Land (Oct 2022)

Urban Equity as a Challenge for the Southern Europe Historic Cities: Sustainability-Urban Morphology Interrelation through GIS Tools

  • Montaña Jiménez-Espada,
  • Francisco Manuel Martínez García,
  • Rafael González-Escobar

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1929
p. 1929


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At a local level, public authorities’ decision making has a significant influence on the development, structure and spatial configuration of the city. For this reason, it is considered essential to combine political positions with urban sustainability criteria, particularly in cities that have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The objective of this research is based on establishing an analysis of the formal relationship between sustainability and spatial morphology in the city of Cáceres, taking into account the urban planning conditions in two areas of study: The Historic Centre (PCH) and the city as a whole. The methodology applies a series of urban indicators from four different fields, namely land use, public space, mobility, and urban complexity, with later GIS analysis using a 1 ha grid pattern. Results show correlation exists between historical zones and the degree of some indicators like density, compactness, acoustic comfort or street proportion, and streetscape, while others seem to depend on further conditions. The case of Caceres provides new findings in the Human Heritage Cities research field for Spain and Southern Europe. Grid pattern analysis has shown to be useful to most of the indicators, although some would require different approaches in the future. The authors consider the use of geoinformation tools as an opportunity for mid-sized and similar historical cities’ policymakers, with our ultimate goal being achieving further equity in urban quality conditions. In conclusion, it is considered that there is a knowledge gap regarding the existence of multiple open data sources belonging to different public administrations and the transformation of these data into useful parameters for their practical application at the citizen level.