A comparative study of the urban morphology in Europe using GMES Urban Atlas: the post-socialist city vs. the capitalist city (Romania vs. France)

Abstract : The urban morphology represents the study of the city, namely its built environment. Consequently, this paper investigates the urban form and its characteristics in two countries which have been under different political and socio- economical regime after the Second World War (WWII), therefore being submitted to different urban planning policies. Nowadays, there is an important debate about the particularities of the urban form in the countries which have been under the influence of the former USSR before 1990 and have after that undergone a transition to the market economy. It is possible to observe major distinctive features between the urban form of the Romanian cities and the French ones? Therefore, can we speak of a post-socialist city in Romania which is different from the capitalist city in France? What role plays the European identity in the urban planning of both countries? Are the remade cities similar to those in the Western Europe, namely the capitalist world? What role plays the socialist legacy in the urban planning of the post-socialist city? (see large industrial plants, collective housing lots etc.) These are the questions this paper address in order to identify the outlines of the urban form of the post-socialist Romanian city, as well as its similarities and dissimilarities to the capitalist city. The database used for this analysis is GMES Urban Atlas, which is an urban atlas developed by EEA which provides comparable land use and land cover data for the European Large Urban Zones with more than 100.000 inhabitants as defined by the Urban Audit. Hence, GIS and statistical analyses are mobilized in order to derive the particularities of the urban areas of Iasi from Romania and Lyon from France, seeking to identify what makes the post-socialist city unique with regard to the capitalist one. The main results show the fact that adopting a policy of « shock therapy », the urban areas from Romania tried to copy the western model of the capitalist city, but without a solid legislative and financial back-up and being also confronted to the socialist heritage, it resulted into a hybrid urban development.
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Alexandra Sandu. A comparative study of the urban morphology in Europe using GMES Urban Atlas: the post-socialist city vs. the capitalist city (Romania vs. France). 16th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2016, Jun 2016, Albena, Bulgaria. ⟨10.5593/SGEM2016/B23/S11.001⟩. ⟨halshs-01397098⟩

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