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.

Read Time: 1 minute

November 2, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By cgriffinPennIUR


residential Neighborhood

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

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

View of stone-paved street with pedestrians and "Farmers Market" neon sign on left and old buildings on right in Seattle, Washington

Push and Pull: The Link Between Walkability and Affordability

The increased demand for walkable urban spaces could make them more and more exclusionary if cities don’t pursue policies to limit displacement and boost affordability.

January 27, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Aerial view of residential neighborhood in La Habra, California at sunset

Orange County Project Could Go Forward Under ‘Builder’s Remedy’

The nation’s largest home builder could receive approval for a 530-unit development under an obscure state law as the city of La Habra’s zoning laws hang in limbo after the state rejected its proposed housing plan.

33 minutes ago - Orange County Register

Protesters with signs in Atlanta after Tyre Nichols murder

Memphis: Crime-fighting Camera Sheds Light on Police Abuse

The irony is unmistakable. Public surveillance cameras, long controversial in the criminal justice community, provided pivotal video footage of the beating of motorist Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers at a traffic stop on January 7.

1 hour ago - The New York Times

Photo of cars on two-way separated highway with illustrated lines between them indicating tech-driven decisions

How Autonomous Cars Could Impact Energy Use

The complex algorithms used by self-driving vehicle technology use massive amounts of energy, which could lead to a steep rise in carbon emissions as autonomous cars become more commonplace.

2 hours ago - Dezeen