Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto
|Greater Metropolitan Area of Oporto
Grande Área Metropolitana do Porto
|Municipalities||Arouca, Espinho, Gondomar, Maia, Matosinhos, Oliveira de Azeméis, Porto, Póvoa de Varzim, Santa Maria da Feira, Santo Tirso, São João da Madeira, Trofa, Vale de Cambra, Valongo, Vila Nova de Gaia and Vila do Conde.|
|• President||Rui Rio (PSD)|
|• Total||1,883.61 km2 (727.27 sq mi)|
|• Density||890.2/km2 (2,306/sq mi)|
The Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto (Portuguese:Grande Área Metropolitana do Porto) is a metropolitan area in coastal northern Portugal which covers 16 municipalities, including the City of Porto, making up the second biggest urban area in the country. The Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto is a union of metropolitan municipalities (Grande Área Metropolitana), comprising both Grande Porto Subregion and Entre Douro e Vouga Subregion which are two NUTS III subdivisions. The first has 11 municipalities and the second is only five. It covers 1883,61 km² and had a 2011 population of 1,676,848. Currently the most populous municipality is Vila Nova de Gaia, which is located on the South side of the Douro River, in the opposite side of Porto.
The original Metropolitan Area of Oporto was constituted by nine municipalities: Oporto (the capital), Espinho, Gondomar, Maia, Matosinhos, Póvoa de Varzim, Vila Nova de Gaia, Valongo, and Vila do Conde. The process of enlargement to Santa Maria da Feira, Santo Tirso, Trofa, Arouca and São João da Madeira was approved in the Porto Metropolitan Assembly on January 8, 2005, and started being known as Grande Área Metropolitana do Porto (Greater metropolitan Area of Porto). At September, 1st 2008 Oliveira de Azeméis and Vale de Cambra joined and it became a group of 16 municipalities.
The metropolitan area is governed by the Junta Metropolitana do Porto (JMP), headquartered in Avenida dos Aliados, in downtown Porto under the presidency of Rui Rio, also the mayor of Porto municipality, since the Municipal Elections held late 2005, when he succeeded Valentim Loureiro, mayor of Gondomar.
Although the government has halted the intention of creating new metropolitan areas and urban communities, it is keen to ensure greater autonomy to Porto and Lisbon metropolitan areas.
Urban areas and agglomeration 
Greater Porto is the second largest metropolitan area of Portugal, with about 1.7 million people. It groups the larger Porto Urban Area, the second largest in the country, assembled by the municipalities of Porto, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia, Gondomar, Valongo and Maia. A smaller urban area of Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde, which ranks as the six largest in continental Portugal. The new regional spatial planning program (PROT-Norte), recognizes both urban areas and engages in their development.
There are some intentions to merge the municipalities of Porto with Gaia and Matosinhos into a single and greater municipality, and there is an ongoing civil requisition for that objective. The government also started to discuss the merger of some municipalities due to conurbations, but give up. There's a similar idea for the conurbation of Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde, both municipalities decided to work as if both are the same city, cooperating in health, education, transports and other areas. Several municipalities of the metropolitan area also moved closer, and became a cohesive group.
The urban-metropolitan agglomeration known as Northern-western Urban-Metropolitan Agglomeration or Porto Metropolitan Arch is a regional urban system of polycentric nature that stretches far beyond the metropolitan borders, and includes circa 3 million people, which takes in other main urban areas such as Braga and Guimarães, the third and eighth largest cities (as defined by urban areas) of Portugal. One should also note that the entire region of Northern-western Portugal is, in fact, a single agglomeration, linking Porto and Braga to Vigo in Galicia Spain.
|The rest of Grande Porto||982.78 km²||1,158,860||1,126.9/km²|
|Póvoa de Varzim||81.94 km²||63,364||774.6/km²|
|Vila do Conde||498.2 km²||79,390||498.2/km²|
|Vila Nova de Gaia||170.82 km²||302,092||1,690.4/km²|
|Santo Tirso||135.31 km²||71,387||535.0/km²|
|in Entre Douro e Vouga||859.17 km²||275,117||322.2/km²|
|Oliveira de Azeméis||163.41 km²||68,825||432.8/km²|
|Santa Maria da Feira||213.45 km²||139,393||637.0/km²|
|São João da Madeira||8.11 km²||21,685||2,602.0/km²|
|Vale de Cambra||146.21 km²||22,862||169.6/km²|
The Metropolitan area is keen to develop its transportation network. Porto Metro is a Rapid transit system that links the municipalities of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Matosinhos, Maia, Vila do Conde and Póvoa de Varzim.
The Porto/ Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport / Pedras Rubras (OPO), between the municipalities of Maia, Matosinhos,and Vila do Conde, is also one of its greater investments. It was transformed from an old and obsolete airport to a modern transportation centre, linked to Porto Metro. The JMP is also trying to pressure the government to add a TGV line to link Vigo in Galicia to Porto Airport in order to make Porto the air traffic centre of the North-Western Iberian Peninsula and to tighten its historical ties with that Spanish province.
Greater Porto is served by a great number of Motorways linking the main central areas of the metropolitan region and the region with other main Portuguese cities (cidades portuguesas). Main Harbour: Leixões (Matosinhos). Motorways:
- A1 - Lisbon - Porto (North Motorway)
- A3 - Porto - Valença
- A4 - Porto - Amarante
- A7 - Póvoa de Varzim - Vila Pouca de Aguiar
- A20 - Carvalhos - Nó de Francos (CRIP - Porto Inner-Ring Motorway)
- A28 - Porto - Caminha (Northern Littoral Motorway)
- A29 - Estarreja - Porto
- A32 - Oliveira de Azeméis - Porto
- A41 - Perafita - Espinho (CREP - Porto Outer-Ring Motorway)
- A42 - A41 - Paços De Ferreira
- A43 - Porto (A-20) - Aguiar de Sousa
- A44 - Gulpilhares (A29) - A20
See also 
- Porto Metropolitan Area - official
- LIPOR - Greater Porto Residues Management
- Sá Carneiro Airport
- Porto Convention Bureau