Beach surface lost historically: The case of the eastern coast of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain)
Ocean and Coastal Management
Land use changes cause significant loss of natural and cultural elements. This is the case of the eastern coast of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (LPGC) (Canary Islands), which was heavily transformed between the late XIX century and the 1960s by increased urban sprawl. Most of the beaches were covered by the city and, therefore, disappeared. The aim of the study is to identify and describe the natural characteristics of the beaches lost between 1879 and 2017 along the eastern coastline of LPGC, as
... well as to quantify the lost surface area. The changes in land uses that have taken place around these beaches are also addressed. For these purposes, historical sources (documentary, graphic, cartographic and oral) and geographic information systems (GIS) have been used. The results show that, since 1879, eleven beaches, with an extension of 13.19 ha, have disappeared and, with them, their natural and cultural features. Eight land uses were identified: fishing, defensive, agriculture, port, industrial, commercial, residential and recreational. It was also found that beaches from the northern and central sectors had more varied uses than those of the southern sector, which tended to be mainly used for fishing. The results are analyzed at both global and local scale. At global scale, different effects of globalization on coastal urban areas are discussed. At local scale, a discussion is undertaken on how the knowledge acquired can be used to improve future urban planning and to rebuild the memory of the city's coast for its inhabitants and visitors.