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City Report Tokyo and Karachi

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City Report: Tokyo and Karachi
Mackenzie J. Kiene
Cleveland State University

Abstract
Upon comparing and contrasting the two megacities of Karachi and Tokyo it is apparent that these are two very dissimilar metropolitan areas with only a handful of similarities. On one hand, there is Karachi, a city with one-third of its population in poverty and 40% of its residents living in the slums. On the other hand there is Tokyo, which has been deemed as one of the cleanest, most efficient, and safest megacities in the world. With such differing characteristics it is easy to use these two cities as complete opposites despite their status as two of the largest megacities in the world. It is particularly interesting how two cities with two of the largest populations in the world can be so vastly different and harbor citizens with such contrasting lifestyles. Keywords: Populations, Economy, Socio-political, Environment, Culture, Religion

Population Demographics: Karachi Karachi is one of the most heavily populated cities in the entire world with an approximate population of 21.2 million people which is still growing at a rate of about 5% per year. Karachi has grown from a population of 500,000 in 1947 to its approximate 21.2 million today. Angotti and Beckel (2001) believe that this huge population spike is due to Karachi’s key situation in the strategic and economic scheme of British trade in the 20th century. Karachi has a very mixed population structure with a predominantly Urdu-speaking citizenship. According to Hassan and Mohib (2003), “Urdu speakers make up 48% of the population with the next most common languages being Punjabi and Pashto” (p. 16). With six major languages Karachi is one of the most diverse and heavily populated megacities in the world. As a result of overpopulation, the city has a huge problem with unemployment, crime, a serious shortage of housing and an overburdening of its already inadequate water supply.
Population Demographics: Tokyo Tokyo has by far the largest metropolitan population in the entire world, estimated at around 33.4 million citizens in its total metropolitan area. The Tokyo Metropolis prefecture has a population of 13.189 million, still an impressive number. Since World War 2 to the mid-1970s Tokyo experienced a very dynamic population growth. However, currently and in the foreseeable future the population is growing only marginally and it seems that the main flux of Tokyo’s population growth has ended. As a matter of fact, the population density in the metropolitan region is centrifugally decreasing, leading Tokyo’s city center to become less and less crowded. With a population of 13.189 million, Tokyo makes up about 10% of Japan's total population while only taking up about 0.6% of the total area of Japan. Tokyo, M. (2010) states that the number of registered foreign residents is 408,000, some 1.2 times more than the total figure 10 years earlier. The daytime population is also 1.2 times larger than the nighttime population, due to the population of commuting workers and students causing a daytime influx. Tokyo's “spider-web” transportation system marks the main lines of commuter traffic, of top land prices and of urbanization. The city's wealthier population locates itself according to how fast the city center can be reached by a railway system. Therefore, the wealthiest citizens can be found near railway systems surrounding the heart of the city.
Economy: Karachi Karachi's first major economic role was that as a port through which goods from all over colonial India were exported, especially goods such as cotton and grain. Karachi was the largest trade center in Pakistan leading it to become the capital from 1947 to 1959. Today, Karachi has an economy where one-third of its workers receive an income below the poverty line and unemployment and underemployment are endemic problems. Many experts argue that these issues are a result of Karachi's fast growing population and that the job market simply cannot keep up with the tremendous growth. Despite Karachi's struggling job market it remains an important manufacturing center with impressive industrial growth.
Economy: Tokyo Tokyo is one of the most important and influential economies in the world. Tokyo itself is an advanced technological haven with 51 of the Global 500 companies located in the heart of the city. Housing several of the world's largest investment banks and insurance companies, Tokyo is a major international finance center with roots in every corner of the world. It is often said that Tokyo's economy has a significant impact on the world economy, and any changes in Tokyo affect the entire planet. Strong financial foundations are achieved through considerable tax revenues and an efficient infrastructure.
Environmental Stress and Issues: Karachi Simply put, Karachi is an old city and is not built to accommodate its growing population. Traffic is an urban nightmare as cars can be backed up for miles and a commute into the city can take hours. The city's public transport is massively overburdened and tends to be unreliable more often than not. Due to public transit being so poorly maintained and outdated, the city suffers from poor environmental conditions and major pollution problems. Angotti and Beckel (2001) suggest that the vast slum areas of the city are susceptible to natural disasters such as floods and fires, not to mention disease and malnutrition. In short, the rapid growth of the city has between extremely detrimental to the urban landscape and the environment.
Environmental Stresses and Issues: Tokyo With regards to the environment, Tokyo is a very complex megacity. Since Tokyo is one of the largest metropolises in the world it faces a shortage of land and a lack of space. Most of the city is brick and mortar with very few green and open spaces. With such an advanced and high-tech city, Tokyo's officials have been burdened since the 1970's to protect the environment from pollution. Apparently these officials have done a great job since Angotti (2001) states that: “targeted environmental measures have led to a partially impressive decrease of pollution, above all concerning air pollution abatement” (p.192). Tokyo is also famous for its vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, infrastructure facilities (gas tanks), and industrial plants (oil refineries, nuclear plants). Nevertheless, with such tremendous burdens placed upon it, Tokyo has done shockingly well dealing with pollution, environment, and infrastructure problems.

Culture: Karachi Karachi is such a diverse city that Rehman (2011) proposes that it has three cultures dividing the city. Karachi's main culture is that of a working class which places high value on time and production. Rehman (2011) states that these citizens are simply “producers and consumers, sellers and buyers, service providers and customers, employers and employees” (p. 1). In Karachi's second culture, there are huge stresses on philanthropy and social services. Unfortunately, Karachi's third culture is defined by crime and poverty. Crime in Karachi is a result of overcrowding and endemic unemployment and poverty. The city is full of car hijackers and petty thieves among the urban poor. These darker aspects of Karachi are mainly due to 40% of the population living in huts without water, electricity, sewage, and pavement.
Culture: Tokyo Tokyo on the other hand has a very unique and dignified culture. Tradition and art are incredibly important to the Japanese, who love to express their culture through dramas, plays, art, cartoons, and cinematography. Tokyo's culture is very independent from other nations, since according to Tokyo Culture (2006), “anything non-Japanese is thus not readily accepted” (p. 1). For instance, bowing is a unique gesture to the Japanese and is an important sign of respect. Tokyo is also known for its high-tech culture, as Tokyo is the world's hub for new technology in televisions, cell phones, cars, and computers. Unlike Karachi, Tokyo is one of the safest megacities in the world with an impressively low crime rate. Tokyo is essentially on the opposite side of the spectrum to Karachi, as it is less diverse, more independent, and much safer.
Religion: Karachi Karachi is an almost entirely Muslim city as Hassan and Mohib (2003) estimate that roughly 96% of the population is Muslim. Christian comes in at a close second with over 2% of the population following Christianity. It is no surprise that Karachi is for the most part Muslim considering it is the largest city in Pakistan, a devout Muslim nation. Most of these Muslims in Karachi are of the Sunni Islam practice, with a minority of 5-20% practicing Shia Islam.
Religion: Tokyo Buddhism and Shinto are the two most common religions of Tokyo, however Japanese culture is known for incorporating elements of various religions in a method known as Shinbutsu Shugo. Japan Guide (2012) states that “Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century” (p. 1). Both religions have co-existed harmoniously; in fact, some Japanese practice both religions equally. Most citizens live a daily life without religion playing a big role or impacting their daily activities.
Conclusion
Despite being two of the most populous cities in the world, Tokyo and Karachi are two megacities with completely different characteristics. Karachi is a megacity with many different cultures and a very mixed income level. Although it is quite uniform religiously, the city has many diverse citizens especially in regards to culture and income. When one typically thinks of Karachi, slums and overcrowding come to mind. On the other hand, when one thinks of Tokyo, technology, efficiency, tradition, and safety come to mind. Tokyo is one of the world's most advanced cities with one of the largest populations and economies, yet remains incredibly dynamic and productive. Tokyo is the perfect example of a technologically superior, environmentally friendly, and comfortably safe megacity. Simply put, it is fascinating how two cities can have the same sized population yet be completely different in almost every way.

References
Angotti, T., & Beckel, L. (2001). Mega cities: the European Space Agency's contribution to a better understanding of a global challenge. Salzburg: GEOSPACE.
Culture, T. (2006, May 26). Tokyo Culture. Tokyo and only Tokyo!. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://tokyo-tokyo.com/tokyo_culture.htm
Hassan, A., & Mohib, M. (2003, January 25). The Case of Karachi, Pakistan. ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/Karachi.pdf
Japan, G. (2012, August 6). Religion in Japan. japan-guide.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from www.japan-guide.com/e/e629.html
Rehman, I. (2011, September 14). Karachis three cultures - DAWN.COM. Home - DAWN.COM - Latest News, Breaking News, Pakistan News, World News, Business News, Science and Technology News , Entertainment News, Sports News, Cricket News. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://beta.dawn.com/news/658959/karachis-three-cultures
Tokyo, M. (2010, June 30). Population of Tokyo - Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/PROFILE/overview03.htm

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