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Unit 11


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Unit 11

  1. 1. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo UNIT 11. URBANISM 1. IntroductionThe concept of city varies from country to country. In Spain, taking into account thequantitative aspect, a city is a human establishment of at least 10,000 inhabitants.Other criteria are related to developed activities and, in this case, in a city secondaryand tertiary sectors are dominant. 2. Urban morphologyThe morphology of a city can be analysed in its plan. It is difficult to find citiescompletely homogeneous and, the most common, is the combination of differentkinds of plans.In general, in the Iberian Peninsula there are four main plans: - Orthogonal: the streets are straight and they cross forming squares. It answers to a previous plan. It was used by the Romans, following the structure of their camps and then some examples were found in the Middle Age but it was mainly during the second half of 19th century and first half of 20th century when it was used to build the enlargements of the cities (Barcelona or San Sebastian enlargements). - Irregular: Streets are narrow, difficult to move and to orientate. It normally appears in areas where there was not a previous plan. Muslim cities use this plan and in them the streets are directed to the mosque (Cordoba, Toledo). - Radio-central: Streets develop as radius and streets are organised concentrically. It is common in historical areas of some cities, as in the case of Vitoria. - Lineal: It follows a route in a city. There are examples such as Lineal City in Madrid, the district designed by Arturo Soria, or other towns such as Anzuola.With time cities have evolved and nowadays it is pretty common to find situations inwhich cities have become a continuous or are linked with other areas. The resultantformations have the following characteristics: - Metropolitan district: The term was coined in the US to name areas of more than 200,000 inhabitants, all of them under the influence of only one city. Nowadays the concept is different and it only refers to areas with a certain structure and some characteristics such as big size and complex functions, 1
  2. 2. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo commuting workers, architectonical continuity, and a developed transport system. - Conurbation: This phenomenon happens when two cities, in their development, finished by forming a continuous one, this is, for instance, the case of Eibar-Ermua. - Urban agglomeration: there are cities linked due to economy and trade but each of them keeps its own administrative structure. 3. Urbanization processUrbanization word refers to the process of populating an area, preparing services suchas water supply, lighting, sewage system and streets. In fact urbanization process ismore complex because it consists of changing a natural environment into an urban oneand this brings associated a deep change in demography, economy and social andcultural changes. Urbanization is directly linked to a huge population, with abundantsettlements, industries and tertiarization.Spain, with near of the 80 per cent of its population living in cities, is one of the mosturbanized countries in Europe. These cities are the result of a long process that hasdetermined the spatial distribution and, at the same time, has left tracks in the presentspace, where different urban models have superimposed.Urbanization process is the progressive concentration in the city of population andeconomic activities. This process has been conformed along the time with asuperimposition of different organization models and use of territory, but it isessentially result of industrial development. Between 1960 and 1974 huge groups ofpeople left the countryside to move to industrial and tertiary nucleus.In order to understand better the changes that occurred in Spanish cities there arethree different periods: pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial or services’ city. 2
  3. 3. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloPre-industrial cityIt is the historical city which vestiges can be seen in the plan. It covers the period fromthe apparition of cities to the development of industry in the 19 th century. During thisperiod urbanization was limited. There are several periods that can be distinguished: - Coastal location of the first colonisers, Greek and Phoenician. - Roman city: they follow the orthogonal plan of the Roman military camps, with two main streets: cardum (N-S) and decumanus (E-W). They count with sewage systems and water supplies. Their decadence began in the Middle Age. Examples of this plan can be found in Zaragoza, Barcelona and Merida. - During the High Middle Age a majority of the population lived in towns but cities recovered in the Low Middle Age, a period in which different cultures (Christian and muslin) lived together. In both cases urban spaces were separated from rural spaces by a wall and the plan was no planned. In general there were closed spaces lacking of hygiene with people agglomeration and streets organised depending on the guilds. Around the pilgrimage routes appeared lineal cities, such as Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Estella, Logroño. - Renaissance: Some theories about urbanization developed and there was a certain planning, concentrated mainly in defence, as can be seen in Pamplona, with a fortified area. - Baroque: Sometimes cities developed even out of their walls. Squares, gardens, promenades and even new neighbourhoods were built (Madrid, Palencia, Caceres). It can be said that in this moment began the real urbanization. - Neo-Classicism: With Illustration ideas about urban improvement appeared. Public buildings were built such as council houses, universities, hospitals and museums. In addition to this, some regions were re-populated as it happened in Sierra Morena with La Carolina or La Granja in Segovia. In both cases the construction was planned.The model of pre-industrial city is a reduced space, separated from the surroundingrural area by a protective wall, with narrow streets, irregular distribution and houses of 3
  4. 4. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnilloone or two floors over which appear churches and palaces. A majority of thepopulation worked in the land but craft industry and commerce are importantactivities, at once with religious and administrative functions. Houses, workshops,shops and market were mixed together, without differences between residence andworking places.Industrial cityFrom the late 19th century and on, citiessuffered important modifications in theirfunctions (industrial and services), theirdemographic and spatial dimensions and urbanlandscape.The causes of the transformations were socio-economic –creation of industries that attractedthe rural population surplus and developmentof bourgeoisie- and administrative –the newprovincial division of Spain in 1933 provokedthe development of the cities chosen as capitals.Two periods can be distinguished:3.2.1. Urban transition (until the 60s of the 20th century)During this period demographic concentration in cities was small: less than 50 percent, The initial industrialization affected few cities and the urban development wasnot homogeneous, but polarised: cities based on industry, such as those of Catalonia,Cantabric region and Madrid, developed quickly while provincial capitals developedslowly, increasing their tertiary activities.The difference between city and countryside became more evident with thedevelopment of industrial process. One of the main factors of this difference was themeans of transport that demanded new infrastructures.Industrial revolution implied deep changed in cities due to industrial localization andalso to the amount of people attracted to work on it.Industrial revolution provoked a dramatic increase of population that resulted in theneed for urban planning. Enlargements were projected and that required thedestruction of the medieval walls. Two were the main characteristics of theenlargements: regular urban-drafting to simplify the movements and housingorganization. 4
  5. 5. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloIn the place previously occupied by the walls ring roads appeared and they wereknown as ronda. The building of houses developed too and this supposed ademocratization of the space, mainly since lifts were included, putting an end to thesocial differences in some buildings.Among the most famous urbanenlargements are those of Barcelona(Cerda, 1860), Madrid (Castro, 1860),San Sebastian (Cortazar, 1863-64) andVitoria (1864). Later San Sebastian’ssecond enlargement, Bilbao, Pamplona,Valencia, Zaragoza followed. The aim ofthese enlargements was to solve thehousing problem and they became theliving place of middle classes.The increase of urban population and the development of the means of transport, atonce with a desire of solving the problems of the enlargements led to the creation ofother neighbourhoods, most of them without enough planning. Normally the houses inthem were of poor quality and they were adapted to communications (areas nearstations). This is evident in the cases of Madrid and Barcelona.One project that tried to be functional and environmentally friendly was lineal-citydesigned by Arturo Soria in Madrid. In this project there were grounds in which only a50 per cent could be built. The houses were familiar and they were distributed alongthe railway making easy the movement by using public transport. This project wasconsidered utopian.The main urban development saw light during the 20 th century. Until Civil War theEnlargement Laws and Reform Laws regulated the process. In 1939 the State’s HousingInstitute was created with the aim of building cheap houses and to direct regionalplans, provincial plans and later general plans. 5
  6. 6. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloOnly after 1956 Land Regime and Urban Organization Law were elaborated. One yearlater the Housing Minister appeared. Despite the official urban planning, the hugemovement of population resulted in the apparition of shanty towns and irregulardevelopment.3.2.2. Urban development period (1960-1975): development.Industrial intensification and demographic changes provoked by the former (ruralexodus, at once with the baby boom), resulted in intensive urbanization and urbanpopulation evolved from 14.5 millions to near 23 millions.This quick development and the adoption of the development model in which thetarget was the increase of production strengthened territorial disequilibrium. In thisway the “Y” formed by Basque Country, Navarre, Saragossa, coastal Catalan provinces,Valencia and Murcia, over passed in urban development the national media, while inthe interior, but for Madrid and Valladolid, there is an evident delay.Other factor that influenced the irregularurban development was tourism becauseduring the autarchy times cities weredeveloped without a previous planning.This phenomenon affected mainly theMediterranean Coast and the islands.Along this period urban surface widenedat the same time that a deeptransformation took place in theirinterior. The development of citiesresulted in the creation of new neighbourhoods in the periphery of the cities, in adiscontinuous way around the space built during the previous periods. Industrial areasdeveloped as well.3.3. Post-industrial cityThe 1973 crisis influenced in urbanization too, what in addition to a new Soil Lawbrought changes in urbanization giving priority to quality instead of quantity: prepareinfrastructures, reduce building density, care about life-quality and environment.In the 1980s urbanism was in the hands of the autonomous communities. Thissupposed that the plans, instead of being just for a city, became for an area or evenmore general. In the 1990s cities became centres of services, eliminating industries orre-conditioning spaces before occupied by them in order to modernize the cities. 6
  7. 7. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloThe changes of this period are: a) Slow down of the urban development due to the migratory movement: rural exodus due to the economic crisis of traditional industrial sectors and the scarce vegetative development resulting from the low birth rate. b) The spatial polarization slowed down too although the North East continues being the most urbanised with the island and Western Andalusia. The development of the biggest industries is reduced in favour of the medium and small, as a result of the saturation of big cities and the trend to decentralization of economic activities. c) From the point of view of the development method, new metropolitan areas and conurbations appeared and the already existing expanded at the same time that a new urban region appeared in the Mediterranean corridor. d) Cities surface expanded along the communications routes without a real demographic expansion of cities. e) Since the end of the seventies there is a higher sensitivity in relation to life quality and revalorization of environment. The new democratic councils started developing strategies for urban planning in order to assure the quality of urban development (services, green areas). 4. Urban functionsUrban functions are the reason of being for some cities. In some cases, the creation ofone city answered to a certain purpose. There is a direct link between the size of a cityand the function or functions dominant in it.Some of the main urban functions are: - Commercial: it is one of the most specific of cities. In Spain it was the reason for the creation of a good number of cities. - Residential: population is divided in neighbourhoods depending on their economy, social or cultural level. - Industrial: the first industrial cities were erected near mines or communications. Nowadays industries are located in special industrial areas. - Political and administrative: it belongs to capital cities that become management centres and also location for communication and finance companies. - University and cultural: apart from having universities they count with other cultural services such as museums, investigation centres, different specialised schools. - Other functions: touristy, therapy, military, religious. 7
  8. 8. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo 5. Use of soil and structure of urban functionsUrban functions are the result of a dynamic process and each of these functionsrequires a location or certain characteristics. In a city there are normally somefunctions that always appear, with their own particularities: - Trade and business area: normally located in the city centre - Residential: in the centre or areas around, depending on the prices - Industrial areas: frequently in the outside of the city but sometimes there are houses, commercial or spare time centres, cultural, health, and others.Commerce and businessThese functions can be found in all the areas of the city but mainly in the CentralBusiness District (CBD), frequently in the enlargement of the cities.Historical centres were progressively left apart when enlargements were developedand these became the living space for accommodate classes.The main problems of the historical centres were: - Over tertiarization: banks, insurance companies, public institutions and other services were concentrated at once with bars, restaurants which need accessibility. - Evident environmental deterioration, with parking and traffic problems. - Double social situation: when enlargements were built bourgeoisie left this part of the city that has became or a neighbourhood for people with few resources or the living place of the highest rents.In the CBD trade and finance are the main activity, with a lot of banks, offices andservices. This part of the cities tends to be the most expensive, counts with all theservices and it is located close to the historical area. Activity changes completely fromday to night in this neighbourhood. 8
  9. 9. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloResidential functionIt is spread in the entire city even whenthere are places with a higherconcentration of houses. In some casesneighbourhoods are referred as sleepingtowns because people are out of theirhomes during the day and they onlyreturn after ending their labour time.These neighbourhoods may varydepending on the buying capacity ofcitizens and we can find neighbourhoods of detached houses or traditional workingclass suburbs.Industrial functionIts best location is near communications, in areas where soil is cheaper.We can analyse the uses of soil in the cases of Bilbao and San Sebastia.There are four units in Bilbao: . Centre: historical area and enlargement, it is the CBD, Gran Via inguruan. · Urban interior: it is difficult to separate it from the city centre. In this trade,communications, stores and some small industries combine. It is the area of Recalde,San Francisco, Santutxu, Deusto and San Ignacio. · Urban exterior: left margin of the river, from Zorroza to Santurce, the rightmargin: Lejona, Getxo and the South: Basauri, Etxebarri, Galdacano and Arrigorriaga. · Area in urban transformation: it has several functions and it is not completelyintegrated in Bilbao: mines region, Asua, Cadagua and Nervion and Ibaizabal basins.In San Sebastian there are two main areas: · CBD, in the area of Freedom Avenue and, in general, the enlargement. · Complementary area, taking Old Part, Old and New Amara, Gros, Antiguo, andAyete-Miraconcha.Apart from these two sector there are other neighbourhoods such as Inchaurrondo,Roteta, Alza, Herrera, Loyola, Martutene, and towns that live under San Sebastian’sinfluence, as the cases of Pasajes, Lezo, Renteria, Oyarzun, Hernani, Urnieta, Lasarte,Zubieta, Astigarraga and Usurbil. 9
  10. 10. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo 6. Internal structure of Spanish citiesEach period has added different contributions to urban development but there are thechanges of the end of the 50s those that have resulted in the creation of differentzones in the cities. The present nucleuses are configured as a different space with wideareas that form a real puzzle. This sector organization is known as urban structure, inwhich several units can be distinguish depending on the morphology (plan andbuilding), uses and economic activities, and their socio-demographic composition.When analysing the morphology and structure of the urban nucleus it is required tocombine the spatial approach (articulation of the regions from the centre to theperiphery) with its historical evolution. In this way we can distinguish the followingareas: - Historical areas with: o Old quarter or historical centre o Expansion areas and outskirts (working class, garden-city, first industrial areas) - Urban periphery - Outlying area6.1. Old quarter (the inherited city)This old part is the pre-industrial part of the city. It is the result of a long history startedin the roman or medieval times. Historical quarters keep more or less the remains ofthe past: closed distribution, irregular plans, narrow streets, cultural heritage.Although nowadays they represent only an small part of the urbanised space, they areof huge symbolic value –it is the image of the city for the exterior because theymaintain remains of the past and traditions –and functional because they concentratesome administrative functions, business and commerce.During the 19th century and the first half of the 20 th these areas had to adapt to thenew demand of the bourgeoisie: 10
  11. 11. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo - Part of the areas is devoted to bourgeoisie residences. The traditional street distribution change and big streets and squares substitute the old houses with more comfortable ones developed in height. On the other hand, empty spaces inside the walls are filled with administrative buildings and bourgeoisie’s houses, in addition to the convents that were common in this part of the city. - Other part decays and they became the residence of workers with low purchasing power, each time more crowded at the same time that buildings deteriorate physically.In the years of development there is a renovation or remodelling of historical areas asa result of the attractive of these areas for specialised tertiary activities, to a largeextent linked to their good accessibility from the rest of the city.The renovation implies: - Substitution of the old urban design modifying the street stroke and building new houses, with an increase of the building intensity and development in height and volume, with a morphology having little to see with the previous one. These alterations damaged the historical-artistic heritage. - Substitution of traditional uses –expelling secondary and residential activity- for quality shops and specialised services. - Traditional population shift (old and with low rents) substituted by newer ones with higher purchasing power.These transformations determined the appearance of a series of environmental andsocial problems in the old quarter: a) Excessive specialization in tertiary functions. Advances services, commerce, spare time, hotels and restaurants concentrate. There are activities that require accessibility and the prestige of these neighbourhoods. In big cities the business centre has been moved to the expansion area or the big avenues out of the historical centre. In the rest old quarter and commercial centre are identified. b) Environmental quality deterioration. The abandon of the residential uses favour the intensification of movements residence-work place, with traffic saturation in the rush hour and at shopping time, and the parking problems. At the same time, the scarce presence of residents is translated in a lack of 11
  12. 12. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo vicinity life: street and square are not a place for relation but for traffic or movement. c) Social dualism. In the inside of the historical area there is a contrast between areas of high quality for accommodate social groups and others of low quality occupied by elderly and marginal population (immigrants). Due to all these reasons since the 80s rehabilitation has been seen as the new alternative. Its aim is to keep urban heritage but with its social and even economic content. However, and with the exception of some cities such as Vitoria, the rehabilitation policy has been centred in architectonical interventions (façades, while the interior of houses have been completelyrenewed), and infrastructural (pedestrian streets, recovery of public spaces such assquares, museums, cultural centres, civic centres), expelling the old residents –substituted by groups of higher income- and the former activities. As a result it hasbeen a chance for real-state speculation and social segregation.6.2. Transition area: bourgeois expansion and working class suburbs.Around old town there is a heterogeneous area with huge functional, social andmorphological complexity. This area was built along the 19 th century and first decadesof the 20th: the bourgeois expansions and workers neighbourhoods, this is, gardenneighbourhoods and industrial areas. Due their proximity to central areas, this firstperiphery presents a great deal of integration with the city, with closest relations to it.6.2.1. The bourgeois expansion.It appeared during the mid 19th century as an answer to the development of citiesfollowing the interest of the bourgeoisie: - order: regular plan - health: pavement, sewage system, green spaces, water supply - benefit: houses and shops buildingsThe characteristics of these areas are: • Regular design, in squares or radial, with wide streets. The style of the building is eclecticism, based on the mix of different historical styles and incorporating new materials such as iron and glass. • The use of the soil was mainly residential at the very beginning. Only the bourgeoisie could afford the high prices of the houses and they chose the areas closer to the city centre or best communicated with it. 12
  13. 13. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloThe first expansions appeared in dynamic cities: Barcelona (Cerdá plan, 1859) andMadrid. At the end of the 19 th century and beginning of the 20 th this model spread toother cities: Bilbo, San Sebastian, Saragossa, Valencia, and Pamplona.With the time the expansion was subject to modifications: the area became ticker,with higher buildings to take advantage of the space, and the expansion area adoptedtertiary activities that expanded from the historical centre to its main street,substituting houses with shops and offices.6.2.2. Integration and revalorization of old suburbs.Old suburbs appeared at the same time as bourgeois expansions as a solution tohousing problem for popular classes. Workers who emigrated to industrial cities couldnot afford to live in the historical area because it was too expensive for them ordeteriorated areas had too a high occupation. Due to this they settled in marginalneighbourhoods, out of urban limits, along roads or near industries and train stations.The street net, characterised by a varied plan, frequentlyirregular, answers to an imperfect division of the soilrealised by its owners, where low quality and small sizehouses were built, in close and dense nets, without theminimum services in the interior and without collectiveequipment (water, sewage system, pavement, trade) butwith presence of factories, workshops and storeys. All thisresulted in a dirty and unhealthy environment.Later on, during the 60s and 70s there has been a certaintransformation, total or partial, incorporating to the city: - Nucleus with the best location that have benefited from the urban development (substituting old houses by several stages houses, receiving services) as in content (change of residents). - Worse situated continue as marginal spaces, increasing their deterioration.6.2.3. Garden cityAt the same time the expansion of the cities took place in some Spanish regions asingular area developed, not very wide, the colonies of neighbourhoods of garden city:single-family houses, with garden and orchard, trees, and green areas. The bestexample of it is Lineal City in Madrid, designed by Arturo Soria.These neighbourhoods were occupied by middle or working classes becausebourgeoisie preferred the centre or the expansion. Only with the time this kind ofhabitat became attractive for bourgeoisie: Neguri in Bilbo, Pedralbes and Bonanova inBarcelona or Viso in Madrid. 13
  14. 14. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloSurvival in the city ranges from the most respectful conservation of these remains ofurban heritage (isolated little single-family houses) and their disappearance due tospeculation as in Lineal City where blocks of flats have been built.6.2.4. Traditional industrial areas or areas of recent deindustrializationIn areas near communications factories appeared since the second half of the 19 thcentury. Train stations and ports favoured the installation of factories, storeys anddeposits, mainly weighty ones, which transport was easier using those methods. Intheir side appeared other uses that created scarce attractive, as abattoirs, and centralmarkets. Around those working class slams appeared.During the last years it has been a deep functional and social transformation of urbanspaces: - the loss of importance of train for transport, - urban exhaustion, - physical obsolescence of industries and buildings, - crisis of traditional industries and revalorization of the soil have resulted in an industrial empty. In the most appreciated areas it has been a substitution of industrial use for tertiary use and old residents have leave space to other with higher economic power.6.3. Urban peripheryDuring the 50s and, even more during the 60s, demographic increase and industrialdevelopment attracted rural population to big industrial cities. The empty spacesbetween the centre and the suburbs were filled with the construction of slums,creating a compact ring around the central area of the city.These new peripheral urban spaces present dramatic contrasts, both functional(residential, industrial, equipment areas) and social and morphological. 14
  15. 15. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo6.3.1. Residential areas: housing statesThe most characteristic morphology is the housing states. Their main characteristic isthe internal uniformity, in shape, function and structures, and the existence ofcontrasts among them, reflect of the society that can be seen in different aspects: - Initiative of housing promotion: at the beginning public organizations developed them to leave way, in the 60s, to private initiative. - Morphology: the houses are of great variety, from colonies of low houses with orchards to the open building of towers or the closed blocks. These huge housing promotions are characterised by the dense building structure, reduced surface, low building quality and the lack of a series of urban equipment during long times. With the time there are new typologies of better quality, oriented to middle classes. - Socio-demographic structure: Internally these areas are homogeneous mainly due to the economic level of inhabitants. The residential structure reflects the social structure of the population. Each social class tends to occupy a region of the space, related to the price of the soil, and in this way appears a well defined social conformation: working class neighbourhoods, bourgeoisie, and middle classes. - Function: it is essentially residential, with tertiary areas: shops and services concentrated in certain parts.Since the 80s it is more common to find fillingand consolidation operations. An importantpart of urban policy is addressed to correctthe deficit accumulated in these peripheralneighbourhoods. Infrastructures and serviceshave improved, public equipment has beenbuilt and, thank to the development oftransports net and an special attention tourbanization of open spaces, theseneighbourhoods are now integrated in amore harmonic way.6.3.2. Non residential spaces: industrial and equipment areas. a) Peripheral industrial areasThe price of the soil in this periphery far from the city centre has determined itselection as the perfect place for industrial installations. There are two types: - Industrial areas of roads: they were developed without planning along the communications ways with the city, where soil was cheap and there were plenty of facilities for transport. They adopt a lineal distribution. 15
  16. 16. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo - Industrial areas: they are planned and urbanised spaces that count with infrastructures such as water and energy, and they offer a regular plan. They are located in accessible areas, near important communication roads. b) Peripheral equipment areasThey are the result of the present decentralization of economic activities. Near theroads at the outside of the cities huge commercial surfaces have been developed. Theycount with schools, administrative buildings, hospitals or other services. It is an ideallocation for business too because the price of the soil is cheaper than in cities. Theirlandscape is linked to the concentration of singular buildings of avant-guardarchitecture with high environmental quality.6.4. The exterior crown.It expands forming a discontinuous ring around the city: it is not compact as the firstperiphery and there are spaces without buildings in between the different elements. Inmany cities the urban development process has absorbed several nucleus ofpopulation of the areas around. These are nowadays part of that exterior crown. Inthis we can distinguish residential unities, industries and services, some old and somebrand new.6.4.1. Diversity of residential spaces a) New urban morphologiesSince the 80s the exterior crown of the cities has experienced a spectacular increasewith urbanizations of low density, non continuous. Residential areas are formed bydetached o semi-detached houses. This new model has proliferated among middleclasses due to the problems of congestion, traffic, cramped spaces in city centres.These new suburbs result in isolated neighbourhoods of open plan and individualbuilding.This urban solution creates several problems: great soil consumption, intensive use ofthe car, social isolationism and others. 16
  17. 17. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloDue to this there are other alternatives emerging, such the recovery of the blocks,closed or semi-closed, with urban typologies of medium density, recovering humanscale. They tend to organise around courtyards or squares that are the real centresorganising the space because they count with gardens, infantile playgrounds,swimming pools.6.4.2. Marginal urbanizationShanty towns, originally created in the waraftermath as a solution for housing of lowclasses reached its peak in the 50s with therural exodus. These houses tend to be self-built, with a lot of lacks, and illegally built.They do have neither urban organizationnor public supplies (water, light, sewage).In the 60s and 70s there was a process orrenewal of this marginal urbanization. Withthe development of cities these areas wereincluded in them so the soil they were builton re-valorised and the new interest led tonew construction while former inhabitantsshould be relocated following campaigns tofinish with shanty towns.Nowadays the phenomenon continues butat a lower scales due to the economicdevelopment and the bigger municipalcontrol. The only matter is that only themost desperate situations are found inthese regions and their population ismarginal (gypsies, foreign immigrants).6.5. The complex spaces around cities.The expansion of built areas in cities along communications creates problems toidentify the limits of them. A peripheral space is that which without being urban it islinked to the city due to the needs and urban demand.The main characteristic of this space, with non defined limits, is the mix of the uses ofsoil and living forms of the countryside and the city. Agrarian uses are linked to theurban demand and in addition to these; there are residential, industrial, commercial,and spare time uses. 17
  18. 18. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo6.5.1. Residential areas Sub-urbanization reaches to a great development since the 70s, thanks to productive activities, problems of residence in central areas and activities that combine agrarian and urban uses. The most characteristic element of this process is sleeping-cities. They appeared from the near rural nucleus, where houses are the dominant element. In the 80s and 90s the model of detached housesexpanded and this, unite to the change of the secondary house to be the principal andthe restoration of houses in towns have resulted in the apparition of these newhouses.6.5.2. New industrial and business spacesA majority of them are looking for higher environmental quality and they tend to besurrounded by green areas and quality services.The typology is varied. The most significant examples are technological parks, designedfor advanced companies and research institutes or business parks with offices in placesof quality and well communicated with commercial and spare time areas. 7. Urban-systemThis concept refers to the relation between urban centres in a region. This system hasa hierarchy due to the difference in sizes and functions of the cities that determinestheir relation with the regions around. In addition to this, the influence of a city mayvary depending on the services and their availability.The indicators used to classify cities in ahierarchy are the following: - Level-size index: it takes into account the size of the cities - Clark-Evans index: it takes into account the distribution of the cities in the space - Nelson index: it considers the functions of the cities. 18
  19. 19. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloThe analysis is not only economic but also geographical, taking into account social andinternal relations. The analysis of a urban-system integrates different factors such asfunctions and influence area.7.1. Spain’s urban-systemIn the 1990s Spain had a pyramidal urban hierarchy in which the number of citiesincreased when the number of inhabitants of them was smaller. The ideal situation in aurban-system is that the levels will be equilibrated.In the case of Spain the analysis of the structure shows two important breaking points.The first one is that the size reduces as soon as we move to a next level and thereduction is huge. The second breaking point is that the distance between the second(Barcelona) and third (Valencia) cities is enormous. Spanish system is considered tohave two heads (Madrid-Barcelona).As long as the spatial distribution of the cities is concerned, the main characteristic isthe lack of homogeneity. The model has a ring appearance where the main cities are inthe periphery, with centre in Madrid, whereas the space in the middle is lesspopulated. The reason for that is that the coastal regions have more economicfunctions. As a conclusion it can be said that the system is not homogeneous, withimportant differences between regions. This contrast is emphasized by the sizecontrast because there are 21 cities of more than 250,000 inhabitants of which onlytwo (Madrid and Valladolid) are in the Meseta.Other important metropolis concentration is located in the North. There are fourspaces of economic activity linked one to the other (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and 19
  20. 20. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloValencia, linked to Zaragoza). In this region there are five out of the sevenmetropolises bigger than 500,000 inhabitants.Taking into account functions and population the following hierarchy may beestablished: - Cities with state level functions: this is the first level in the hierarchy and there are two cities in this group: Madrid and Barcelona. Both have more than 3 million inhabitants, they have influence all over the state, and they are related to other metropolises in the world. There are centres of business decision and have a diversified functional structure (trade, industry, administration and policy, finances, culture, university) and diversified services. In addition to this, Madrid is the capital city of the state what makes of this an important administrative centre. - Cities with primary influence in a region: In this group are Valencia, Sevilla, Bilbao and Zaragoza. All of them have between 500,000 and 1,500,000 inhabitants and they have strong links with the state level metropolises. Each of them has an important area under their influence. - Cities with secondary influence in a region: In this third level some cities have very specialized services but they lack of others. Their size is between 200,000 and 500,000 inhabitants and they have links with primary level regional metropolises. Some of them are capital cities of smaller nucleus. In this group are, for instance, Alicante, Murcia, Santander, Oviedo and Coruña. - Medium cities: There are provincial capitals in general, with trade and services at provincial level: Burgos, Orense, Logroño, Segovia, Ciudad Real, Castellon, Jaen, Algeciras and Aviles. They have between 50,000 and 200,000 inhabitants.7.2. Basque Country’s urban-system The present urban system of the Basque Country is consequence of historical and economical influences. In one hand, there are three different sectors: the coastal, the interior and the transition area between both of them. Historically during Middle Ages towns were created due to defence and economy and them industrialization provoked an important urban development.By the 19th century there was an urban net developed. These nucleuses were small butsome of them soon started concentrating bigger amounts of people. In this momentVizcaya, and Guipuzcoa started their development whereas Alava was less populated,with more traditional structures.In the 1970s the development of coastal regions slowed down due to the economiccrisis. 20
  21. 21. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite FresnilloIf we take into consideration the level and size of the cities in the Basque Country oneof the characteristics is their regularity. The biggest city is Bilbao, followed by Vitoria,and San Sebastian. The rest of the cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants are part ofthe urban agglomerations of the provincial capital cities.Other element to bear in mind is the location of the nucleus that is different due tophysical and historical reasons. For instance, in regions near the coast are located twothirds of the towns and three quarters of the population while in the Mediterraneanarea there are fewer inhabitants.As long as hierarchy is concerned, a majority of the cities are under the influence ofthe capital cities, with some exceptions such as the cases of Araban Rioja under theinfluence of Logroño.In general, all the territory is not integrated in only one system and there is animportant difference between coast and interior. Three of the biggest cities are on thecoast: Bilbao, and San Sebastian, the same as an important group of smaller cities.They have industrial and services functions and mainly touristy function.Two sub-systems can be differentiated: -Coastal sub-system: - Biscay: The main concentration is around Bilbao that concentrates 85 per cent of the provincial population. It has metallurgic, chemistry, paper, building and other industrial sectors. It also concentrates many services such as finances, trade, assessment, companies’ direction, communications, and leisure. - Guipuzcoa: San Sebastian and its surroundings take the 45 per cent of the population. Functions are varied in this region: touristy, administration, trade. Some of them are shared with other surrounding cities, mainly industry spotted in Hernani, Andoain, Usurbil, Oyarzun, Urnieta, Pasajes, Lezo, Renteria. Apart from San Sebastian there are other centres in the rest of the province with important services: Irun, Tolosa, Vergara, Zarauz, Eibar, Beasain, Mondragon, Zumarraga, Azpeitia. 21
  22. 22. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo -Interior sub-system: - Alava: Vitoria is the finance, trade, and industry centre and the one concentrating the majority of population. A characteristic of this region is to be a one-headed region. 8. Social, economic and environmental urban problemsThe development of urban life and, as a consequence, the over-exploitation ofenvironment has resulted in several problems (high densities, environmental impact,and traffic). Anyway, cities also have positive consequences (cultural richness, socialmobility, facilities for services, leisure and job opportunities). Socio-economic problems are more serious in cities. Theyattract too many immigrants but the possibilities of havinga decent and cheap home are scarce and someneighbourhoods have become ghettos for differentethnical groups living in job insecurity or without a job.This creates big contrasts among differentneighbourhoods.Environmental matters are increasing: atmospheric,acoustic, water and soil pollution are bigger. In addition tothis, the development of cities has resulted in otherimpacts such as motorways, railroads, airports, andchannels or garbage dumps that have altered thelandscape. To solve this last problem it is needed to planthe re-use and recycling of garbage. 22
  23. 23. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo -Interior sub-system: - Alava: Vitoria is the finance, trade, and industry centre and the one concentrating the majority of population. A characteristic of this region is to be a one-headed region. 8. Social, economic and environmental urban problemsThe development of urban life and, as a consequence, the over-exploitation ofenvironment has resulted in several problems (high densities, environmental impact,and traffic). Anyway, cities also have positive consequences (cultural richness, socialmobility, facilities for services, leisure and job opportunities). Socio-economic problems are more serious in cities. Theyattract too many immigrants but the possibilities of havinga decent and cheap home are scarce and someneighbourhoods have become ghettos for differentethnical groups living in job insecurity or without a job.This creates big contrasts among differentneighbourhoods.Environmental matters are increasing: atmospheric,acoustic, water and soil pollution are bigger. In addition tothis, the development of cities has resulted in otherimpacts such as motorways, railroads, airports, andchannels or garbage dumps that have altered thelandscape. To solve this last problem it is needed to planthe re-use and recycling of garbage. 22
  24. 24. GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY DEPARTMENT Teacher: Maite Fresnillo -Interior sub-system: - Alava: Vitoria is the finance, trade, and industry centre and the one concentrating the majority of population. A characteristic of this region is to be a one-headed region. 8. Social, economic and environmental urban problemsThe development of urban life and, as a consequence, the over-exploitation ofenvironment has resulted in several problems (high densities, environmental impact,and traffic). Anyway, cities also have positive consequences (cultural richness, socialmobility, facilities for services, leisure and job opportunities). Socio-economic problems are more serious in cities. Theyattract too many immigrants but the possibilities of havinga decent and cheap home are scarce and someneighbourhoods have become ghettos for differentethnical groups living in job insecurity or without a job.This creates big contrasts among differentneighbourhoods.Environmental matters are increasing: atmospheric,acoustic, water and soil pollution are bigger. In addition tothis, the development of cities has resulted in otherimpacts such as motorways, railroads, airports, andchannels or garbage dumps that have altered thelandscape. To solve this last problem it is needed to planthe re-use and recycling of garbage. 22