Spatial and urban planning processes regarding border cooperation have reached unprecedented levels in recent decades, not only due to their potential for territorial integration, i.e., infrastructure construction and planning activities worldwide. Bearing in mind the European project, for a united and strong network of nations, this scenario is more evident in European territories. In this regard, through multivariated analyzes of city cooperation on European border areas, it is possible to identify the factors that influence the territorial success and also a sustainable regional development and even their effects over the urban agglomerations. From the identified factors, the study pointed out one that is common to all cases: connectivity-movement between cities.
Part of the book: Urban Agglomeration
The need to understand what land use is has motivated the development of programmes that aims to identify it and quantify it—CORINE Land Cover (CLC) in 1985. From this official and open geodatabase—through the using of geographic information system (GIS) tools—the amount of area established for each land use has been identified in all the 28 member states of the EU. This mostly corresponds to agricultural and forestry uses. Between 1990 and 2012, it was possible to determine countries with variable land use models such as Finland, Latvia, Portugal and Spain—the rest of the states presenting stable land use models. Additionally, some countries are characterized by the predominance of one or two land uses. Contextually, the proposal aims to develop a retrospective study regarding the land-use changes in the EU territories from 1990 to 2012, through the available tools such as CLC.
Part of the book: Land Use
Considering the complex dynamics, patterns, and particularities that peripheral and insular territories/regions present—e.g., as the fragility, they show to achieve a sustainable development and growth—a study that analyzes the land uses of this territories is seen as pivotal to identify barriers and opportunities for a long-term sustained development. Contextually, a general analysis was carried out through case study research methods covering those territorial typologies of the insular territory of Madeira Island, Portugal. The study, which was carried out through GIS mapping tools, enabled us to identify the land use changes in the last decades over the territory—allowing to establish a relation and identification of the associated barriers and opportunities presented by the territories to face the emerging sustainable development challenges. The study reveals the evident limitations of “ultra-peripheral” territories not only by the physical spatial dimensions but also by the difficulty to reconvert land uses. Thus, the main actors and their policies over the territory are even more relevant and need to be conducted in a more reasonable way—considering the fragility of this regions; such actions present higher impact over the territory and over their inhabitants’ life’s quality standards and finally on the long-term sustainability.
Part of the book: Land Use