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conurbationa continuous urban area resulting from the fusion of previously independent towns. The term was introduced by Patrick Geddes in Cities in Evolution (1915). Related terms are urban agglomeration and METROPOLITAN AREA.
(called agglomeration of settled points in Russian), a cluster of populated areas, mostly urban, but also rural, which are growing closer and blending in places and are united by intensive economic, labor, and cultural ties.
Communality of the populace’s everyday life is typical of the conurbation; it is manifested in part in “pendulum-like” transportation to work within its limits. Conurbation is the most developed and complex form of the group distribution of populated areas; conurbations are primarily located around the larger cities, which then become the nuclei of the conurbations, but multicentered conurbations also arise in heavily populated industrial areas—for instance, in coal basins.
Conurbations in developed countries are concentrations of a considerable portion of the population. Forty-two percent of the urban population of the USA was living in 16 conurbations as of 1962; in the USSR up to 40 percent of the urban population was living in 40 conurbations in 1959. The Moscow conurbation includes over 130 populated areas with 8 million inhabitants. The growth of conurbations reflects the territorial concentration of industry and labor resources. In the capitalist countries spontaneous growth of conurbations, sometimes to enormous dimensions, is typical. In the USSR and other socialist countries the formation of conurbations is subjected to regulation by regional planning.
REFERENCESDubrovin, P. I. “Aglomeratsiia gorodov (Genezis, ekonomika, morfologiia).” In Voprosy geografii, collection 45. Moscow, 1959.
Davidovich, V. G., and G. M. Lappo. “Voprosy razvitiia gorod-skikh aglomeratsii v SSSR.” In the collection Sovremennye prob-lemy geografii. Moscow, 1964.
Davidovich, V. G. “O vzaimosviazannom rasselenii v gorodskikh aglomeratsiakh.” In the collection Gradostroitel’ stvo i raionnaia planirovka. Kiev, 1967.
Bogorad, D. I. “Zadachi izucheniia i regulirovaniia rosta gorodskikh aglomeratsii.” In Nauchnye problemy geografii naseleniia. Moscow, 1967.
S. A. KOVALEV
a group of contiguous and closely inter-related independent cities that form a unity because of the intensive economic, cultural, and domestic relations between them and the large-scale service facilities they share (transport, water supply). Conurbations are considered one of the elements or types of population agglomeration.