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GIS and physical planning

In this research area, we develop new applications based on geographic information systems (GIS) and decision support systems to help in the process of physical planning, both in rural and urban areas. These tools allow to carry out multi-criteria assessment, to support decisions on optimal assignment of land uses, to model urban growth processes, and to identify the main directions of change in land use. This approach has been applied in several studies so far.

Land development

We use the term land development to refer to issues related with land administration (cadaster, electronic administration), land valuation, improvement of property or tenancy structures (land banking, land consolidation), scenario building, land use change modelling, and in general to all fields were land-use, property and tenancy are considered together as part of the same system.

Remote sensing

This research line is aimed at the extraction of information from remotely sensed imagery, be it automatic generatio of digital elevation models, 3d cartography of human settlements, biomass volume estimation, wildfire risk assessment, or automatic classification of land use. All of these processes are carried out using aerial photography, satellite imagery, or airborne laser systems (LiDAR) as base information, or a combination of them.

Risk management and planning

We are carrying out in this field several local emergency plans, aimed at the adoption of risk prevention measures and the efficient management of emergency situations. These plans are complemented with dissemination of information among local communities. We are also measuring how wildfire risk is perceived by local communities, as it is a relevant issue in the region, to help improve planning and emergency management policies.

Cooperation for development

We have being carrying out for several years a continuous process of knowledge transfer, education and support with several Latin-American partners, particularly in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This collaboration extends to various fields, particularly to physical planning, use of the LEADER approach (defined by the European Union), and the recognition of the role of women in society and family economy.