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Redefining Urban - OECD


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Redefining urban: a new way to measure metropolitan areas. Functional Urban Areas in OECD countries. For more information on OECD's urban development work see

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Redefining Urban - OECD

  1. 1. Redefining urban: a new way to measure metropolitan areas Functional Urban Areas in OECD countries
  2. 2. 1. Policies need reflect the reality of where people live and work (functional economic areas), as do the institutions that design and implement such policies. 2. Individual cities are interested in comparing their performance with “similar peers” around the world. 3. The connections between cities and with surrounding areas can lead to important changes in how and where economic production takes place, affecting national growth performance and quality of life. Why do we need to redefine urban areas consistently across countries?
  3. 3. 3 billion and counting of the world’s population live in some form of urban area. But around the world we don’t have the same definitions or understandings of what these urban areas are. 1. The new OECD classification, developed with the European Commission and member countries, identifies urban areas beyond city boundaries, as integrated labour market areas. 2. It is applied to 28 countries and identifies 1 148 urban areas of different size: small urban, medium-sized urban, metropolitan and large metropolitan 3. It allows comparisons among the different forms that urbanisation takes (densely populated centres and their hinterlands, sprawling, polycentric connected cities, etc.) The OECD has developed a new approach to classifying urban areas
  4. 4. How does the new approach change our views of cities? Many cities don’t match the city boundaries Source: OECD calculations based on population density disaggregated with Corine Land Cover.
  5. 5. Urban systems in a country comprise cities of different size Korea Old measurement method: 3 Large metropolitan regions New measurement method: 45 Functional urban areas of different size Seoul Daegu Busan
  6. 6. Urban areas can be organised around one or more densely populated centres; the extension of the hinterlands varies greatly Old measurement method: 4 Large metropolitan regions New measurement method: London Seoul Daegu Busan Urban cores Hinterland Leeds Manchester Birmingham London
  7. 7. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Luxembourg Slovak Republic Finland Norway Switzerland Ireland Slovenia Estonia Netherlands Poland Germany Spain United Kingdom Czech Republic France Belgium Sweden Italy Mexico Portugal OECD 28 Canada Austria Hungary United States Japan Greece Denmark Korea Small urban areas Medium-sized urban areas Metropolitan areas Large metropolitan areas Two-thirds of the OECD population live in urban areas, but the urban experience is very different in each country •Around 65% of the urban population in Korea live in large metropolitan areas; •In most European countries around 25% of urban population live in medium-sized areas Percentage of urban population by city size (2008)
  8. 8. 0.0% 0.5% 1.0% 1.5% 2.0% 2.5% Small urban areas (pop between 50,000 and 200,000) Medium-sized urban areas (pop between 200,000 and 500,000) Metropolitan areas (pop between 500,000 and 1.5 mln) Large metropolitan areas (pop above 1.5 mln) Functional urban area Core Hinterland Population growth 2000-2006 by city type and core/hinterland (average yearly growth rates) The urban population keeps growing, particularly in the hinterlands of large metropolitan areas
  9. 9. Urban population density and total population in selected metro areas (2008) • Tokyo (Japan) and Napoli (Italy) have the same urban population density (around 8 500 people per m2 of urban area), even if Tokyo is 10 times bigger than Napoli in population size Seoul Incheon (KOR) León (MEX)Bilbao (ESP) Daegu (KOR) Napoli (ITA) Tokyo (JPN) Nagoya (JPN) Lisboa (PRT) Lublin (POL) Ottawa (CAN) Berlin (DEU) New York (USA) Los Angeles (USA) Liège (BEL) Phoenix (USA) Helsinki (FIN) 0 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000 7,500 9,000 10,500 12,000 13,500 15,000 urban population density (people per km2 of urban area) The extension of land for urban use differs greatly and so does the urban population density
  10. 10. 47.9% 68.6% 52.3% 35.7% 53.4% 70.1% 57.9% 42.7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 264 46 105 113# of metro areas POPULATION POPULATION POPULATION POPULATION GDP GDP GDP GDP OECD (28) Asia (2) North America (3) Europe (23) Percentage of population and GDP in metro areas (2008) 48% of the OECD population live in the 264 urban areas with a population of at least 500 000 (metro area) and these areas account for 53% of OECD GDP
  11. 11. Metro areas tend to be wealthier than the rest of the economy • GDP per capita premium is generally higher in metro areas (particularly in large metropolitan areas) •The GDP per capita premium varies by country (and continent) 11.1% 20.3% 4.7% 2.0% 32.1% 46.5% 31.9% 9.3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% OECD (28) Europe (23) North America (3) Asia (2) Metropolitan areas (pop between 500,000 and 1.5 mln) Large Metropolitan Areas (pop above 1.5 mln) Per capita GPD gap between metro areas and the rest of the economy (2008)
  12. 12. Population and GDP per capita growth in the 61 fastest -growing metro areas (with GDP growth 25% higher than the country average GDP growth) The most dynamic metro areas are driven by different growth models Vancouver (CAN) Praha (CZE) Paris (FRA) Lyon (FRA) Athina (GRC) Budapest (HUN) Roma (ITA) London (GBR) Monterrey (MEX) Portland (USA) Denver (USA) Phoenix (USA) Dallas (USA)Fort Worth (USA) Houston (USA) San Antonio (USA) Orlando (USA) Edmunton (CAN) Calgary (CAN) Essen (DEU) Leipzig (DEU) Dresden (DEU) Dortmund (DEU) Bonn (DEU) Karlsruhe (DEU) Duisburg (DEU) Münster (DEU) Málaga (ESP)Helsinki (FIN) Toulouse (FRA) Rennes (FRA) Palermo (ITA) Edinburgh (GBR) Portsmouth (GBR) Naha (JPN) Changwon (KOR) Hermosillo (MEX) San Luis Potosí (MEX) Querétaro (MEX) Veracruz (MEX) Centro (MEX) Salt Lake City (USA) Las Vegas (USA) Tulsa (USA) Tucson (USA) El Paso (USA) Baton Rouge (USA) Austin (USA) New Orleans (USA) Tampa (USA) 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% -1% 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% AnnualaverageGDPpercapitagrowthrate (2000-2008) Annual average population growth rate (2000-2008) moderate population growth and high GDP per capita growth high population and GDP per capita growth high population growth and moderate GDP per capita growth moderate population and GDP per capita growth
  13. 13. • Build a dataset of economic, social and environmental conditions for the 2 largest city types (Metro Areas Database) • Adapt the definition of urban areas to emerging economies • Explore other economic functions beyond commuting to identify different typologies of areas • Analysing links between urbanisation and development • Opening up to further analysis on the potential of inclusive growth in urban areas of different size and analysis of governance structure With the objectives of: What future developments are expected?
  14. 14. On line report: “Redefining urban: a new way to measure metropolitan areas” , OECD Publishing, 2012, Interactive maps and data on metro areas Find out more: For more information on OECD work on regional and metropolitan statistics, visit: For more information on OECD work on urban development, visit: