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Cultures, Communities and Design

Mapping of social initiatives as a model of local development against depopulation in rural areas. The Valle del Genal case (Andalusia, Spain)
C. Jiménez et al.
8:00 am - 10:00 am


The cultural heritage of many rural areas, such as the villages of Valle del Genal in Andalusia, is endangered. Factors such as the depopulation suffered in the last 25 years have prevented the knowledge transfer from the elderly to the young. This paper focuses on mapping the social, economic and habitat resources as a preliminary step to the implementation of measures and policies against the abandonment of these areas. The aim is to create a map regarding the cultural identity and idiosyncrasy of each village in the valley. The mapping of these local entities is carried out through a combination of participatory work with the communities in the area and the data tracking from geo-positioning and social networks applications. During the identification and inventory process, the relationship between different citizen initiatives and social groups are analyzed. This cartography pretends to offer a base of accessible knowledge for inhabitants and visitors. Data dumped on a unique web GIS platform (www.platic.es) lets analyzing the plausible connections among these initiatives and, therefore, recognizing some shared interests and concerns. The collected data emphasizes the need to integrate qualitative information (as socio-economic and cultural ones) in the planning and regeneration processes against depopulation. The mix of participatory processes with digital resources provides an innovative tool that makes it possible to make visible and to qualify depopulated rural areas.


Carlos Rosa Jiménez, PhD Architect, is the deputy director of the Interuniversity Institute UPC-UMA Habitat, Tourism, Territory and directs the HUM-969 UTOPIA research group. In it he has developed the tourism and landscape research line focused on the recovery of mature tourist destinations, where he has participated in several research projects. He has numerous publications on the responsibility of architecture and urbanism in the configuration of the tourist landscape, as well as the planning measures carried out to overcome the landscape impact. It is worth highlighting the co-edition of the book “Liquid Tourism” or the recent publication of “Tourism and Landscape”.

María José Márquez Ballesteros, PhD Architect, is a professor at the School of Architecture, University of Malaga (Spain), since 2008 in the urban and territory planning field. She also has participated in several courses on the teaching of architecture through cinema. She holds a PhD in Architecture (2013) and an MSc in “Urban Planning” (2006) from the Architect College of Granada and Junta de Andalucía. She has worked on several R&D projects on topics like Housing Refurbishment and Sustainable Energy and mobility and was honoured with the Research Award on XIII Architecture and Urbanism Spanish Biennal.

Alberto E. García Moreno, PhD Architect (2013). Assistant Professor of Architectural Theory in the University of Malaga (Spain) since 2016. Researcher in several projects related to tourism, communication, regeneration of neighborhoods and sustainable mobility. Prize-winner of several researching awards such as XIII Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (2016), Malaga Researching Award (2015) or Spanish Film Researching Award (2015). Leader of the research project “Cooperative management in the revitalization of neighborhoods and the offer of habitability services” (University of Malaga). Guest researcher and professor at the universities of Seville (Spain), Coimbra (Portugal), Vienna (Austria) and Florence (Italy).

Francisco J. Chamizo Nieto, Architect by the School of Architecture of Malaga (2016). He is PhD candidate in Architecture at University of Malaga (UMA). As a researcher, he works in HUM-969 Utopia Research Group and Emerging Technologies for Citizenship Chair, both of them at UMA. He focuses on the following topics: citizen participation, urban planning and urban tourism.

Federico Benjamín Galacho Jiménez has been PhD in Geography since 1996. He developed his work as Titular Professor of the Area of Regional Geographic Analysis of the Department of Geography of the University of Malaga (Spain). His research and professional work is mainly focused on applied studies on Land Management in tourist and rural spaces and on the application of Geographic Information SystemsTechnologies, Remote Sensing and Spatial Big Data. He is currently a researcher and director of the “Geographic Analysis” Group (HUM776) attached to the Department of Geography of the University of Malaga. To date, he has been the author of numerous publications in the aforementioned lines and has participated in R+D+I Projects, Agreements and Contracts for applied research and Educational Innovation Projects.

Sergio Reyes Corredera. Degree in Geography, University of Malaga, 2008. Master’s degree: Geographical analysis in Territorial Planning: Geographic Information Technologies, University of Malaga and University of Granada, 2010. Expert in Territorial Information Systems, Cadastre and Valuation, Miguel University Hernández, 2013. Doctor in Geography (international mention), Universities of Malaga, Granada and Rovira Virgili, 2018. His lines of research focus on studies on territorial management, landscape analysis, Geographic Information Technologies and cultural representations of the landscape. He directs the microproject “The Cultural Representations of the Landscapes of Malaga” within the framework of the Chair of Geo-technological Resources for the Economy and Society.

Nuria Nebot Gómez de Salazar, PhD Architect by the School of Architecture of Madrid (2003). She obtained her PhD in Architecture at University of Malaga (UMA; 2012). Currently (2010 onwards), she is a lecturer and researcher at School of Architecture and Habitat, Tourism and Digitalisation, and co-director of the Emerging Technologies for Citizenship Chair, all of them at UMA. She has developed the following research lines: tourism, smart city, social innovation and new technologies.

Francisco Conejo Arrabal, Graduated in Fundamentals of Architecture (2018) and Master in Architecture (2019) from the School of Architecture of Malaga. PhD candidate at the UMA in the interuniversity doctoral program City, Territory and Sustainable Planning (UMA-UGR-URV). R&D support and management technician at the Interuniversity Institute UPC-UMA Habitat, Tourism and Territory. Member of the research group HUM-969 Urbanism, Tourism, Landscape and Architectural Innovation (UTOPÍA).

Rubén Pérez Belmonte is Architect from the School of Architecture of Malaga (Spain) in 2014. From 2019, he has been PhD researcher at the Department of Architecture and Design of the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) where he is currently writing the final dissertation of his thesis titled “Border Architecture. From border damages to new design strategies for third nations”. He is also R&D support and management technician at the Interuniversity Institute UPC-UMA Habitat, Tourism and Territory of the University of Malaga. He has been researcher at UMA for the project “Patio 2.12 House”, for the international competition Solar Decathlon Europe in 2012.