- Primary Urban Area
A Primary Urban Area or PUA is an area defined by the
Department for Communities and Local Governmentin the United Kingdomas a statistical tool for analysing the major cities of England, originating as part of their " State of the English Cities" report and database.
Purpose and Definition
The concept of a Primary Urban Area was created in an attempt to enable economic and social comparisons between cities using definitions less arbitrary than the administrative boundaries of local authorities, but avoiding one problem of using the Urban Areas defined by the
Office for National Statistics- that sprawling conurbations such as the West Yorkshire Urban Area, containing multiple distinct settlements with large degrees of physical and social independence, but that happen to touch, end up being treated as if they were a single city. [http://www.communities.gov.uk/citiesandregions/publicationscities/state/frequentlyaskedquestions/ Frequently asked questions about the state of the English cities] Department for Communities and Local Government (see "What is a Primary Urban Area (PUA)?")]
To enable this, Primary Urban Areas are defined as being based on areas of continuous built-up land containing urban structures that are within 50 metres of each other, [ [http://www.socd.communities.gov.uk/socd/overview.aspx#56PUAs Primary Urban Areas (PUAS)] State of the Cities - Making sense of cities, Department for Communities and Local Government] while Urban Areas only require that urban land uses should be less than 200 metres apart. [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/census2001/ks_ua_ew_part1.pdf Key Statistics for Urban Areas in England and Wales] Office for National Statistics Census 2001 (definition on page 8 of pdf)]
In addition, to qualify as a Primary Urban Area a built-up area must have a population in excess of 125,000. On this basis England had 56 Primary Urban Areas in 2007.
As Primary Urban Areas were created to allow statistical comparisons, and the majority of statistics are produced based on administrative or electoral geographies, Primary Urban Areas are approximated to local authority and ward level, or to an additional measure called a "tract" - similar in size to a ward but designed to be subject to fewer revisions over time. It is for these approximate areas that statistics are available. Wards and tracts, being smaller, allow a greater degree of precision in comparing PUAs, but using local authority-based definitions allow PUA comparisons to be made using the wider range of statistics available at this level. [Robinson, Phillipa " [http://www.nerip.com/neripfiles/newsletter/issue14/SOCD.ppt#9 Presenting Statistics on UK Geographies] ", State of the Cities Database, Presentation to North East Regional Information Partnership]
Primary Urban Areas are designed purely as a tool of statistical analysis and aren't intended to form definitive measures of cities for policy purposes. [http://www.communities.gov.uk/citiesandregions/publicationscities/state/frequentlyaskedquestions/ Frequently asked questions about the state of the English cities] Department for Communities and Local Government (see "What is a Primary Urban Area (PUA)?")] They are named after the largest settlement within them.
Issues with Primary Urban Areas
Primary Urban Areas still suffer to a certain extent from containing multiple distinct settlements with large degrees of independence, but that happen to touch being treated as if they were a single city. A good example of this is within the Birmingham PUA, where
Wolverhamptonis largely independent of Birminghamand by some measures has a city-region of its own. [ [http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/citiesandregions/pdf/144146 Department of Communities and Local Government] English City-Regions based on labour and housing markets] Whilst Birmingham dominates the south and east of the area, and Wolverhampton dominates the north and west, the area of conurbation between the two cities (the Black Country) displays a complex pattern of interdependence both within the area and to the two cities, making statistical separation of the area extremely difficult. [ [http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/citiesandregions/pdf/144146 Department of Communities and Local Government] English City-Regions based on labour and housing markets] This inclusion of Wolverhampton demonstrates differences between PUAs and the Eurostatequivalent, where Wolverhampton has its own Larger Urban Zone. [cite web|url=http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/tender/pdf/2007urban/reference.pdf|title=Urban Audit Analysis II|publisher=Eurostat|accessdate=2008-10-05] [cite web|url=http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-RA-07-024/EN/KS-RA-07-024-EN.PDF|title=European Regional and Urban Statistics|publisher=Eurostat|accessdate=2008-10-05] [cite web|url=http://www.urbanaudit.org/CityProfiles.aspx?CityCode=UK013C&CountryCode=UK|title=Urban Audit - City Profiles: Wolverhampton|publisher=Urban Audit|accessdate=2008-10-05]
When Primary Urban Areas are approximated to local authority areas rather than wards they can also contain rural areas or have parts of the Urban Area excluded from the relevant PUA. The Leeds PUA is an example of the former, where the
City of Leedslocal authority area that is contained within the PUA includes a wide rural area in addition to the urban cores; whilst the Manchester PUA does not contain Wilmslowwhich is a part of the Greater Manchester Urban Areabut outside the local authorities that make up the approximated PUA.
Travel to Work Area
* [http://www.socd.communities.gov.uk/socd/Images/SOCD_OverMap.gifMap showing the extent of the Primary Urban Areas and Travel to Work Areas for each of the 56 cities] Department for Communities and Local Government.
* [http://www.socd.communities.gov.uk/socd/ The State of the Cities Database] Online database provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government, providing statistics for a variety of urban geographies, including Primary Urban Areas.
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