Assessing the limits to the growth of urban stocks in areas with horizontal growth constraints

Autor(es): Matías Gutiérrez Medina, Ramzy Kahhat Abedrabbo

Urban areas accumulate important quantities of secondary resources that in the future could be part of what are called “Urban mines”. While this stock is growing as population in urban areas increases, different types of constraints could limit its growth, especially with regard to the building stock. Applying the concepts and methods of material stock analysis, this research proposes an approach that helps assess the limits to the growth of building stocks in areas with horizontal growth constraints. These limits are studied on the basis of established zoning, urban and building parameters, and are quantified for two neighboring districts in Metropolitan Lima, whose central location amid multiple districts limits their horizontal growth possibilities. Three scenarios are used to explore the limits, which determined that the ratio of current material stock to the theoretical maximum allowed, ranged between 26-30% and 41–50%. Results show that zoning is a limiting factor for the upward growth of cities, and that while generally there is potential to grow, some areas are closer to their limits than others. Though municipal zoning considerations may change in the future, increasing or decreasing the limit, the study provides an important approach for understanding the limits to the growth of urban stocks.

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