Towards a name for each town

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The European system of urban/rural territorial classifications relies upon basic types of 1 km² grid cell clusters. By definition, these clusters are independent from any existing administrative unit. This is an important asset as it avoids distortions due to historical, administrative and/or political factors. Nevertheless, when analysing indicators at the level of individual grid-based clusters it is very useful to be able to attribute a name to the clusters. High-density clusters (or urban centres) represent the major cities, each with a population of at least 50,000 inhabitants. There are more than 800 urban centres in Europe. Most of these can be associated with a particular local administrative unit. This means that it has been quite straightforward to allocate a name to each of the grid-based urban centres.
The class of urban clusters (moderate-density clusters) contains suburbs and towns. While suburbs can be associated to urban centres, grid-based towns do not have any a-priori name. Still, providing names to these units can be useful to facilitate referencing them. Hence, the challenge is to provide (unique) names for more than 9000 towns throughout Europe.

The interactive map viewer allows exploring and evaluating the naming of the towns and allows users to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. The excel file lists all cities and towns. A click on the last column will bring you to the interactive map viewer, zoomed in on the location you selected.

Please send your comments to REGIO-B1-PAPERS@ec.europa.eu.

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