Postdoc Researcher, School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
Associate Professor, School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
Urban sprawl processes taking place in European cities constitute an important problem opposing sustainable growth and environmental protection. This is particularly evident in the Mediterranean, where intense tourism development and coastalization continuously impose urban land pressures on agricultural areas and natural land. In the present study a set of 14 coastal medium-sized cities of Spain, Italy, Greece, Mediterranean France and Malta is used to explore recent urban sprawl trends and to analyze different typologies of urban form and structure. Based on recent data from European databases (Urban Atlas, Corine Land Cover and the Imperviousness-Soil Sealing Degree dataset), soil sealing degree profiles are estimated and the distribution of different urban land uses is analyzed for year 2006 using a set of spatial metrics. Urban growth between 1990 and 2014 is estimated based on data from the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL). Results reveal important differences between the cities in terms of urban form and structure. Geomorphology, different levels of population growth and tourism development, differences in the historical and socioeconomic context constitute among others, the reasons for this differentiation.
Keywords: Urban sprawl, Urban form, Coastalization, Medium-sized cities, Soil sealing, Land use
JEL classification: R110, R140