Central Europe: Hidden potential of Small and Medium Sized Towns

More than 87% of EU 27 (plus ESPON Partner States) population lives in urban areas, which indicates the urban shift in the population. There are 850 larger cities, 8,414 small and medium sized towns and more than 69,000 very small towns. Almost half of the urban population lives in larger cities (46.3%), while 24.2% in small and medium sized towns and 19% in very small towns. The size of urban settlements plays an important role within the wider regional and functional context, hence towns can make an important contribution in supporting EU strategic policies and for the achievement of territorial cohesion. According to the morphologic definition, small and medium sized towns (SMSTs) have a population density between 300 and 1,500 inh./km2 and/or between 50,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, whereas very small towns have population density above the threshold of 300 inh.km2 but without reaching the minimum population threshold of 5,000 inhabitants.




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