What is urban after all? A critical review of measuring and mapping urban typologies in Portugal

Cristina Henriques, Alexandre Domingues, Margarida Pereira

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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The concept of urban area is complex and has been discussed for many years by several authors and organisations through different perspectives and methodological approaches. For administrative and comparison purposes statistical institutions, both at the national and international levels, classify territories according to a certain degree of urbanisation defining typologies from which indicators and certain public policies are applied. The purpose of this study is to discuss the relevance and suitability of different urban typologies. Through mapping and measuring the data of official documents, the urban dimension of Mainland Portuguese territory is discussed and its usefulness concerning the allocation of resources for promoting territorial cohesion is stressed. Results show the inadequacy of these classifications to inform planning actions, decision making, and to promote territorial policies. It also provides evidence of inaccuracies that distort the reading of the territorial reality of the case study.
Original languageEnglish
Article number630
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020


  • Degree of urbanisation
  • Parish classification
  • Urban areas
  • Urban mapping
  • Urban measurement
  • Urban typologies


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