With more people moving to live in cities, urban environments are under increasing pressure as new houses and infrastructure are built and the cityscape is transformed. If the transition to the future city does not include measures to integrate harmoniously historic urban heritage with new developments, loss of local distinctiveness and spatial fragmentation are among the risks that historic cities can face.
|Effective use of the local bedrock in ancient Pafos to place housing utilities (Photo credit: D. Tapete)|
|Interactions between the ancient city, local geology and modern |
development in Pafos (Photo credit: D. Tapete)
Geology has always played a central role in how cities take shape and interact with the natural environment as they develop. Several examples can be found across the world. The most recent I have visited is Pafos in Cyprus which, in 2017, will be European Capital of Culture.
The Greek and Roman settlements adapted to the local limestone geology and exploited the rock outcrops to set the building foundations, design and place the housing utilities (Figure 1), dug burial chambers and erect the most monumental public spaces such as the theatre and the Odeon.
Since then Pafos has seen phases of redevelopment and urban sprawl. The modern city still interacts with the vestiges of its history. Geological influence on city form and geological local distinctiveness are visible everywhere (Figure 2). But, in HUL perspective, what could it be done more to improve the physical connectivity between these two souls of the city?
This is the type of the questions that the book by Bandarin & van Oers attempts to answer and I believe that geology can help with that!
The full book review is accessible at http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Spf1y5jORXW6