How urbanized Finland really is? – The urban population percentage of Finland in the light of various national urban area definitions

Authors: Jaana Vanhatalo*, Tampere University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Urban area, definition, urban population percentage, urbanization, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The numerous phenomena related to the urban environment, e.g. social, environmental and economic, are complex and multifaceted. The only common denominator for these is the platform, the city, but the definition of the city is most often ambiguous. Cities are also constantly changing and one of these factors of change is urbanization, which is one of the most crucial phenomena in the 21st century. Urbanization refers to the process of increasingly more people moving to urbanized areas and is usually measured either with urbanization rate or urban population percentage. These figures of different countries are constantly compared with each other and the results can accumulate all the way to the planning and policy making. However, the definition of urban area varies in different countries, leading to possibly incorrect interpretations. Therefore, it is important to study how the urban area definitions affect the urban population percentage to solve, whether the comparisons can be made and do their differences matter. In addition, these urban area definitions also produce their own interpretation of the city and set boundaries for it. In this poster I present the preliminary results of a research related to national urban area definitions from 27 European countries and how they affect the urban population percentage. The exploration of different definitions and GIS-analyses are carried out in the case of Finland. The research questions are: What is the urban population percentage of Finland according to these different definitions? How much does the definition affect the delineation of the urban area?

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