The scale and pace of urbanization in the Third World Countries today is known to be unprecedented in human history. The Global Network of Science Academies recently placed population growth coupled with unplanned urbanization among the ten most serious global concerns. That important apex body of worldwide scientific institutions identified the necessity to develop and implement urban planning policies that internalize consumption needs and demographic trends to reap the benefits of sustainable urban living (IAP, 2012).

The bulk of the global population is expected to be urban before this decade ends with more than half predicted to be in Asia. This process in its manifestation in South Asia and the realities of the megacities that have emerged are discussed in this lecture. Special reference is made to the process in its relevance to Sri Lanka and the proposal to develop the country’s Western Region into a “Megapolis”.

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