The suburbanization of the Aruban landscape

This paper is part of a series on the developments that relate to the Aruban landscape. To bring perspective to current environmental threats and developments good knowledge of present, but also of past spatial processes is vital. 

We show in this paper how the extent of early 20th century Cunucu landscape in Aruba followed the contours of the geological substrate and past human action and how these agricultural developments shaped the layout of today’s trends in suburbanization. We will go into detail and explain the shift in the location of new construction and infrastructure over the last hundred years. In an example we explain how some geological and past topographical features have influenced the development of infrastructure and housing today. 

This study is also an example of how we can use GIS1 methodology to study spatiotemporal patterns in combination with the use of historic maps in Aruba. The aim of this study is to inform and give insight in the long-term consequences of change. A more general aspect of this study is to help us grasp a larger perspective and learn to comprehend, similar to what we describe in this study, how current change in nature and habitats will define the future opportunities to exploit the landscape and its intrinsic values.

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