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naples MAPPING A CITY OF HUGELY VARIED PERSONALITIES

naples MAPPING A CITY OF HUGELY VARIED PERSONALITIES

In this issue, TheCityPlan column looks at Naples, an extraordinary urban reality not just in Italy but indeed anywhere around the world. As always, our reading of the city draws upon five maps that have been developed using GIS, regarding, respectively: population density, the orographical lie of the land, service density, public transport and urban green areas. From our first map, we may note Naples’ great urban sprawl (40x30 km) running all the way from Monte di Procida in the west to Castellamare di Stabia in the east. Very dense and highly populated, over time the city has spread far beyond its institutional administrative borders, its built-up areas simply extending to the edge of other densely-settled municipalities such as Afragola to the south, Casoria to the north and Torre del Greco to the west. The municipality of Naples is home to one million people; the entire metropolitan area houses over three million. Moving on to the orography map, Vesuvius’ exceptional status is clear as a natural bulwark against eastward expansion. On the opposite side, the Phlegraean Fields, a number of craters of volcanic origin and the Camaldoli hills make up another natural barrier. Naples appears to have expanded predominantly in flatter areas, with a natural propensity for developing towards the sea. If we look at the road network, the map once again shows how essential the orbital motorway network is for linking up portions of the city at very different elevations. The road infrastructure map also shows that main routes coming in from the north (A1) and east (A3) meet immediately to the east of the city, ensuring connections with the old town and port area. This structure appears to be consistent with Naples’ imposing urban dimension. If interpreted in conjunction with the city’s demographic distribution, the services map highlights a number of peculiarities which in all likelihood have historically generated both benefits and disadvantages for...

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© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054