In the era of globalization, the world no longer has borders. In terms of economy, countries or even cities are not fundamental units anymore. In past few years, a new type of engines of economic growth and development emerged. Mega-regions are the new organizing units of global economy. Since the dawn of humanity, cities were always the main drivers of innovation and economic growth.
According to the theory of Jacobs, forming of early cities was not a result of agricultural productivity surplus: the first cities formed around trade centers and marketplaces, and that led to discovery of benefits of agriculture. Additionally, all innovations and improvements of agriculture originated in cities and later were incorporated in rural areas (Florida 43).
Before the globalization, cities were strongly identified with counties in political and geographical meaning. They were strict parts of national systems. Countries equaled economies. This is why, a majority of economical reports and rankings are based on comparison of countries.
Today, cities are exposed to competition on global scale. That allowed new units of economic measurement to emerge. Mega-regions superceded cities in large scale concentration of talents, innovation, productive capabilities, and markets (Florida 42). They became new determinants of economical growth. Mega-region is more than mega-city surrounded by rural areas or metropolis with its suburbs; “mega-region is a new, natural economic unit that results from city-regions growing upward, becoming denser, and growing outward and into one another” (Florida 42).
The rising of mega-regions is broad and intensifying process. Currently, forty mega-regions can be localized on the world map. They are inhabited by 5 to 100 million of people and produce economic output in range of hundreds of billions of dollars. It is a result of massive concentration of creative ideas, patents, human talents, technological innovations, and investments coming from all over the world (Florida 42). However, not all large cities with big population can become a mega-region. Economical capacity is a decisive factor. Emergence of mega-regions create serious divergence between them and rest of the country. Moreover, mega-regions are often transnational. A good example of it is New York and London, which have together more in common than for example Louisville which is closer geographically located to New York (Florida 46). The first one to recognize mega-regions was Ohmae, who noticed the emergence and organization of new natural economic units, replacing countries and reaching beyond borders (Florida 45). For the concentration of capital and talents borders are no longer relevant. Now days, economic capital can freely flow to where returns are the greatest. To illustrate it better, Gulden came up with an idea how to identify mega-regions. Based on night satellite images of the light activity on Earth and combining them with economic indicators, he derived a Light-based Regional Product (Florida 47).
According to this solution, in order to be a mega-region an area of the world must meet two criteria - to be contiguously lighted and produce $100 billion in Light-based Regional Product (Florida 48). Currently, …