The Rural Connection as a Re-construction of a Territorial Structure: Sustainable Spatial Criteria to Delimit Rural Settlements Following an Algorithm

By Vasco Barbosa Brandão, Rafael Crecente Maseda and Inés Santé Riveira.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Economic development is reflected in aggressive environmental and spatial dynamics in the cities, and a consequent depletion of rural social space by the loss of population in the last 50 years. Urbanization has caused irreversible changes in rural environments mainly associated with agriculture.
Some cities today are like microchips, which relate humanly through spatial processes in accordance with real physical infrastructure networks. Due to these metamorphoses and given the current economic and environmental context, how do we imagine or desire future urban structures and spaces to be? Can rural areas still maintain territorial connections and acquire urban importance? Rural settlements which are located in areas between cities, form the most characteristic settlement model in Europe, and present in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula a variety of interesting examples for thought on planning and land management, architecture and sociology. Galicia has the uniqueness of having 30,767 rural villages.
So which rural centers can contribute to a more sustainable multinuclear model?
This research proposes the selection of rural settlements in regard to their authenticity, morphology, landscape and socio-economic conditions as well as determine spatial boundaries through a genetic algorithm based on sustainable criteria, adding leverage to the territorial model.

Keywords: Rebuilding Territorie, Delimitacion Criteria, Rural Settlements, Algorithm for Planning

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.111-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.896MB).

Vasco Barbosa Brandão

PhD Student, The Land Laboratory, LaboraTe, Agricultural and Forestry Engineering Department, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Lugo, Spain

Born in Oporto and graduated in Architecture in 2000 at the Faculty of Porto, Portugal. He is currently PhD student at the University of Santiago de Compostela on the subject of rural planning. In 2008 completed a postgraduate degree in “Environmental Management and Land Use Planning” in the Instituto Superior de Viana do Castelo. In 2011 completed a Master in “Management in Sustainable Land Use Planning” in the University of Santiago de Compostela. During these years, won prizes in international competitions in architecture in the areas of contemporary architecture and urban planning.

Rafael Crecente Maseda

Professor and Director, Director of Land Laboratory, LaboraTe, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Lugo, Spain

Ph.D. Professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He is director of the research group LaboraTe. The Land Laboratory (LaboraTe) is a research and teaching group integrated by professors and researchers of different disciplines where research on issues of territorial planning and land management. He is director of PhD theses and has several publications in the area of territorial planning.

Inés Santé Riveira

Professor, Researcher of Land Laboratory, LaboraTe, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Lugo, Spain

Ph.D. Professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela and Researcher of Land Laboratory, LaboraTe. Is director of PhD theses and has several publications in the area of territorial planning.