Dynamics of US regions (1): the Northeast megalopolis and New York

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Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : America : North power, South integration
Corpus Corpus 1
Dynamics of US regions (1): the Northeast megalopolis and New York





> timelines and maps, p. XI-XII

How do the megalopolis region and especially New York City play a major role in the American leadership?

1 The Northeast megalopolis, a key region for the USA

keyword A megalopolis is a chain of metropolitan areas, stretching
hundred kilometers and being home to tens of million people. Three megalopolis exist in the world.

The Northeast megalopolis, or the Megalopolis, encompasses the areas of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC, plus the urban and rural fringes* that lie between these cities. It is sometimes referred to as BosWash – the northern and southern cities of the area (Boston and Washington).

A The first European settlements*

The Megalopolis has its origins in the early 17th century from the colonial settlements on the Atlantic seaboard. The site was a narrow coastal plain with numerous rivers and estuaries. It provided early settlers with enhance water access and easy transportation.

B A major role for the USA

 In 2010, the Megalopolis had a population of almost 44 million people, approximately 17% of the entire US population concentrated on 1.5% of the land of the country.

 The Megalopolis provides a lot of essential services to the whole country and has the nickname of “Main Street of the nation”. It is the governmental district  (Washington DC), and the main business and media centre (New York City). It has an educational leadership with over 400 colleges and universities, including 35 in Boston area such as Harvard or MIT.

 This region is very wealthy and offers very well-paid jobs. It has the highest regional per capita income in the USA and the lowest proportion of population below the poverty line.

C A hinge* between the USA and the world

 Goods flow into the Megalopolis from overseas, before being shipped to other areas in the USA. Merchandises produced in the country forward* from the Megalopolis to the rest of the world.

 30% of all US exports pass through its harbours, and 40% of international departures leave from the region’s airports.

2 New York City, a powerful cosmopolitan city

A Economic power

 New York City is the largest city in the USA and one of the world’s major global cities(>card26). Located in the Megalopolis, the city has a population of 8.4 million and has a worldwide influence.

Wall Street is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization. The city remains the top spot for having the most billionaires: 55 of them live in the town.

Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the world. For instance, the headquarters of Morgan Stanley (a company providing financial services) are located in a building known as Morgan Stanley Building on the West side of Broadway.

B Political and cultural influence

 New York City houses the headquarters of one of the most important international institutions, the United Nations. It is a complex located on the East side of Midtown Manhattan.

 The city attracts people from all over the globe who come for a unique cultural experience. Broadway, a famous street in Manhattan, is the heart of the American theatre industry. The MoMA is one of the most famous modern art museums in the world.

 The New York region continues to be the leading gateway for legal immigrants admitted into the USA. 36% of the city’s population is foreign-born.

  • fringe = bord, marge, banlieue
  • a settlement = une colonie
  • a hinge = une charnière
  • to forward = transiter