Until October 2011, zoning into urban areas (ZAU) splits the territory into four categories. The first represents the predominantly rural space, including small urban units and rural municipalities. The other three make up the predominantly urban space : they are the urban centres, the suburban peripheries, and the multicentric municipalities.
Since October 2011, the zoning into urban areas of 2010 provides a vision of cities influences areas (in the sense of urban units) in the territory.
This zoning divides the territory into four major types of space: a space which consists of large urban areas, a space which consists of other areas, multicentric municipalities and isolated municipalities out of the centres influence.
In spaces made of big urban areas and in those made of other areas, centres and peripheries are distinguished.
The zoning into urban areas of 2010 is based on the 2008 population census data and more particularly on those related to employment and travel to and from work.