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Urban form and its impact on sustainable development
Sustainable Cities
EAFIT
Medellin

THE CHALLENGE

Today, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the second most urbanized region of the planet, with 81% of its population living in urban areas. In addition, LAC cities are still segregated both at the social and spatial level, as reflected in high urban income inequality, the persistence of informal settlements, and uneven access to public spaces among other issues. However, the growth rate of the urban population in the LAC region has been declining and the urban population is expected to grow below the world average over the next few decades. In contrast, most of the world’s urban population growth in next decades will take place in Asia and Africa (United Nations, 2018). For this reason, by revisiting the built environment in LAC cities and improving the understanding of urban sustainability problems, we could transfer important lessons in the management of urban spaces to Asia and Africa, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

OUR APPROACH

The ‘urban form’ is related to a variety of topics, from economic productivity to public health and human well-being.  Urban scholars agree that the characterization of an urban form should include information on three dimensions: border shape, urban texture, and land use patterns. Some of the factors that affect the level of physical activity of individuals are related to the built environment of the city: land use, transportation safety, aesthetic attributes, street connectivity, and the presence and accessibility of green and recreational spaces

Our research will focus on the impact of urban form on people in developing countries and will ask;

  • To what extent does socioeconomic stratification in Colombia  worsen people’s spatial and social segregation, and how is it constraining the urban form?
  • What is the evenness level in the spatial distribution of urban green spaces across LAC cities?
  • What is the level of geographic accessibility to health care facilities in Colombian cities?