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New Free Software to Radically Change City Planning Worldwide.

Libson, Portugal


Researchers at Ciencia Viva's National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture have developed software that can classify any region in the world according to its pattern of development into one of five types, each with specific characteristics and predictable behaviors that require different policy measures.

The researchers say their work represents a major step toward a new type of city planning that is independent of personal visions, interests, and changing politics. "What this means is that now we finally can have a unified characterization of urban areas worldwide that pave the way for city planners all over the world to collaborate, whether comparing urban policies or forecasting typical future scenarios and procedures to deal with them," says researcher Jorge M. Pacheco.

The researchers used the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (MAL), which includes the city, its suburbs, and a ring of rural regions, as a case study for the software. The researchers examined MAL historical urbanization data to develop a mathematical classification based on built-up level, how these areas are distributed on the surface, and the city's spatial patterning density. The five types of development range from cities with small and isolated built-up areas, to those where building is close to saturation and space for new construction is rare.

From Ciencia Viva 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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