Background: BMBF Programme "Megacities of Tomorrow"

Research for Sustainable Development of the Megacities of TomorrowGerman Federal Ministry of Education and Research's (BMBF) new research programme (January 2005 - December 2006 and January 2007 - December 2015 (projected)) focuses upon future megacities or mega-urban regions, i.e., rapidly growing cities, approaching the threshold to megacity status in the coming decade. These cities and regions still have the chance to practice precaution, chart sustainable courses to their future and utilise proactively the momentum of the inevitable transformations.

The programme aims at the development and implementation of solution-oriented, innovative and integrated planning and management concepts. Fifteen projects have been earmarked for start-up funding. After two years, the projects will undergo evaluation and (if approved) pass into implementation. The projects considered strike a geographic as well as thematic balance. They deal with urban agglomerations in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam. The projects are dedicated towards specific practical needs, exigencies as well as innovation potentials of urban living such as: housing and construction; nutrition and urban agriculture; public health and quality of life; urban planning and governance; energy supply and consumption; mobility and transport; water supply, waste treatment, environmental management. The programme is part of the "fona - Research for Sustainability" framework programme by BMBF. Fona promotes the use of research for sustainability by providing information on research activities and supporting the networking of researchers and stakeholders in sustainable development.

Research for Sustainable Development of the Megacities of Tomorrow

Pearl River Delta
Geographical Position

The Pearl River Delta (PRD) is located in Southern China and covers eight prefectures of the Guangdong Province, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, Huizhou, and Jiangmen, and the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau. Geographically and geologically speaking, however, Shenzhen and Hong Kong are not part of the PRD. However economically and culturally they are considered part of the PRD. The municipality of Pune is located east of the West Ghats in Western Maharashtra, India, 115 miles south-east of Mumbai. In fact, the settled and functional megaurban area of Pune is stretching beyond the metropolitan area.

Urban Area in km2

The Pearl River Delta (if regarded without Hong Kong and Macau) covers 41,698 sq km, additionally Hong Kong comprises 1,100 sq km, Macau 26 sp km. The municipality of Pune comprises 138 sq km.; in fact the expanding corridor of the megaurban region of Pune, stretching to Mumbai, comprises an urban area of estimated 300-400 sq km. Population density Estimates of the population density of the Pearl River Delta range between below 10 inh/sq m (in mountainous areas) up to around 280.000 inh/sq m. For Pune the figures range around 30.000 inh/sq m.

Present (2005) and past (1960, 1990, 2000) and projected (2015) population

Officially the Pearl River Delta comprises a population of about 48 Mio (2003); unofficial estimates range between 55 and 60 Mio people (including estimates of so-called "floating people"). These figures are including Hong Kong (6.8 Mio) and Macau (450.000). Figures went up from ca. 22 Mio (1960) to 35 Mio. (1990). Estimates (which are substantially varying) go up to a projected population for the year 2015 of about 65 Mio people. Pune at present has about 4.1 Mio inhabitants; unofficial estimates go up to 5-6 Mio people. Starting from 730.000 inhabitants (1960) the figures went up to 2.4 Mio (1990) to 3.6 Mio (2000); in the year 2015 the official figures are about to rise up to approx. 6.1 Mio.

Population growth rate

No official figures exist in respect to the population growth rate - which is primarily driven by the influx of so-called "floating populations". Estimates range between +7.1% (in expanding urban areas of the Pearl River Delta) and -1.2% (in inner city areas, which are subject to suburbanisation processes). Population growth rate figures for Pune are estimated between 4.1% to 3.4%.