The word 'integration' has rarely been far from the lips of Guangdong officials as they seek to shape the future of the Pearl River Delta. The theory is quite simple: if the nine major cities share services, infrastructure and people, development will be more even and focused. But what that means in reality is far from clear. There are many places being integrated beyond the broader meshing of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Huizhou and Zhaoqing . Shenzhen's blueprint sets out its complementary role to Hong Kong, albeit as the mainland city transforms into a 'global centre for trade, logistics, innovation and cultural industries'. The most advanced integration is between Guangzhou and Foshan, where efforts are so far along that the mega-city has a name, Guangfo. With an urban population of a little more than 1.1 million people, Foshan has long been overshadowed by its larger neighbour 15 kilometres away. As both cities have sprawled, Foshan has begun to resemble a suburb of Guangzhou. This year, officials from the cities unveiled 52 projects that would bind them closer together. They range from massive infrastructure projects to eliminating phone roaming charges. In recent months a new expressway opened connecting Foshan to Guangzhou's Baiyun airport, cutting journey time from more than an hour to around 30 minutes. Next comes the Guangfo Metro line - a 33 kilometre branch with 21 stops due for completion in phases between next year and 2012. In health care, medical records will be shared and insurance will be co-ordinated. Foshan residents will be able to receive Guangzhou's local television channels and vice versa, while public security bureaus will share information on migrant worker populations. The most original plan is for improved shopping, with Guangzhou's shopping centres selling wares in Foshan. The backing for this type of integration comes from the top. Guangdong party chief Wang Yang hailed it as a cornerstone in transforming the Delta into a 'mega-city'. The idea of making the Delta a 'world class metropolis' received Beijing's blessing in January. On the ground in Guangzhou, however, there is a marked indifference to the plans. 'It is a government thing, I don't see how it is related to us,' said college student Terrence He, 22. 'I don't usually go to Foshan. If I go, it is to eat there and come back.' He had visited Hong Kong at least 20 times - far more times than he has been to Foshan. 'I would be more excited if they worked on Guangzhou-Hong Kong integration,' he said. But among residents of Foshan there is more enthusiasm for the plans, which they believe will grant them improved access to Guangzhou's superior facilities. 'I know most of the Guangzhou people are not keen on the integration but the people of Foshan think differently,' said Elaine Wu, a professional who lives in Guangzhou during the week and Foshan at the weekend. '[Foshan residents] always visit Guangzhou, not only to meet relatives but also to shop and for fun. We welcome any efforts that will make our journey easier. 'It is important for us because Guangzhou has more resources than Foshan. If we can share Guangzhou's resources, it will enhance our quality of life.' Qiu Shan, an economist at Guangdong's Academy of Social Sciences, said the government would have to do more promotion if it wanted to sell the idea of broader Pearl River Delta integration. 'It is natural that the people of Guangzhou aren't too excited by it all. It is because they don't see how they will benefit,' he said.