Expertise of Alcala University, Department of Geography, Research Group on Human Geography

The Research Group on Human Geography is part of the Department of Geography at the University of Alcalá (UAH) in Spain. Its research activity is focused on two main areas:

  1. The contribution of Geographic Information Technologies to the understanding, characterisation and simulation of urban growth processes and to the assessment of their sustainability. This comprises the analysis of land use changes in metropolitan areas, the use of both normative and predictive models for the simulation of urban growth, the design of systems of indicators for the assessment of sustainability in urban planning and the promotion of sustainable transport and mobility systems within the city, among other topics. 
  2. The use of GIS to mitigate social conflicts derived from the location of undesirable facilities on the territory. It involves, for instance, identifying the territorial vulnerabilities with respect to various threats and impacts, discovering the optimum locations for the controversial facilities, and risk mapping.

At the moment, this research group is principally dedicated to the project SIMURBAN, whose objectives are: the characterisation of recent urban growth, the simulation of scenarios for the future and the assessment of their sustainability. This project is being undertaken jointly with another three research groups, from three different Spanish universities (the National University of Distance Education, the Rey Juan Carlos University and the University of Granada), with funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation for Spain. The territory under analysis is comprised by the metropolitan regions of Madrid and Granada, which have been selected as study areas due to their different sizes and distinct evolutionary processes.