A conurbation is formed by merging or amalgamating of two or more neighbouring cities or towns forming a large town or city covering a big area with many economic activities gazatted by the government with improved infrastructure and social services.

Examples of conurbation:

  • Ruhr – this is found in German in Europe around R. Rhine and its tributaries like R. Lippe, Ruhr, Wupper. It is formed by towns like Duisburg, Duisdort, Essen, Cologne, Dortmund, Bochum, Wessel, Leverkusen, Wuppertal.
  • Great lakes – this is found in the USA and Canada in North America around the Great Lakes e.g. L. Huron, L. Superior, L. Michigan, Eric, Ontario. Formed by towns like Chicago, Duluth, Buffalo, Quebec, Montreal, Detroit, Ottawa, Toronto, Pittsburg.

  • Rand – this is found in the middle of S. America formed by towns like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Gemison, Springs, Uppington, Kimberly, Kruggers drop, Verenenging around R. Limpopo in the mining areas of gold and diamond.
  • Eastern sea bond of the USA at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and it formed by towns like New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore.
  • Eastern sea board of China at the coast of the Pacific Ocean formed by towns like Beijing (Pekin), Shanghai, Tianjin.
  • Hamish region and Japan at the Island of Hokkaido formed by towns like Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Hitachi also found at the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Factors for the growth and development of conurbations (a case study of rand conurbation in South Africa)

  • The presence of natural resources like Gold at Wit waters rand, the diamond at Kimberly attracting many people for employment and investments.

  • Extensive land gazetted for the construction of urban areas or urban development e.g. Pretoria, Johannesburg.
  • Flat and gentle slopes forming an undulating landscape leading to easy transport, construction, and drainage.
  • Presence of water supply from R. Limpopo used for domestic, industrial purposes and for dumping wastes and sewage.
  • Limited obstacles like relief, drainage features, landforms making construction easy and cheap.
  • The strategic location around the mining areas near transport routes like roads, railway lines leading to easy connection with the coastal towns.
Factors for the growth and development of conurbations (a case study of rand conurbation in South Africa)
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  • Ice and forest free conditions attracting many people for settlement and cool temperatures leading to limited pests and diseases.
  • Presence of hard rocks composed of granite quartz, giving a hard basement for the construction of buildings, transport routes.
  • Presence of power supply used for domestic purposes, industrial development, mining activities, and providing social services like using coal, natural gas, and HEP.
  • Positive and supportive government policies like gazetting areas using Pretoria as the capital city attracting investors.

  • Political stability and security attracting investors, people for settlement, employment because of good governance.
  • Improved transport and communication like the construction of roads, railway lines, telephone services leading to easy movement of goods, passengers and easy interaction.
  • History, culture, and traditions making it good for tourism and because of the mineral revolution.
  • Improved social services leading to increased standards of living like water and power supply.
  • Presence of capital provided by the government-private investors, used for economic activities, infrastructure, social services.
  • Improved science and technology leading to the availability of skilled labour for developing economic activities improving infrastructure and social services.

  • Nature of the population being enterprising, innovative, hard-working leading to economic growth and development.
  • Rich and productive hinterland with a lot of resources like minerals, forests, fish with many exports, imports, passengers.

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