The city of Florence lies in a basin generated by the Arno river and its different tributeries. Being a world cultural capital, Florence is noted for its very old cultural and economical history, with a large tourist industry.
The morphological characteristics of the city area have always strongly influenced the use of the territory in the urban centre and in the outskirts. Most of the main administrative offices, schools, business and leisure facilities are still located in the historical centre, inside the beltway (the “Viali di Circonvallazione”) surrounding the inner and historical part of the centre, together with a high concentration of monuments and museums. Despite the rising number of people working in this area, the number of inhabitants is still decreasing as, like in many European major city centres, people are moving to the residential areas located in the suburbs.
At present, Florence is in the centre of a vast metropolitan area, which comprises Florence itself and some of the municipalities in its suburbs (Impruneta, Bagno a Ripoli, Fiesole, Vaglia, Sesto Fiorentino, Calenzano, Campi Bisenzio, Scandicci) and constitutes a homogeneous large city. The overall population of Florence Metropolitan Area about is around 600,000 inhabitants, with an average density of about 1,130 inhab./ km², which is high compared to the average density of the whole Province of Florence (about 150 inhab./ km²).
In the last decades there has been a strong phenomenon (like in many European Cities) of migration from Florence to the surrounding municipalities, thus increasing mobility relations inside the area. This has further increased the demand for private mobility, leading to the current modal split still much in favour of private means: 60% cars, 30% public transport and 10% other modes (bikes and pedestrians).