Redefining "Urban"

A New Way to Measure Metropolitan Areas

image of Redefining

This report compares urbanisation trends in OECD countries on the basis of a newly defined OECD methodology which enables cross-country comparison of the socio-econimic and environmental performance of metropolitan areas in OECD countries. The methodology is presented and results from its application to 27 OECD countries are discussed together with policy implication both on national growth and governance of cities. The report also includes three original papers that present the urbanisation dynamics and prospects in China and South Africa and the governance challenges resulting from the new policy agenda on cities in the United Kingdom.



Focusing on functionality

changing approaches to economic development in England

This chapter gathers evidence about the spatial geography of the UK economy and reviews the current direction of sub-national development policy in England. It discusses how increasing analysis of the functioning of the economy has influenced policy over the last decade, including recent decisions to abolish institutions operating at the regional administrative scale in favour of those operating at scales closer to the functional economy.

In this context, it explores how the OECD common methodology to define functional urban areas could be a significant new tool for understanding the development, and measuring the performance, of key cities and their surrounding functional economies. Further, the chapter illustrates other forms of economic functionality beyond the labour market definition which underpins the OECD methodology. It shows how working with different understandings of functionality can provide further insights about economic opportunities and challenges for further developments of the work on international comparison of functional urban areas.


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