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Physical-spatial and social configuration at neighborhood level, the Raval (Barcelona), an urban evaluation according with the Compact City Model
Thesis title in Czech: Prostorová a sociální konfigurace na lokální úrovni. čtvrt Raval (Barcelona), vyhodnocení v relaci k modelu kompaktního města
Thesis title in English: Physical-spatial and social configuration at neighborhood level, the Raval (Barcelona), an urban evaluation according with the Compact City Model
Key words: Raval, Barcelona, Urban Sprawl, Compact City, Integration of Migrants
English key words: Raval, Barcelona, Urban Sprawl, Compact City, Integration of Migrants
Academic year of topic announcement: 2012/2013
Thesis type: diploma thesis
Thesis language: angličtina
Department: Institute of General History (21-USD)
Supervisor: prof. Markéta Křížová, Ph.D.
Author: hidden - assigned and confirmed by the Study Dept.
Date of registration: 31.07.2013
Date of assignment: 31.07.2013
Administrator's approval: not processed yet
Confirmed by Study dept. on: 10.09.2013
Date and time of defence: 26.06.2014 09:30
Date of electronic submission:16.05.2014
Date of proceeded defence: 26.06.2014
Submitted/finalized: committed by worker on behalf on and finalized
Opponents: Mgr. Jiří Janáč, Ph.D.
  Péter Erdösi
An understanding of compact city development in the current paper lies not only in the classic definition of density. The model of compact city applies to three main variables which are: the promotion of high densities, centralized development and functional relationships between land uses and users, and intensification of processes.
The main interest of this research work consists of the identification, evaluation, representation and analysis at neighborhood level, of the principal features of this urban model. Characteristics such as economically efficient land use, promotion of various dense tissues concentrated around public transport nodes, revitalizing existing neighborhoods and providing affordable housing, the multi-functionality of uses and users, rehabilitation strategies, greenery etc. (Marmolejo et al., 2008; Neuman, 2005, Brueckner, 2000).
The city of Barcelona nowadays and, specifically, the Raval is presented as an area prone to constant change. Historically, the city has undergone a process of transformation of certain productive sectors located in central areas of the city. Besides, changes in the economic structure have modified the configuration of the spaces for different uses and functions. The measures aimed at achieving economic revitalization have produced a transformation that affects certain neighborhoods. This process results in a reinterpretation, change of functional reinforcement and therefore, a change in the urban, social and economic composition of these neighborhoods, as in the case of the Raval.
This urban development and reconfiguration has presented specific patterns throughout the XX century. Initially the urban growth caused agglomeration in the city center. However, throughout the years, due to a change in the development model, there has been a modification in the physical-spatial and social configuration of the city. This transformation has been produced by the restructuring process of second residences, the housing market, the development of infrastructure projects that promote greater communication between downtown and outdoor spaces, the change in the social processes of mobility linked to immigration, among others. This spatial and social change has promoted a specific restructuration of the city, and, inevitably, a fragmentation process.
These different realities in social and spatial terms characterized by urban sprawl have created a fragmentation process and a challenge for compactness. The urban fragmentation theme puts into question the problems of physical-spatial and social inequality, as the main interest of this process. Thus, an understanding of how the population has not been integrated in an egalitarian way in the functioning of the city, and the spatiality of this process produces interesting results. The compactness, not just in form terms, but in functional, social and physical-spatial terms, appears to be a big challenge. During recent years in the Raval the need has been largely recognized to make compatible the continued economic growth of the city with its physical and social integration, and also the effective protection and management of the environment.
Therefore this master paper poses a detailed analysis of the current urban configuration, and the eventual fragmentation of the Raval in Barcelona. It will analyze a number of variables, especially in spatial, economic, and social terms, with the aim of recognizing the main characteristics of the study area. Afterwards, it will identify the main shortcomings in the study area based on the Compact City Model. From this perspective it can be shown that the current configuration is evident, and that it generates an exclusion of the territory and the population. Thence, it is interesting to analyze those features and processes in specific areas of the neighborhood characterized as functionally little complex, by promoting social exclusion, and being physical – spatial little compact.
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