In generic terms, and in practical application within Canada, a metropolitan municipality is an urban local government; or at least a suburban government flanked by urban and/or other suburban counties. Conversely, a rural area (or a suburban area flanked mostly by rural areas) in which county and municipal functions are consolidated in one government is not a metropolitan municipality but a regional municipality.
The most typical distinction, in historical terms, is that a metropolitan municipality is usually a consolidation of one urban city and the county in which it is located. A regional municipality, by contrast, is usually a consolidation of two or more suburban and/or rural cities, towns or villages - each of which remains a geographically distinct area, usually because of greenspace between them - and the county in which they are located.
- Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona
- City State of Berlin
- Brussels-Capital Region
- Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia
- Greater Manchester
- Greater London Authority
- Metropolitan Stockholm
- South Yorkshire
- Grande Área Metropolitana
- Metropolitan municipalities of Italy