Historic Preservation and Land Use Changes in West Palm Beach

Authors: Cassandra Neira*, Florida Atlantic University
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: West Palm Beach, historic, preservation, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study delves into the history of West Palm Beach, Florida, and its geographic development over the last century. Data for historically preserved sites and districts in the city were used to interpret land use changes from the late 1800s to its current uses. Understanding land use change also suggests what the city might become in the future. Points were plotted of fourteen historical markers for nationally recognized districts and sites in West Palm Beach with the ESRI Collector App to create an ArcGIS Online web application. The points were then overlaid with georectified historic aerial imagery to create maps in ArcMap. Aerials were from the years 1940, 1953, and 1968. 1990 and 2017 imagery on Google Earth was also interpreted but not rectified. Alongside research about each historic place, the aerials aided in the interpretation of how well these sites and surrounding uses have been preserved since the early 20th century. Results indicated that density of residential housing, expansion of commercial and retail buildings, and soon high-rise buildings and hotels have dramatically developed that are particularly visible along waterways. Majority of designated historic places have been well preserved since the early 20th century, but generally, surrounding land uses have transformed in favor of urbanization.

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