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Towards a Metropolitan Approach for the definition of a network of intermediate cities

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The world population and urbanism are growing fast, often neglecting basic general planning rules. The 90% of the predicted growth in the next 3 decades will concern developing countries, in which the population of bigger cities will significantly increase, causing cumulative problems in the management of informal settlements and slums in metropolitan aggregates. These issues will also determine the intensification of inequality instances in different social classes. City managers need to focus on improving correct localization choices and spreading basic principles about safe health conditions of the built environment: mitigating natural and artificial risks related to settlements and housing will be one of the most important challenges in the next years. Using modern choice tools means collecting highly specialized data, which are mostly unavailable in developing countries, in an opensource WebGis system. Appropriate and accurate maps are required together with structured databases, crucial to understand the specific needs of complex functions, according to certain elements in architectural/urban projects, referring to the local scale. The problem can be efficiently faced or improved using remote sensing imagery (at a suitable spatial resolution), specific software packages for classification and feature extraction, mapping tools, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
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