OMA partner Reinier de Graaf explores the relationship between the megalopolis and politics at the Berlage Institute, where he conducted a one-week masters class devoted to the concept of Megalopoli(tic)s – “a very large ambitious political structure dealing especially with the act of governing complex metropolitan areas”.
De Graaf begins by stating we must “think globally”. In 1950, New York and London were the only cities with more than 8 million inhabitants. Currently, there are 26 cities of over 8 million people and by 2020 there will be 37. In terms of population and GDP, countries have been surpassed by cities and cities have been surpassed by corporations. De Graaf states that the city is the physical manifestation of globalization, and as cities continue to rapidly grow, it is imperative that we question the logistics that go into governing them.
Imagine Doxiadis’ global Ecumenopolis city (1967) that depicts the city as no longer a product of nations but rather a international product, which he envisioned as a conglomerate of urbanized regions straddling the world.