy's picture
Rockyy 14 September, 2014 - 16:59

No, I don't live in a megacity. If I would live there, it will be more funyy but more crowded and more polluted too. And I think in small cities people is more sympathic, more helpful, more smiling face. In the other hand, in megacities you can be lucky about education, foreign languages and somethings like this. So I don't know. :D

30 users have voted.
Bosnianchild's picture
Bosnianchild 15 July, 2014 - 13:06

I don't live in megacity. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an estimated population of 369,534. So my town is village, haha:)
Sometimes, I would like to live in big cities because I have good oportunties to study, to know how is life in big metropolies, but sometimes I would never give my ''village'' where I feel peacefully..

26 users have voted.
Herbs's picture
Herbs 8 August, 2013 - 14:49

I do not live in a megacity, and I won't like to. Because I don't like places that are too crowded.

29 users have voted.
learningenglish282's picture
learningenglish282 6 August, 2013 - 13:43

i live in Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam, i don't remember the number of people living here but it is very crowded especially during rush-hour. Sometimes i feel like I am very lucky to live here because it's very convenient, beautiful, and modern but when i feel stressful i just want to be in the countryside. In other words, the city is so noisy and polluted. i dont like noise :))

17 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
MALINE 3 August, 2013 - 18:56

I live in México,city and sometimes it can be so stressful especially in the mornings when everybody leads to work or school the traffic is horrible you can spend hours in the roads even if your destination is near to you and it gets worst in the summer with all the rain,but the bright side is that you can go to many different places depending on your mood or your capital,here are a lot of museums,galleries,teathers,shops, everything you can think up with even parks,the most famous park in México,City is "Chapultepec",there is a casttle where Maximiliano de Habsburgo used to live with his wife Carlota.
It is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon and it is completely free,I love watching the squirrels climbing up the trees and the ducks swimming and you can have a picnic.

21 users have voted.
ellen's picture
ellen 27 July, 2013 - 13:31

hello learnerfromtr
So do İ.
İ never been to Turkey. But, I would have been Turkey.
How old are you?
Are you girl or buy?
How many hours a week you can pass the English language? Have you got sister and brother? Which you singers like?
You are dark hair or blonde hair ? You are tall, or undersized? Have you got some animal?
Please answer.......................................................................... -
Which historical buildings, castles visible? It is enjoying?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Are you living in Istanbul?
Have you been foregn countries?

18 users have voted.
ellen's picture
ellen 24 July, 2013 - 08:14

hello learnerfromtr
Dont worry.
again How are you today?
I am from Azerbaijan. You know Azerbaijan and Turkey Brother country.
I am 15. And you?
And What is you hobby.?
Best wishes..Ellen

21 users have voted.
learnerfromtr's picture
learnerfromtr 24 July, 2013 - 21:06

Hi again, ellen
Today, I am fine. Yes, I know Azerbaijan and Turkey are brother country. But, to be honest, I have never been to Azerbaijan. I would love to see the must-see places there.
For now, my hobby is I take note sentences and words in English that I see on the internet or, in the books so that I can learn English easily and improve my vocab.
Take care.

26 users have voted.
learnerfromtr's picture
learnerfromtr 21 July, 2013 - 19:47

hello ellen
I'm sorry, I've seen your comment yet. I'm good, thank you so much. What about you? :)

22 users have voted.
learnerfromtr's picture
learnerfromtr 18 July, 2013 - 15:39

I do not live in a megacity that has more than 10 million inhabitants, though I live in Ankara, which is the capital city of Turkey and has nearly 5 million population. Education is as very good as in megacities. If I was asked to live in a megacity, I would not prefer living there. As far as I know there are air pollution, man-made noise, traffic problem and, high cost of living in megacities. For these reasons, I've been living away from the noise in here since I was born. :) I might go one of them for visit in the future.

21 users have voted.
megisiana's picture
megisiana 10 June, 2013 - 19:41

I don't live in a mega city . I live in a small seaside city and it is beautiful and perfect to me i like the hustle and bustle here. But in a mega city are to many people an a great pollution too.. But i would like to visit mega city or to stay for a short time not to live here . I love my country and my city too!

20 users have voted.
Stela.M's picture
Stela.M 5 June, 2013 - 17:07

albania is a very small country has a population around 3 million people which means that its capital city ,tirana is not a megacity.tirana has a population around 1 million people ..i don't want to live in a mega city cuz i think there people face many problems just lika overpopulation,environment pollution, smog etc.

21 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
Natalija 5 June, 2013 - 12:16

No, I don't live in megacity. I live in the capital of Serbia(Belgrade), it's the biggest city in my country, but compared to NY, LA, Beijing, it's a village:). It counts "just" 2 million people, and the whole Serbia is smaller than NY, for example. Serbia counts about 8 million people, and although it's nothing compared to NY, sometimes I feel crowded and I just want to repose in village or in the nature. I have a house nearby the city, in the nature, and it's my favourite resort in those days, when I feel exhausted from the fast city life. I live in Belgrade during the whole school year, but I go to Dimitrovgrad at summers. Dimitrovgrad is a town in the southern Serbia and it's very small(around 10000 inhabitants). I like to go there, because it's the place where I come from, and I have many relatives there, it's peaceful and calm place, with splendid nature, but I must agree that life in bigger city offers some facilities that can't be offered in villages or towns, like better education, theatres, cinemas, sports, entertainment, courses etc., so that's the main reason why I live in the capital. I can't imagine a life in Beijing, or in NY. I think I'd get lost:). I like big cities. but so big, no, thanks.
I lived in big cities, like Paris, Madrid and Istanbul, but although they're really big, I felt good there. Istanbul is really huge(around 10 million inhabitants), but it's so peaceful at the same time. Istanbul is the city on two continents, Asia and Europe, so that large number of inhabitants can be reasonable. When I first came there, I almost got lost in the crowd. I was 13 years old and I was next to my parents all the time, afraid of getting lost. There're always plenty of tourists, taking photos, and you're feeling like you came to some huge place, but later on, you accustom easily. But I like Istanbul, its monuments, nature, people...
I agree that living in megacities can be excited too, but I wouldn't dare to move to LA or Beijing. London with 7 million of inhabitants is just perfect for me, but I'd like to visit those megacities, and to see how things function there. It would be a nice experience, but nothing more.

25 users have voted.
sirajkhan's picture
sirajkhan 19 June, 2013 - 20:44

I get use to live in London,Scotland,wales , Leicester shire,and Blackpool but one of them my favourate place is leicestershire full of fun an amalgamate of culture with diverse community ,sometimes you fed up

28 users have voted.
Lavender's picture
Lavender 5 June, 2013 - 02:27

I don't live in a megacity. Residing in a super crowded city seems like not a good idea for me. But I wish one day I had a chance to visit one of them, such as New York, LA, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo. Awesome!

24 users have voted.
Margarita's picture
Margarita 3 June, 2013 - 16:20

I live in a small village in Greece but I spend most of the day in a city 30 minutes away from my village. My school is there, all my friends live there and I do some after-school activities there too. Since I've practically lived in both city (not really a "megacity" but anyway) and village, I can say life in a village is good but life in a city is way better (and more fun,for sure). The education is better, there are more chances for someone to make a career and maybe make his dreams come true and,most of all, there are millions of things to do there.I like the way I live my life because in some way I "experience" both city and village simultaneously but,however,one day I would like to really live in a city. ;)

23 users have voted.