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The urban area of Rennes is located in the north-west of France (Brittany region). It covers 140 "communes" and represents a demographic weight of 521.000 inhabi-tants (1999).Between 1990 and 1999, its population has increased by 54.000 inhabi-tants (the third demographic growth at national level). As consequences, the land domination of the town of Rennes on its suburbs is been reducing for population and housing even if it stays true for employment. Business activities are located essen-tially in the central area and services are dominant in the local economy.

The urban area of Rennes has a superficy of 2,542 km2 but densities differ a lot between the city core (4125 inhabitants/km2), the outer urban ring (283 inhabi-tants/km2), and the hinterland (81 inhabitants/km2).

This urban area can be also characterised by an historic tradition of politics partner-ship between mayors of the different towns in the metropolitan area. The regional administrative entity is a public cooperative body combining 33 administrative units, with a population of 320,000 (1990 general population census). It is now in charge, among others, of public transport and urban planning.

photo of helsinki