The Ivie has coordinated working paper number 2 of 2013, published by the BBVA Foundation, Áreas rurales y coberturas del suelo. This study, along with other papers, are available on the BBVA Foundation website.
This working paper presents an attempt to establish a rural/ urban typology solely from land-cover information, instead of using the traditional demographic data. We start from the fact that urbanization goes hand in hand with important landscape transformations that should be visible independently of the demographic pressure on the territory. As a by-product of this work we generate municipal land-cover data sets from the Information System of Land Cover in Spain (SIOSE), which can be used in many settings at this small geographic scale. By using thresholds on percentages of open space —non-artificial surfaces— at municipal level, we are able to establish a rural/urban typology similar to that currently derived by Eurostat from population density at cell level from a population grid. Our results should be seen as complementing rather than competing with more traditional approaches, and can be integrated, in the future, in a rural/urban typology that looks at various dimensions.
Francisco J. Goerlich is a researcher at the Ivie and professor at the University of Valencia.