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Characteristics of a Metropolitan

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The purpose of this paper is to understand what Groningen appropriates as a mini-metropolis city. The first step is to find the meaning of the metropolis from a variety of sources, the second step of searching for data about Groningen and the third step is to compare between the two data.

In the end is at a conclusion that the metropolis are not only associated with the factor number of population, area and economy of a city, but a related metropolis of a character which is owned by the city.

So Groningen with all matters and functions and its ability to further develop its compliance is said to be a mini-metropolis city.

Metropolis Characteristics

Metropolitan is a term used to describe a relatively large urban area, both of the size of area, population, and the scale of economic and social activity. While the etymology, said metropolitan (noun) or metropolis (adjective) is derived from the Ancient Greek language, which the word meter means mother, and the word polis means city. (Wackerman, 2000)

In general, the metropolitan can also be defined as a large residential center that consists of a large city and some in the surrounding area with one or more major cities that serve as a point of contact (hub) to the towns in the surrounding areas. A metropolitan area is an agglomeration of several settlements, settlements should not be the city, but the overall form a unity in nature activities and lead to the city center (a large city that is the core) that can be seen from the flow of labor and commercial activities.

According Goheen (in Bourne, ed. 1971), City / Metropolitan District is an urban area with a population characteristic that stand out in comparison with the surrounding countryside. This term is used to give a more precise picture of the amount and concentration of the population in a large area, which in turn can show the magnitude of the centers of the main settlements in the country. In general, the metropolitan region can be defined as large, with economic and social unity integrated and characterize the activity of the city.

The characteristics of the Metropolitan of several aspects such as the amount of population, economic activities, mobility, activities of the population, and the structure of the region.

1. The amount of the total population

The magnitude of population becomes a major consideration in determining the aspects of the definition of a metropolitan. However, some urban experts set different limits for the determination of the minimum number of metropolitan area population.

2. Economic activity

In the metropolitan area occurs agglomeration residential areas and jobs. That is, the metropolitan area is an urban area with a specializing in social and economic activities function. The economic specialization is the industrial and services sectors. Industrial activities and services is the dominant sector in the growing metropolitan region. Economic activities that take place in the metropolitan area is heterogeneous and has a role as a central / center of economic activities on a regional scale, both within the province or state and national scope.

Growth and development of the urban economy are the driving factors behind the metropolitan and will continue to affect the prospects of the future metropolis. In fact, metropolitan anywhere carry out the functions of the national economy, which is a very significant contribution to the whole country. Metropolitan supposedly able to play a role and function in accordance with its share in national economic development. On the other hand, the role of the national economy must be balanced with the metropolitan economy comparable level and is able to also write a decent life for the citizens of the metropolitan community itself. Metropolitan should be able to create jobs and income level sufficient for people to be able to survive and even enjoy life in the metropolitan environment. The income levels are generally far exceeds the metropolitan cities and other areas as well as rural, and the main attraction for the current metropolitan population who are looking for work and a decent life. Surely there must be taken into account that the level of public spending in general metropolitan also much higher than the city and other areas.

3. Mobility of people’s activities

One characteristic of the metropolitan area is shown in the form of ease of mobility by Angotti (1993) seen in 3 forms (Winarso et al, 2006), namely:

a. Occupational mobility (mobility Employment), characterized by the ease with which people move workplace without having to move residence because of the many types and variations of jobs available.

b. Housing Mobility (Residential Mobility), occurs in line with the mobility of the workplace.

c. Mobility trip (Trip Mobility), occurs because of the mobility of the workplace and residence.

4. Structure Regions

Broadly speaking there are two kinds of physical form metropolis that shapes the metropolis spread (dispersed) and the shape of the metropolis centered (concentrated). To spread the metropolis consists of the metropolis spreads and galactic metropolis. As for the centralized metropolis comprises centered metropolis, metropolitan and metropolitan ring star (jayadinata, 1986: 221-226).

The Mini Metropolis

There is a definition of a mini metropolis of Dr. Peter Kurz, where he was a major in Mannheim, Mannheim as the city he called mini-metropolis. Not because of its large size, not too big for its population, but because of Mannheim managed properly so that this city we can eat, live and work.

Geographically, the city is located between two rivers, providing public transport links and good shopping center, and a center of culture, science, research and creativity.

In other words, Dr. Peter Kurz said that in this town people can feel the balance of life and comfort of staying in Mannheim

Groningen Characteristics

Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the province in the Netherlands. Groningen is the largest city in northern Netherlands, so Groningen is the regional power of the northern Netherlands.

When viewing a map of the Netherlands, it appears that groningen is downtown for northern Dutch region, and there are no other major city within a radius of about 150 kilometers from Groningen. Apart from being the capital of the province of Groningen is also a historical and geographical center of Groningen is also a center of trade since the end of the 15th century.

The existence of the center of the city of Groningen Martini tower is a symbol of power and later with the establishment of the University of Groningen in 1614 with the development of the city of Groningen now has about 50,000 students (25% deari total population), it is seen that the Groningen become an important educational center for the Netherlands. In addition to being the city with a ratio of the number of students that a lot of the population, the city of Groningen also a leading city in terms of innovation, research development, and entrepreneurship

Figure 1. Netherland Map (Steen, 2015)

  1. Population in Groningen

Groningen as a province has a population of 579.036 residents, and as a Municipality of Groningen has a population of 189.991 residents, which means the city of Groningen has 33% of the total population in the province of Groningen (Steen, 2015).

Table 1. composition of the population of the cities in netherland (Steen, 2015)

2000 2009
Amsterdam 731,288 (44,4%) 755,605 (49.5%)
Rotterdam 592,673 (40,0%) 587,134 (46,9%)
The Hague 441,094 (40,1%) 481,864 (47,3%)
Utrecht 233,667 (29,8%) 299,891 (31,5%)
Groningen 173,139 (16,5%) 184,227 (19,7%)
Netherlands 15,863,950 (17.5%) 16.485.787 (19.9%)

Note ( % ) = % of ‘allochtoon’ = 1 or more parents born abroad

From the population compotition table, we can see that Groningen become the 5th largest city in population in cities in Netherland, although there is a significant difference in the population of western part of the Netherland city

  1. Economic activity

According to data from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Netherlands is the 18th largest economy in the world in 2012. GDP per capita Approximately $ 43.404 makes netherland one of the richest countries in the world.

Netherlands has a large natural gas reserves northern sea areas, but most of the production is from onshore wells and natural gas produced from the Groningen province, Consumption of natural gas in the Netherlands is only about 2/3 of its production, while the rest is exported. Netherlands is

currently the fifth largest exporter of natural gas in the world.

gas alam groningen.JPG

Figure 2. Largest Gas Fields In The World

(// enormous-resources-at-the-slochteren-field-for-another-50-more-years)

  1. Employment Data

Based on data up to April 2012, Groningen providing 135 537 jobs during the two years in which the growth 3010 = 2.3%. And Groningen has 15 909 firms, with over 2 years experience growth in 1417 = 9.8%.

This shows that Groningen has good economic growth in terms of the number of jobs available. According to data from 2009 recorded that the ratio of the number of people who work for 1000 residents, Groningen ranks 3rd in the Netherlands the number of 730 jobs per 1,000 residents. This means th culture/recreationat is above the national average of 490 jobs per 1,000 Netherland resident

Tabel 2. Employment Growth per-Sector 2009 – 2011 (Steen, 2015)

Employment Growth 2009- 2011
agriculture 0.10%
industry 5.20%
utilities 2.30% ++
construction 4.30%
trade 12.30%
restaurants, hotels 4.20%
transport, communication 8.00%
finance 1.50%
business services 18.40% +
government 8.80%
education 9.90% +
health 20.70%
culture/recreation 4.50% +
  1. Mobility of people’s activities

The city of Groningen has been recognized as a Word Cycling City, this is because 57% of trips in the city is done by using a bicycle vehicle. Transport infrastructure in the city has been designed well so convenient for cyclists. In 2000, Groningen was elected as Fiedsstad 2002 – The Top Bike City of The Netherlands for 2002.

The transport system in the city center provides priorities for bicycles and pedestrians, by making traffic cirlulation prohibiting private vehicles into the inner city, inner city divided by 4 zones A, B, C, D. So that private vehicles can not be moved from zone A to B through the middle of town but directed at the ring road towards the road first. so although the distance A to B near as be felt far as having to turn first.


Groningen has three train stations, namely station Groningen,

There are three stations in Groningen, Groningen Europapark and Groningen Noord. The main train station has regular services to almost all major cities in the Netherlands (served by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen and Arriva) as well as other European cities.


Groningen has inter-city bus transportation and inter-state bus which flies to several cities in the Netherlands and Germany. It also has a special bus transportation routes within the city groningen that connects several areas in the city groningen


There are diverse opinions of experts on the definition and characteristics of a metropolis, where many describe as a city with a high population and high-income economy, with pomp owned a city.

Groningen, with a population of only about 200,000 residents but has a soul and spirit as a mini-metropolis city, Why a mini metropolis, not as a metropolis? I think this is just a comparison of size alone. Groningen has a very compact design and the city continues to grow but never leave its cohesiveness. As a cultural center, education center and a regional economic center in the northern Netherlands, with all its facilities and functions, Groningen has played a role as an attractive city, good for work, interesting place to visit, and certainly comfortable place to live.

If I may suggest, I would say that the Groningen like a towering lighthouse and shining brightly, illuminating the surrounding areas.










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