OECD Regional Development Working Papers

Working papers from the Regional Development Policy Division of the OECD cover a full range of topics including regional statistics and analysis, urban governance and economics, rural governance and economics, and multi-level governance. Depending on the programme of work, the papers can cover specific topics such as regional innovation and networks, the determinants of regional growth or fiscal consolidation at the sub-national level.


Functional Urban Areas in Colombia

This paper applies the OECD-EU methodology to identify the functional urban areas (FUAs) in Colombia. Using the municipal boundaries, population grid data and inter-municipalities commuting flows from the 2005 population census, the paper identifies 53 FUAs accounting for 27 million people, or 63% of the national population. The resulting FUAs are then compared with the existing national definition (Misión del Sistema de Ciudades) and the legally constituted metropolitan areas in Colombia. Finally, using the OECD-EU methodology already applied to OECD countries, the eight largest FUAs in Colombia are compared with the 281 largest FUA in OECD countries, through a set of economic, social and environmental indicators. The application of the OECD-EU methodology allows to identify the whole system of urban areas in Colombia, with the same criterion; it thus provides a complementary tool to the national and city government to better plan and design future urban policy strategies. For example, this paper finds that metropolitan areas in Colombia have smaller commuting areas relative to OECD average and that improvements in the transport infrastructure may strengthen the economic integration of Colombian metropolitan areas.


Keywords: metropolitan areas, GIS
JEL: R12: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / General Regional Economics / Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; R23: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
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