Lisbon Metropolitan Area

Lisbon Metropolitan Area
Área Metropolitana de Lisboa

Map showing the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.
Municipalities Alcochete, Almada, Barreiro, Amadora, Cascais, Lisbon, Loures, Mafra, Moita, Montijo, Odivelas, Oeiras, Palmela, Seixal, Sintra, Sesimbra, Setúbal and Vila Franca de Xira.
  Total 3,015.24 km2 (1,164.19 sq mi)
Population (2011)
  Total 2,821,876
  Density 940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
GDP(nominal)[1] 2014
 - Total €64 billion
 - Per capita €23,000
Website A.M. Lisboa

Lisbon Metropolitan Area (Portuguese: Área Metropolitana de Lisboa, or AML) is an administrative division that includes 18 municipalities (concelhos) in Portugal[2] and is a designated Level II and Level III Portuguese NUTS region.


The Lisbon Metropolitan Area, centered in the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, is the largest population concentration in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 2,821,876, of which 547,733 (19.4%) lives in the city of Lisbon. 26.7% of the total population of Portugal lives in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.[3] The area of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area is 3,015.24 km², which is 3.3% of the toal area of Portugal.[4]

The Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) has an active population of about 1.3 million people. With 32.7% of the national employment being located in its territory, the contribution of AML for the Gross Domestic Product surpasses 36%.

Today, Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) territory is almost the same as Lisbon Region territory, being AML a union of metropolitan municipalities, and Lisbon Region a NUTS II region.

The municipalities north of the Tagus River are from Lisbon District (Grande Lisboa), those south of the river are from Setubal District (Península de Setúbal).


The Metropolitan Area of Lisbon was a semi-official structure. Recently, Portugal has been incrementing the powers held by these territorial organization organs. In the officialization of the Lisbon Great Metropolitan Area, Azambuja left due to being mostly a rustic zone, more kindred to the city of Santarém which lies just 23 km NE, while Lisbon is 45 km away from Azambuja, SE.

In the official AML site is said:

As stated on the law 10/2003, of the 13 of May, the Grande Área Metropolitana de Lisboa (Lisbon Great Metropolitan Area) is a public collective person of associative nature, and of territorial scope that aims to reach common public interests of the municipalities that integrate it, that includes (18 City Halls) – Alcochete, Almada, Barreiro, Cascais, Lisboa, Loures, Mafra, Moita, Montijo, Odivelas, Oeiras, Palmela, Sesimbra, Setúbal, Seixal, Sintra and Vila Franca de Xira.

The Grande Área Metropolitana de Lisboa was constituted, by public scripture, in 2004 and published on 5 July 2004, in the III series of the Diário da República. It is composed by three organs: ·

Junta Metropolitana, executive organ, composed by the 18 Presidents of the City Halls that it integrates. They elect among themselves, a President and two Vice Presidents.

Assembleia Metropolitana, legislative organ, composed by the chosen representatives in the Municipal Assembly of the City Halls, in odd number, over the triple of the number of the towns that it integrates, in a maximum of 55.

Conselho Metropolitano, consultative organ, composed by representatives of the State and by the members of the Junta Metropolitana.


Municipality Area (km²)[4] Population (2011)[3] N.U.T.S. III inclusion District inclusion Cultural Region inclusion
Amadora23.78175,136Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Cascais97.40206,479Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Lisbon100.05547,733Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Loures167.24205,054Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Mafra291.6676,685Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Odivelas26.54144,549Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Oeiras45.88172,120Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Sintra319.23377,835Grande LisboaLisboaEstremadura
Vila Franca de Xira318.19136,886Grande LisboaLisboaRibatejo
Alcochete128.3617,569Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Almada70.21174,030Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Barreiro36.3978,764Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Moita55.2666,029Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Montijo348.6251,222Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Palmela465.1262,831Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Seixal95.50158,269Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Sesimbra195.4749,500Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Setúbal230.33121,185Península de SetúbalSetúbalEstremadura
Total2,957.4 km22,821,876


Portugal has been through a period of administrative changes since the 1974 revolution. More recently, new standards of territorial administration have been implemented to match European Union criteria.

After some years of indefinitions, municipalities are now associated in metropolitan areas or intermunicipal communities.

These new regional divisions are colliding with the traditional Portuguese regional structures: Distritos (Districts). Districts were implemented in the 19th century by Mouzinho da Silveira after the Liberal Revolution, to replace clerical dioceses (which held the intermediate authority between the absolute monarchy and the municipalities), and still are the official regional authorities in Portugal, thus leaving the new metropolitan authorities with no authority at all. For instance, the District of Lisbon and the District of Setubal collide and interfere with the Lisbon Metropolitan Area authority. Each District is ruled by a Governador Civil (Civil Governor). These Governors are empowered by the Prime Minister of Portugal and have most of the administrative power over the Municipalities comprised, leaving the Metropolitan Areas with a passive status and communitarian tasks.

To definitely end with these anomalies, a national Referendum was held on November 8, 1998, in order to approve a new regionalization (Referendo à Regionalização), which was rejected by over 60% of the voting population on account of disagreements over the loss of sovereignty of some districts to others (e.g. by the time of the Referendum it was not known where would be the Seat of Government of the new "Estremadura & Ribatejo" region which was a fusion of the District of Leiria with the District of Santarém, being Leiria and Santarém cities of the same size and importance).

Regionalization experiment in Portugal was only successful among insular regions when in 1976, districts of Angra do Heroísmo, Horta and Ponta Delgada were substituted by the Autonomous Region of Açores with seat of government in Ponta Delgada, while district of Funchal was replaced by the Autonomous Region of Madeira with seat of government in Funchal.

Portuguese Cultural Regions

Portuguese Cultural Regions and their limits were officially drawn during the 19th century after slight variations since the foundation of Portugal and still there is no agreement about where one region ends and other starts. Cultural Regions in Portugal have symbolic importance and no kind of authority. Once again there is no exact geographical conformity between Cultural Regions, Districts or between any of those and the Metropolitan Areas.

See also


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