A Coruña is one of the main cities of Galicia, in the Northwest of Spain. With 244.388 inhabitants (2007) is the main urban agglomeration in the North of Galicia, and key a point in the Atlantic axis, which runs along the Galician coast into Portuguese lands. It is the central city of an urban agglomeration, comprising the municipalities of Arteixo, Culleredo, Oleiros (first Metropolitan belt), and Cambre, Bergondo, and Sada (in a second belt). A Coruña is a medium size city, developed in a 36,8 km2 surface, even with the annexation of the former municipality of Santa María de Oza, produced in 1912.
The location of La Coruña on a peninsula and an isthmus makes it easy to orientate in it, as always has the sea as a reference. First, we must distinguish the historical centre, made up of the districts of the old town (Ciudad Vieja) and the Pescadería. The first of them, the old town is characterized by narrow and winding streets that were restricted its development by defensive walls existing at the time, whose remains can still be found. The Pescadería was a neighborhood of fishermen, and remained walled until the 19th century. Today it is a centre of business and commerce.
If we go to the peninsula, we find the Monte Alto neighborhood. This neighborhood was occupied in the decade of the 60´s, with buildings that not saved any aesthetic, and generate overcrowded areas, where shortage of green areas and free zones is the general trend. At the edges of the maritime promenade, we find the neighborhoods of Adormideras and As Lagoas, characterized by its curved buildings. Remarkable is the spatial and geographical uniqueness of the municipal area, at the end of a natural peninsula, which multiplies the perimeter of the coastline, in spite of his small area, and gives it a great landscape singularity.
The Spanish cities have experienced in recent decades strong growth processes towards out, simultaneously that its dynamics would become a new metropolitan dimension. A Coruña is not an exception. It has reached a situation in which nearly half of the soil is urban and large part of its industrial growth is orientated towards other municipalities.
The urban and economic growth of A Coruña is generating strong synergies with the bordering municipalities, managing to shape a continuous urban with someone of them. Municipalities as Oleiros, Culleredo, Arteixo or Cambre gain population in every census, due to the displacement of the A Coruña population towards its bordering municipalities.
Since the beginning of XX Century the population density in Galicia always has surpassed the Spain. This differential is currently located at a value of 14 inhabitants /km2: 93,6 inhabitants /km2 in Galicia and 80 inhabitants /km2in Spain, according to demographic data from the Municipal register of Inhabitants in 2006.
Within Galicia, Pontevedra province exceeds the 200 inhabitants /km2, followed by A Corunna province, with 142 inhabitants /km2 in population density. Behind them, Lugo and Ourense presents figures significantly lower, with 36,2 and 46,6 inhabitants /km2, respectively. There becomes latent so the difference between the inland, with a regressive character and an large dispersion of the population, and the areas which fall within the sphere of influence of the Atlantic axis.
In the metropolitan context of A Coruña, the municipality that presents a higher population density is precisely the capital, with 6.471,3 inhabitants /km2. It is followed, in great distance, by the municipalities of Oleiros, Betanzos, Cambre, Sada, Culleredo, Corcubión and Arteixo, which overcome the 200 inhabitants /km2.
Recent demographic and economic studies demonstrate, without any doubts, the strength of the new metropolitan situation: the economic processes, the dynamics of population, the movement of labour and services have taken another spatial area.
This situation is mainly expressed in:
Flows in the location of the residence: there is detected the output of 1 % of the population who looks for residence outside the central municipality, either by the cost and/or because the type of residential offer, often times in search of major privacy, that seems tonot find in A Coruña.
Also in the "forced" movements of work of different: 58% of people who use the city on a daily basis has the residence outside the municipality.
Demand for services, personal or for educational or scattering purposes, which largely still concentrated in the central municipality: University, Hospitals, the cultural, sports equipments, etc.
As consequence of these new phenomena, the mobility between the metropolitan municipalities increases continuously.
This scenario is typical of European cities whose size corresponds to A Coruña and presents a relatively stable dynamics.