Chongqing, the world's largest municipality

Chongqing, the world's largest municipality

This Chinese city has been expanding at an astonishing rate since 2010.

It now has a population of 36 million, at the foot of the Chinese Himalayas.
Sound familiar?

Anyone interested in China will be familiar with this metropolis at the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze rivers. The second capital of the hashtag#Sichuan, along with Chengdu.

Since 1997, it has experienced one of the world’s fastest urban growth rates, the result of a colossal rural exodus.

Never before has a city grown so fast.
There are two reasons for this unprecedented phenomenon in the history of Homo Sapiens.

1. Firstly, the 3 Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, commissioned between 2003 and 2012. The construction work alone displaced 2 million people. NASA scientists have calculated that the mass of water stored in the dam is so enormous that it lengthens the duration of a day by 0.06 microseconds and reinforces the flattening of the Earth.

The energy released by this power station has attracted millions of men and women, factories, homes, towers of metal and stone to this new city of planetary proportions.

2. But that’s not all.
Chongqing is the terminus of the New Silk Road. In 2011, a railroad line was inaugurated between Chongqing and Duisburg in Germany. This 11,000 km journey takes 13 to 16 days by train, compared with 36 days by container ship.
This city has thus helped make China Europe’s leading trading partner since 2014, ahead of the United States.

Why is it said to be the world’s largest municipality?
In demography, there are at least three ways of comparing the population of cities.

Firstly, there are what are known as urban areas or conurbations, which bring together several metropolises. For example, the Pearl River Delta encompasses Canton, Hong Kong, Shenzen and Macau. It is the world’s most populous urban area, with 70 million inhabitants.

Then there are the metropolises, often spanning several municipalities. The largest is Tokyo, with 39.1 million inhabitants in 82 municipalities.

And finally, the municipality.
Chongqing is unique in that it was created specifically to manage the relocation of people displaced by the Three Gorges Dam. The municipality of Chongqing alone governs 36 million souls in an area the size of Benelux!
It’s the biggest in the world.