Rural areas (thinly populated)

A revised
Urban Audit
Presenting a harmonised city
definition and its application
Review process in 2010-2011
• Revise indicators: less and more focussed
• Link to official statistics: degree of urbanisation
and Europe 2020
• Revise frequency: annual
• Revise city selection: all cities instead of sample
• Revise city and larger urban zone boundaries: a
new OECD-EC definition
• Validated by all National Statistical Institutes
Two linked local classifications
• New degree of
• Cities (densely)
• Towns and
• Rural areas (thinly
• Urban Audit
• Cities
• Commuting zones
• Other areas
Replace three conflicting classifications
Rural LAU2
Degree of
Urban Audit
Thinly populated
Intermediate density
Densely populated
Cities or Greater
New degree of urbanisation
• Used in the data collections for reference year
2012 onwards in
Labour Force Survey
Survey on Income and Living Conditions
IT household Survey
Safety Survey in 2013
Adult education survey
• Eurofound European Quality of Life Survey 2011
will also use it
EU-OECD definition of a city in four steps
1. Select cells with 1 500 inhabitants per sq km
2. Cluster cells, fill gaps and select those with more
than 50 000 inhabitants (urban centre)
3. Select all LAU2s with at least 50% of their
inhabitants in the urban centre.
4. Adjust for political level if needed
IMPORTANT! Cities are selected on the population
of their centre, not total population
Creating a Greater City
Adjusting the classification
• A densely populated LAU2 can be classified
intermediate as long as 75% of its high-density
cluster population remains in densely populated
• A thinly populated or intermediate density LAU2
can be classified as densely populated if it belongs
to a group of LAU2s with a political function and
if the majority of population of this group of LAU2s
lives in a high-density cluster.
Toulouse - CU du Grand Toulouse
Commuting zone
• Check if (greater) cities are ‘connected’ i.e. have
at least a one-way commuting intensity of 15%.
If so combine cities into a single destination
• Identify all LAU2s that send 15% of their
employed population to a city
• Drop exclaves and add enclaves
• If needed approximate with area for which data is
available (LAU1, NUTS3)
Overall impact
• The number of cities in the Urban Audit has
increased significantly: from 684 to 828.
• 64 cities were dropped, notably in France, but
also the UK, Italy and Malta.
• A substantial increase in the number of Greater
cities to 33 and no longer limited to capitals.
They now also include Milan, Naples, Bilbao,
Barcelona, Porto, Rotterdam, Manchester…
Border cities
Other typologies
• Harbour cities: Defined by proximity to a harbour
and the amount of goods transported through
this harbour
• Regional capitals: capital or a region with a
political function (to be combined with the
population of the region and the regional
authority index) based on feedback from the
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