An urban area
is a human settlement with high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or suburbs.
In urbanism, the term contrasts to rural areas
such as villages and hamlets.
The creation of early predecessors of urban areas during the urban revolution led to the creation of human civilization with modern urban planning, which along with other human activities such as exploitation of natural resources leads to human impact on the environment.
Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization. Urban areas are measured for various purposes, including analyzing population density and urban sprawl.
Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan
area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market.
In general, a rural area or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities - the word "rural" as encompasses "...all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area. Whatever is not urban is considered rural."
Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agricultural areas are commonly rural, though so are others such as forests.
Different countries have varying definitions of "urban" and "rural" for statistical and administrative purposes.
- An urbanized area consists of a central surrounding areas whose population ("urban nucleus") is greater than 50,000. They may or may not contain individual cities with 50,000 or more; rather, they must have a core with a population density generally exceeding 1,000 persons per square mile; and may contain adjoining territory with at least 500 persons per square mile (other towns outside of an urbanized area whose population exceeds 2,500).
- A rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents; areas designated as rural can have population densities as high as 999 per square mile or as low as 1 person per square mile.
Defines rural for their population counts: rural is the population outside settlements with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and a population density below 400 people per square kilometre.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on June 14, 2016.