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Urban Growth and Long-Term Transformations in Spanish Cities Since the Mid-Nineteenth Century: A Methodology to Determine Changes in Urban Density

Author

Listed:
  • Eduard J. Alvarez-Palau

    () (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08035 Barcelona, Spain)

  • Jordi Martí-Henneberg

    () (University of Lleida, 25003 Lleida, Spain)

  • Jorge Solanas-Jiménez

    () (University of Lleida, 25003 Lleida, Spain)

Abstract

The current work models urban growth in the continuous built-up areas of 47 Spanish cities from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day. We did this by compiling a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) dataset, based on a series of historic maps and aerial images, and then used this to study urban growth and to make spatial comparisons. Our chosen indicator of expansion: population density, was calculated by dividing the total population of each city (based on its municipal area) by its built-up area during each period. Our results revealed four different stages of growth, each of which was characterised by a certain political and economic reality. They showed the clogging up of the walled city, the shaping of the urban ensanches , the maturity of the compact city and the process of metropolisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduard J. Alvarez-Palau & Jordi Martí-Henneberg & Jorge Solanas-Jiménez, 2019. "Urban Growth and Long-Term Transformations in Spanish Cities Since the Mid-Nineteenth Century: A Methodology to Determine Changes in Urban Density," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-22, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:24:p:6948-:d:294722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosanna Salvia & Pere Serra & Ilaria Zambon & Massimo Cecchini & Luca Salvati, 2018. "In-Between Sprawl and Neo-Rurality: Sparse Settlements and the Evolution of Socio-Demographic Local Context in a Mediterranean Region," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-14, October.
    2. Barquín, Rafael & Pérez, Pedro & Sanz, Basilio, 2012. "La influencia del ferrocarril en el desarrollo urbano español (1860-1910)," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 391-416, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    urbanisation; population density; built-up area; GIS; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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