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Due to their large scale of observation and their relatively high revisiting frequency, spaceborne SAR systems offer interesting possibilities for the systematic monitoring of urban areas. Several techniques have been developed to analyze urban areas from single-polarization spaceborne SAR data, based on the statistical properties of the reflectivity of such complex media and its spatial variations (texture). The reduced resolution of the data, compared to the airborne SAR case, is a particularly limiting factor. Polarization diversity offers an interesting and powerful alternative mean to detect and characterize urban areas. In this paper, we propose to use po-larimetric SAR acquired by the ALOS sensor at L band, to monitor urban areas. The proposed technique uses three complementary approaches to discriminate urban structures using detectors adapted to the complex polarimetric features of this medium, to isolate specific coherent responses from a Time-Frequency analysis of the coherent SAR signal, and finally to characterize built-up areas from the coherence properties of their Polarimetric and Interferometric SAR (POL-inSAR) response.