conurbation


a highly populated area

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Small settlements will only provide low-order services, such as a post offices, doctors and newsagents. Large towns, cities and CONURBATIONS will provide low and high-order services, such as leisure centres, chain stores and hospitals.”

BBC - Bitesize


“Indeed the population in the greater London CONURBATION grew by 125 per cent in the period 1861 to 1911 when the population of England as a whole grew by 80 per cent.”

Terence Brown - The Life of W. B. Yeats: A Critical Biography

Did you
know?

conurbation
noun

- an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities

Merriam-Webster


ORIGIN

When Sir Patrick Geddes, a Scottish biologist turned sociologist, sat down in 1915 to write ‘Cities in Evolution’, a work on urban planning, he needed a word. How should he refer to thickly populated regions consisting of a sprawling range of cities clustered together?

For his coinage, Geddes combined urbs (the Latin word for “city,” already familiar in urban and suburb) with the Latin prefix con- (“together”) and the English noun suffix -ation.

It turned out that his word suited English speakers just fine and we’ve been using it ever since.


URBAN SOUNDS

Growing up in the post industrial world, it is hard for us to understand just how much of a shock the sounds of a metropolis were to human ears a century or two ago.

An entirely new symphony of discord suddenly entered the realm of everyday life, particularly in large cities: the crashing, clanging of metal on metal; the white noise blast of the steam engine.

By the 1920s, as electrically amplified sounds began adding to the urban clamour, organizations such as Manhattan’s ‘Noise Abatement Society’ began advocating for a quieter metropolis.

Bell Labs were assigned to evaluate New York City noise hotspots taking sound measurements. Their data gave birth to standard unit of sound volume - the decibel. It was found that some city sounds - riveting and drilling in construction and the roar of the subway were at the decibel threshold for auditory pain.


SYNONYMS

built-up area, concrete jungle, metropolitan area, metropolis, the Big Smoke, urban sprawl, urban area


PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, discuss something like:

“Living in a CONURBATION, I really appreciate weekends in the countryside.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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