Difference Between Urban And Urban Areas

Pages: 4 (902 words) Published: May 24, 2016


According to the United Nations Population Division (2008), the distribution of human beings across the surface of the earth is a function of the perceived opportunities that each territory has to offer. Accordingly, territories with more opportunities are likely to be more populated than those with fewer opportunities. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) states that ‘By 2007, one-half of the world’s population will live in urban areas compared to little more than one-third in 1972, and the period 1950 to 2050 will see a shift from a 65 per cent rural population to 65 per cent urban (United Nations Population Division 2001a). By 2002, some 70 per cent of the world’s urban population will be living in Africa, Asia or Latin America (UNCHS...

Urban areas are defined on the basis of a number of criteria. In general, there appears to be three main criteria for determining the status of a settlement and these are;
(a) The land use approach; (b) The functional area approach; and (c) The density approach. The first relates to the extent to which the settlement is closely built up and the uses to which the built up area are put to.
The second approach identifies the hinterland over which a settlement is considered important particularly in the provision of jobs, services and facilities while the third approach is based on the scale of some phenomena such as population, buildings etc (The UK Department for Communities and Local Government, 2002). Similarly, the United Nations Statistics Division (2007) states that the definition of urban/rural areas is based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that may include any combination of the following: size of population, population density, distance between built-up areas, predominant type of economic activity, conformity to legal or administrative status and urban characteristics such as specific services and...
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