Urban Link: UN Endorses a Uniform Measure for Urbanization

The Penn Institute for Urban Research's latest issue of Urban Link features Lewis Dijkstra writing on the Degree of Urbanisation, the first global definition of cities, towns and rural areas endorsed by the UN.

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November 2, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By cgriffinPennIUR

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Nicole S Glass / Shutterstock

The lack of a global definition of urban and rural areas is a well-known obstacle to reliable international comparisons of urbanization and of the situation in the urban and rural areas. With several recent global agendas calling for the collection of indicators for cities, urban, and rural areas, six international organizations have worked closely together to develop a harmonized definition.

In March 2020, the UN Statistical Commission endorsed the definition, and in June, the European Union and OECD launched "Cities of the World, A New Perspective on Urbanisation," a report that describes the use of and technical background of the new definition, the Degree of Urbanisation.

Lewis Dijkstra, Head of the Economic Analysis Sector of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission, editor the European Commission’s Cohesion Report, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and a Penn IUR Scholar, writes about the Degree of Urbanisation in the latest issue of Penn IUR’s Urban Link.

Thursday, October 29, 2020 in Penn IUR Urban Link

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