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.



Urbanisation and migration trends in South Africa

theory and policy implications

This chapter classifies and defines cities in South Africa from a migration vantage point. It first focuses on the differential urbanisation concept as a systemic framework that can explain how urban systems evolve and how the process determines the position and expected dynamism of individual cities within the urban hierarchy. Within this theoretical framework, the chapter reviews population redistribution patterns in South Africa since the mid- 1990s and compares them to population redistribution processes in the three largest urban agglomerations of South Africa. Finally, population redistribution movements in and around these core cities are used to explain: i) current morphological trends; ii) the relationship between the core cities and their surrounding cities; iii) the interpretation of functional and administrative space in terms of these trends. The chapter also reflects on the potential value to adapt the OECD methodology of functional urban areas to South Africa.


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