Work Task 1

Spatio-temporal assessment of residential high-rises at two scales

Objectives: Diagnosis of the extent and evolution of residential verticalization: location patterns of high-rise developments in time and characterization of socio-economical contexts. Work is done at two scales: Brazil and Europe at “continental scale”, and Sao Paulo and Lyon at infra-urban scale. Persons in charge: Manuel Appert (Lyon2, geography), Marcel Fantin (IAU-USP, geomatics), Hélène Mathian (EVS, geomatics), Cibele Rizek (IAU-USP, sociologist), Marcio Minto (IAU-USP, civil engineer) and MA students (internships) in both Lyon and Sao Paulo.

Methods: Synchronic as well as diachronic spatial analyses with associated mapping. Hypotheses: The increasing number of residential towers signals a focus on the biggest metropolitan areas at “continental” scale, where metropolization is the at the most advanced stages, while high-rise public housing follows a different trend associated with public policies. Inside Lyon and Sao Paulo, high-end high-rise developments are targeting inner city areas and areas of gentrification. High-rise social housing location patterns differ markedly in Brazil compared to Europe who embraced more extensively such an urban form in the 1960-70s. Peripheral de-verticalization in both cities is not associated with re-verticalization in the centres of the two metropolises. Task WT1 provides evidence on spatio-temporal structures and dynamics of location and help put into perspective the findings of the colleagues involved in the project. This task is based on an augmented Emporis database ( that has already been worked with by the persons in charge. Emporis compiled more than 450,000 georeferenced high-rises throughout the world with their name, address, date of construction and types of use. As it is not fully exhaustive, it needs to be completed: topographical databases with georeferenced height of the built form have to be computed as well. Data from public municipal databases with information related to, for instance, urban infrastructure, income and mobility parameters, will also be used. Task WT1 will focus on two scales:

WT1.1 : Spatio-temporal assessment of residential high-rises in Brazil and Europe 

The first subtask is based on the description and analysis of residential towers in metropolitan areas of over 250,000 inhabitants at “continental” scale, in Europe and Brazil. The task helps evaluate spatial patterns of locations of residential towers and their trajectories through time. Cartography of evolution profiles, as well as of static spatial configurations help reveal underlying processes responsible for these locations and dynamics.

Milestone WT1.1a: enhanced Emporis database for Europe and Brazil.

Milestone WT1.1b: spatio-temporal analysis and mapping of location patterns and dynamics at “continental scale”

WT1.2 : Spatio-temporal assessment of residential high-rises in Sao Paulo and Lyon 

The second subtask helps explain and compare the locational contexts of high-rises in the two metropolitan areas through time, according to three dimensions: social mix, transport accessibility, and access to amenities. This study uses national statistics census (1999, 2010 for France and IBGE for Brazil) as well as information on facilities and transport structures (INSEE and IGN for France, IBGE for Brazil), and also computed indices such as space-time distances, potentials, or indices of segregation. Spatial inclusiveness is particularly addressed in this subtask.

Milestone WT.1.2a: Socio-spatial analysis and mapping of locational contexts in Sao Paulo and Lyon.

Milestone WT.1.2b : Degree of inclusiveness of patterns and dynamics of residential high-rises

Deliverables: Atlas of spatio-temporal patterns of locations of residential high-rises and of socio-spatial contexts at “continental” and infra-urban scales (Lyon and Sao Paulo). The atlas will be posted on the website and map the degree of inclusiveness of the location of residential towers. Risks: lack of comparable data for characterizing social contexts. Possible fall-back solutions: construction of indices (multicriteria analysis) to work on area social profiles instead of working on individual variables produced by census (already done for London in a recent project).


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