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Urban sprawl, 2011 issue

The demographic issue will be in fashion this year – and the following – because there is not much to be done to address solutions on a global basis. The focus of this year for National Geographics is the world’s population on the eve of being adjusting 7 billion. The January issue is a classic collection.


The Lincoln Institute of Territorial Policy has provided several materials which are products from theses and researches coming from a study of more than 3,000 cities which exceeded 100,000 inhabitants in 2000 year.

The publication which I most liked is a document called Making space for a planet of cities. This is an interesting report that analyzes the past, present and future of urban growth worldwide. It proposes a new paradigm of how we should prepare for growth in the coming years.

It’s a great work of Angel, Shlomo, with Jason Parent, Daniel L. Civco, and Alejandro M. Blei. It can be purchased in printed copy for $ 15 and download in pdf format for free (only must be registered in the site). By 2012 it plans on releasing a material called Expansion of Cities, that will surely be an interesting proposal which should include Charter Cities models, that reminds me The Facebook CitiVilles principles and danger us creation of new political crisis because although it is a very interesting proposal, many see it as a new colonialism form.

Other Lincoln Institute content, always in this theme is the atlas of urban expansion. This is an invaluable information collection available for download which contains maps in image format, kml and xls sheets that formed the basis for construction of – and other – mentioned document. There are also data in GIS format to be read from a GIS program.

This is organized into five sections:

1. the first part, there are jpg images created as diagrammed pairs so as to be printed like posters. An image of this pair contains statistics and graphics data and the other, contains maps of urban land built using remote sensing techniques with satellite images in metropolitan areas of 120 cities in two periods: one taken around 1990 and the second 10 years later in 2000.


The top map shows 120 cities location, colored ones are regions divided for the study. As an example I leave the pair of Madrid.

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2. The second part of the atlas includes a 25 cities historical population growth study, analyzing at maps from the late 1800 just ended. These 25 cities are distributed as shown in the following map: 7 in America, 4 in Europe, 6 in Africa, 12 in Asia and 1 in Oceania.


The lower images are a case example of Mexico’s metropolitan area. On the left covered areas by urbanized area from 1807 until 2000, and in the right are population data, covered hectares, density graphs and an ancient representative map.

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3. The third section includes Excel tables with all data that supports work of 15 and 120 cities. Exceptional, because Excel filters provide us see this data according to our interests.

4. The fourth section includes data for GIS programs display. Both, administrative regions geometries with layers .shp, .dbf and .shx to be seen with any program, as well as, .prj files for georeferencing, .img for raster display and .lyr for seeing layer theming properties and structure in ArcGIS.

5. The fifth section includes information from 3.646 cities in an Excel spreadsheet and in a kml file with all the urban areas studied; it can be viewed with a GIS program or Google Earth.

In short, a very valuable material that may be useful for students, government officials, researchers, planners and people involved in the socio-economic development issues.

Both atlas and document provides a conceptual framework and it seems that for first time, empirical data from past, present and future dimensions of cities’ urban areas around the world. It opens challenge prospect we don’t know how to tackle in the coming decades.

For now I can’t see if it’s possible to buy a CD or DVD, because download should be done individually.

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