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The Growing Suburban Sprawl in Large Latin American Cities: Applying Space Syntax to the Case of Northern Peripheral Region of Bogotá

Vasco BARBOSA*1, Mónica Marcela SUÁREZ PRADILLA2, Juan Eduardo CHICA-MEJIA3
* Corresponding author
1 University of La Sabana, Faculty of Engineering, Chía, COLOMBIA
2 Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito, Department of Civil Engineering, Centre of Road and Transport Studies, Bogotá, COLOMBIA
3 Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, Department of Architecture and Habitat, Bogotá, COLOMBIA
Pages: 37-49

Abstract. The expansion of urban land in Latin American cities has been extensive over the last 30 years. Urbanisation has grown considerably, and, according to the United Nations, it is expected that approximately 70% of the population will live in large cities by the year 2050. This process leads to more complex urban relations, more intense suburbanisation, larger settlements in the peripheral areas of cities and, subsequently, a significant reduction of urban green infrastructure. The aim of this paper is to assess whether the expansion areas defined in different planning instruments generate urban inclusion and are aligned with the already consolidated urban area. The case study areas are represented by the municipalities of Chía and Cajicá in the northern suburbs of Bogotá city, which have a strong integration with the central city. The methodology integrates data from municipal land use plans and the spatial syntax method to visualise the effect of expansion on urban morphology. The results obtained show that Chía presents an area of greater integration than Cajicá, specifically the centre of the municipality, in which there is a high level of functionality with respect to the new expansion areas defined in the Master Plan. This study concludes that the new expansion areas should be developed on the central axes, where the highest integration values are located, and at a greater distance from natural elements such as rivers. Finally, the methodological approach can be replicated to analyse other urban areas and support decision-making on urban functionality and expansion.

K e y w o r d s:  urban development, space syntax, urban equity, land use planning, metropolitan urban growth