Orellana A, & Fuentes, L. (2019) Metropolitan areas. En: Anthony M. Orum,editors. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (pp. 50-80). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell




Metropolitan areas are sociospatial formations characterized by the advance of urbanization and the increasing concentration of population in urban areas or regions. The purpose of this entry is to characterize this concept and discuss the challenges of setting conceptual delimitations and classifications in different geographical contexts over time. Additionally, the entry analyzes the growing challenges metropolitan areas face due to the contemporary tendencies of urbanization, in particular the difficulty of governing these complex and dynamic spatial units.