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Many academics have coined terms for their phenomenon of study, but few have been successful. But Jean Gottmann's proposal for megalopolis to refer to a string of closely interconnected metropolises was logical and inspired and has become part of the language. The term is derived from Greek and means simply “very large city.” A group of ancient Greeks planned to construct a large city of this name on the Peloponnese Peninsula; only a small city of Megalopolis still exists. The best contemporary treatment of Megalopolis is a 1998 report by Birdsall and Florin, The Megalapolitan Region, which was prepared for the U.S. State Department and is available online.

Gottmann (1915–1994) was a French geographer who for 20 years studied the northeastern United States and published his ...

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