Urban area (France)

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Map of France indicating its commune municipalities. The colours show the urban organisation status of each municipality in 2010 :
Urban areas of France in 2010, broken down by communes:
  Red: urban communes also urban poles of an urban area
  Orange: other urban communes in a single urban area
  Yellow: urban communes linked to at least two urban areas
  White: rural communes

An aire urbaine (literal and official translation: "urban area"[1]) is an INSEE (France's national statistics bureau) statistical concept describing a core of urban development and the extent of its commuter activity.

Definition[edit]

The aire urbaine is built from France's nationwide interlocking administrative commune municipalities: when a commune has over 2000 inhabitants and contains a centre of dense construction (buildings spaced no more than 200 metres apart), it is combined with other adjoining communes fulfilling the same criteria to become a single unité urbaine ("urban unit"[2]); if an urban unit offers over 10,000 jobs and its economical development is enough to draw more than 40% of the population of a nearby municipalities (and other municipalities drawn to these in the same way) as commuters, it becomes a pôle urbain ("urban cluster"[3]) and the "commuter municipalities" become its couronne ("rim"[4]), but this only on the condition that the urban unit itself is not part of another urban cluster's rim. The aire urbaine is an urban cluster and its rim combined, or a statistical area describing a central urban core and its economic influence on surrounding municipalities.

Types of aires urbaines[edit]

As of 2010, depending on their population and function, aires urbaines adopt the following secondary appellations:

  • aires urbaines with more than 500,000 inhabitants and 20,000 official 'metropolitan-type jobs' are considered aires métropolitaines ('metropolitan areas')[5]
  • aires urbaines with more than 200,000 inhabitants are considered grandes aires ('large urban areas')[6]
  • aires urbaines centred around a 'pole' urban unit with 5,000 to 10,000 jobs (with at least 40% of the surrounding commune populations working there) are 'moyennes aires' ('medium urban areas').[7]
  • aires urbaines centred around a 'pole' urban unit with 1,500 to 5,000 jobs (with at least 40% of the surrounding commune populations working there) are 'petites aires' ('small urban areas').[8]

List of France's aires urbaines (metropolitan areas)[edit]

The following is a list of the twenty largest aires urbaines (metropolitan areas) in France, based on their population at the 2011 census. Population at the 2006 census is indicated for comparison.

Between 2006 and 2011, Toulouse, Rennes, Montpellier, Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon had the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in France.

Rank
(2011)
Rank
(2006)
Aire urbaine
(metropolitan area)
Population
(2011)
Population
(2006)
Yearly change
(2006-2011)
Land area
(km²)
1 1  Paris[9] 12,292,895 11,956,493 +0.56% 17,174
2 2  Lyon[10] 2,188,759 2,085,107 +0.98% 6,019
3 3  Marseille - Aix-en-Provence[11] 1,720,941 1,692,459 +0.33% 3,174
4 4  Toulouse[12] 1,250,251 1,169,865 +1.34% 5,381
5 5  Lille (French part)[13] 1,159,547 1,152,507 +0.12% 926
6 6  Bordeaux[14] 1,140,668 1,086,106 +0.99% 5,613
7 7  Nice[15] 1,003,947 995,968 +0.16% 2,585
8 8  Nantes[16] 884,275 841,404 +1.00% 3,302
9 9  Strasbourg (French part)[17] 764,013 749,766 +0.38% 2,198
10 12  Rennes[18] 679,866 637,673 +1.29% 3,747
11 10  Grenoble[19] 675,122 659,459 +0.47% 2,621
12 11  Rouen[20] 655,013 643,499 +0.36% 2,367
13 13  Toulon[21] 606,987 598,514 +0.28% 1,196
14 15  Montpellier[22] 561,326 529,401 +1.18% 1,673
15 14  Douai - Lens[23] 542,946 545,636 −0.10% 679
16 17  Avignon[24] 515,123 501,866 +0.52% 2,083
17 16  Saint-Étienne[25] 508,548 508,284 +0.01% 1,689
18 18  Tours[26] 480,378 469,244 +0.47% 3,184
19 19  Clermont-Ferrand[27] 467,178 454,553 +0.55% 2,420
20 20  Nancy[28] 434,565 432,481 +0.10% 2,367

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban area
  2. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban unit
  3. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban Cluster
  4. ^ Definitions and methods: Rim
  5. ^ "Un maillage du territoire français - Insee Première - 1333". www.insee.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  6. ^ "Un maillage du territoire français - Insee Première - 1333". www.insee.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  7. ^ "Base des aires urbaines | Insee". www.insee.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  8. ^ "Base des aires urbaines | Insee". www.insee.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  9. ^ Paris
  10. ^ Lyon
  11. ^ Marseille-Aix-en-Provence
  12. ^ Toulouse
  13. ^ Lille
  14. ^ Bordeaux
  15. ^ Nice
  16. ^ Nantes
  17. ^ Strasbourg
  18. ^ Rennes
  19. ^ Grenoble
  20. ^ Rouen
  21. ^ Toulon
  22. ^ Montpellier
  23. ^ Douai-Lens
  24. ^ Avignon
  25. ^ Saint-Étienne
  26. ^ Tours
  27. ^ Clermont-Ferrand
  28. ^ Nancy

External links[edit]

  • Geopolis: research group, university of Paris-Diderot, France - Population of urban areas of 10,000 or more