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The metropolitan landscapes of the Pearl River Delta and the San Francisco Bay Area
Bosselmann, P.; Moos, S. (2014). The metropolitan landscapes of the Pearl River Delta and the San Francisco Bay Area. Built Environ. 40(2): 244-264
In: Built Environment. Alexandrine Press: Oxford. ISSN 0263-7960; e-ISSN 0308-1508
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Bosselmann, P.
  • Moos, S.

Abstract
    Metropolitan landscapes are associated with two rhetorically opposed approaches; metropolitan is an abstract concept describing large urbanized areas. Landscape evokes direct experiences of being outdoors in spaces that are defined by landform, vegetation, wind, sun and horizon. Joining the terms metropolitan with landscape acknowledges that significant portions of metropolitan areas are not, strictly speaking, urban. Although they share characteristics with densely populated urban areas and are characteristic of contemporary life in cities, metropolitan areas do not have the concentration or vitality of city life. Labelling metropolitan areas as landscapes implies that cities have taken on a larger, more diluted character. Certainly, populations are still concentrated in places, but the large areas in-between show much porosity. This article considers two metropolitan regions, the landscape of China's Pearl River Delta and the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. Though vastly different in size, they have in common not only their delta and coastal estuary locations, but also their highly dispersed pa erns of urbanization.

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