Densely populated areas present unique challenges and opportunities for Extension and other community-based organizations. Extension addresses the population shift in the U.S. and refers to one or more of the following terms for urban, metro, or city Extension.
- Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (metro and micro areas) are geographic entities delineated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics.
- Urban Influence Codes form a classification scheme that distinguishes metropolitan counties by population size of their metro area, and non-metropolitan counties by size of the largest city or town and proximity to metro and micropolitan areas.
- The Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural areas of the nation.
- Internationally, organizations use various typologies to delineate and map population along the urban rural continuum.
Agencies and organizations may also have specific guidelines, but the common essence is the densely populated geographic area, defined as urban context in this Guide.
Due to the scale, diversity, and complexity of large metropolitan areas, Extension’s work is similar and different when compared with Extension professionals working in rural and suburban areas. One of the unique aspects for urban Extension professionals is that many have not had an Extension experience as a client and it’s common to work alongside colleagues and volunteers who may or may not be familiar with Extension.
Urban-Suburban-Rural Interdependencies: Various indicators demonstrate a dynamic flow of people and other resources throughout all geographic areas along the urban and rural continuum. Extension recognizes that many people live in one county, work in another, and enjoy recreation and tourism in other counties.
[Excerpt from the Urban Extension Introductory Guide]