Spatial analysis of five mid-size cities in Central Mexico using Space Syntax

Authors: Ruben Garnica-Monroy*, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Veronica Garibay-Bravo, School of Philosophy and Literature. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Alonso Gonzalez Gonzalez, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Susana Elisa Medina, Natural Resources Center of the State of Queretaro, Wendy E. Martinez Resendiz, Natural Resources Center of the State of Queretaro
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Space Syntax, Mexican Cities, Spatial accessibility, Urban Planning
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban population in Central Mexico has doubled in the past 30 years, triggering a much larger increase in urban sprawl that has reached an order of magnitude in that same period. Also, vehicle ownership in this region doubles every ten years, challenging mobility, infrastructure and urban planning. We present a spatial analysis of five mid-size cities in Central Mexico using Space Syntax to identify accessibility/integration patterns and compare these findings with land use and demographic distribution. This is one of the first few analyses to use Space Syntax in Mexico, where spatial accessibility/integration and its usefulness in urban studies and planning is often not considered or unknown – street networks are traditionally studied for transportation purposes exclusively. We found that a large proportion of the population lives, works or studies alongside the ten most accessible/integrated roads; this has relevant implications on land value, mobility, infrastructure and public health. We compare accessibility/integration values of the five cities and find interesting patterns that describe their compactness at global and local scales. We identify hotspots of high accessibility/integration and high population to underscore areas of potential attention for current and future urban development. These analyses are the first part of a larger study on the health impacts of transport emissions on main roads in these cities. We also hope to contribute to increase awareness of the importance of incorporating urban form and accessibility/integration in urban studies and planning, and other disciplines.

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