Cagliari metropolitan area

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Cagliari aerial view

Cagliari metropolitan area (Italian: Area metropolitana di Cagliari) is a term for the urbanized area around the city of Cagliari, Italy. The metropolitan area is composed by the city of Cagliari and other 23 municipalities.[1] It covers about 1519 km² and 454.000 inhabitants..

The metropolitan area is strictly statistical and based on and does not imply any kind of administrative unity or function, even if it is fully included in the Cagliari Province. It is based on municipalities where there has been, between the last two censuses, an increasing population, in a region where the population is generally decreasing. These municipalities welcome immigrants to the urban area whose main nucleus, the city of Cagliari, has a high rate of aged population which is decreasing due to the high cost of homes, not accessible to young families.

Geography[edit]

The metropolitan area of Cagliari extends over the plain of Campidanu and the first hills between two mountain ranges, at west side Monti Arcosu, Monti Lattias and Punta Sebera, at east side Punta Serpeddì and the Sette Fratelli mountain. These massive rocks are made up of very old Ordovician shale and Carboniferous granite and barely exceed the 1000 meters of altitude with a maximum in 1116 of Mount Is Caravius.. The city is spread over and around the hill of the historic district of Castello, and other nine limestone hills of the middle-late Miocene, unique heights of a little more than one hundred meters above sea level on the long plains of Campidano. The plain is actually a Graben formed during the Alpine orogeny of the Cenozoic, which separated Sardinia from the European continent, roughly where it is now the Gulf of Lion in France, and broke up with various up and down tectonic movements the ancient island Paleozoic skeleton.[2] It was covered by marine deposits of Miocene and alluvial deposits of Holocene. The repeated intrusion of the sea left calcareous sediments that formed a series of hills that mark the territory of Cagliari: that where there is the fortified town near the harbor of the port and the birthplace of the city, Mount Urpinu, the St. Elias hill, also known as the Sella del Diavolo ("Saddle of the Devil") for its shape, Tuvumannu and Tuvixeddu, where there was the ancient Punic and Roman necropolis, the small Bonaria hill, where stands the basilica, and the San Michele hill, on top of which is the eponymous castle. The modern city has occupied the flat spaces between the hills and the sea to the south and south-east, along the Poetto beach, the lagoons and ponds of Santa Gilla and Molentargius, remains of more recent marine intrusions, in an articulate landscape, with many landmarks panoramas on the bay, the plain, the mountains that surround it at east.

Climate[edit]

Cagliari and the Campidanu plain has a Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Köppen climate classification) with hot, dry summers and very mild winters. The extreme values in summer sometimes slightly are over 40 °C (104 °F) (sometimes with very high humidity), while in winter, under special and rare conditions drop slightly below zero. Heavy snowfalls occur on average every thirty years.

The average temperature of the coldest month, January, is about 10 °C (50 °F), and those of the warmest month, August, about 25 °C (77 °F). But heat waves can occur, due to African anticyclone since June. From mid-June to mid-September, rain is a rare event, reduced to some storms in the afternoon. The rainy season starts in September, but the first cold days come in December, usually the wettest month as well.

Winds are frequent, especially the mistral and sirocco; in summer days a marine sirocco breeze (s'imbattu) lowers the temperature and the heat.

Climate data for Cagliari
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14.3
(57.7)
14.8
(58.6)
16.5
(61.7)
18.6
(65.5)
22.9
(73.2)
27.3
(81.1)
30.4
(86.7)
30.8
(87.4)
27.4
(81.3)
23.1
(73.6)
18.3
(64.9)
15.4
(59.7)
21.7
(71.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.9
(49.8)
10.3
(50.5)
11.8
(53.2)
13.7
(56.7)
17.7
(63.9)
21.7
(71.1)
24.7
(76.5)
25.2
(77.4)
22.3
(72.1)
18.4
(65.1)
13.8
(56.8)
11.0
(51.8)
16.7
(62.1)
Average low °C (°F) 5.5
(41.9)
5.8
(42.4)
7.1
(44.8)
8.9
(48)
12.4
(54.3)
16.2
(61.2)
18.9
(66)
19.6
(67.3)
17.1
(62.8)
13.7
(56.7)
9.3
(48.7)
6.6
(43.9)
11.8
(53.2)
Rainfall mm (inches) 49.7
(1.957)
53.3
(2.098)
40.4
(1.591)
39.7
(1.563)
26.1
(1.028)
11.9
(0.469)
4.1
(0.161)
7.5
(0.295)
34.9
(1.374)
52.6
(2.071)
58.4
(2.299)
48.9
(1.925)
427.5
(16.831)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.8 6.8 6.8 7.0 4.4 2.1 0.8 1.3 4.3 6.5 7.4 7.4 61.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 136.4 139.2 186.0 213.0 269.7 288.0 334.8 310.0 246.0 198.4 147.0 127.1 2,595.6
Source: Servizio Meteorologico,[3]

On the mountains the climate is very different, with plentiful averages rainfalls, cold winters and mild warm summers,(Csb in the Köppen climate classification).

Climate data for Is Cannoneris near Punta Sebera m. 716 on sea level
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
10.2
(50.4)
12
(54)
13.7
(56.7)
18.3
(64.9)
22.6
(72.7)
26.4
(79.5)
27.9
(82.2)
23.4
(74.1)
18.2
(64.8)
13.8
(56.8)
10.9
(51.6)
17.2
(63)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
7.3
(45.1)
8.8
(47.8)
10.4
(50.7)
14.4
(57.9)
19.0
(66.2)
22.0
(71.6)
23.7
(74.7)
19.6
(67.3)
15.4
(59.7)
11.2
(52.2)
7.9
(46.2)
13,9
(56.96)
Average low °C (°F) 3.1
(37.6)
5.2
(41.4)
5.8
(42.4)
7.8
(46)
11.5
(52.7)
15.5
(59.9)
19.7
(67.5)
19.4
(66.9)
16.2
(61.2)
12.7
(54.9)
9.1
(48.4)
5.6
(42.1)
11.0
(51.8)
Rainfall mm (inches) 156
(6.14)
155
(6.1)
128
(5.04)
95
(3.74)
64
(2.52)
17
(0.67)
4
(0.16)
15
(0.59)
49
(1.93)
128
(5.04)
141
(5.55)
178
(7.01)
1,130
(44.49)
Source: Servizio Meteorologico

Economy and Transportation[edit]

Saras oil rafinery
Cable-stayed bridge of the Monserrato University Campus interchange

The inhabitants of the metropolitan area returned an individual income tax per capita that was 97% of national average. The city of Cagliari returned 127% of National average, while entire Sardinia returned only 81%. In the capital city are concentrated most of the administrative tasks, the retail trade in the areas of the historical center, financial services and technology to business, professional offices, health services, while industries, warehousing services, major shopping centers are concentrated in the other municipalities of the metropolitan area and, along the coast, most of the tourist activities.

The Macchiareddu-Grogastru area between Cagliari and Capoterra, in conjunction with a large international container terminal port at Giorgino is the most important industrial area of Sardinia. Multinational corporations like Coca Cola, Heineken, Unilever, Bridgestone and Eni Group have factories in this area. Within its metropolitan area, at Sarroch, there is one of the six oil refinery supersites in Europe, Saras.

The communications provider Tiscali has its headquarters in the boroughs of the town, just near one of the biggest container terminals on the Mediterranean sea.

The metropolitan area of Cagliari is the wealthiest area of the island. According Eurostat,[4] the metropolitan area of Cagliari in 2009 had a per capita purchasing power standard (PPS) income of 21.699 euros, that is 92.4% of the European Union (27) data.

Demography[edit]

In the last century, the population of the municipalities of the metropolitan area increased by 354% and in the last 50 years by 158% (1911: 128,444; 1961: 288,683; 2011: 454,819). For the whole of Sardinia this increase respectively was 88% and 15% (1911: 868,181; 1961: 1,419,362; 2011: 1,639,362). The urbanization towards the area of Cagliari was, in percentage terms, impressive, making the capital of the island a metropolis surrounded by rural areas increasingly depopulated. This urbanization is also reflected in the concentration in Cagliari of most of the economic activities and wealth.

As for 2011 stranger population was only 10,837 people (2.38%) while the largest immigrant group were : Filipino, Senegalese, Romanians, Chinese, Ukrainians, Moroccans, Pakistani, Germans and others [5]

Cagliari Metropolitan area map
Satellite view
Aerial view
Municipality Area (km²) Census 2001 Census 2011 % Inhab./km² Distance from city center (km)
Cagliari 85.45 164 249 149 883 -9,6 1754 0
Quartu Sant'Elena 96.20 68 040 69 296 1,8 720 9
Selargius 26.71 27 440 29 864 4,5 1.118 9
Assemini 117.50 23 973 26 620 11,0 227 14
Capoterra 68.25 21 391 23 255 8,7 341 20
Monserrato 6.50 20 829 20 585 -1,9 3.167 7
Sestu 48.32 15 233 19 893 30,6 412 11
Sinnai 223.38 15 235 16 730 9,8 75 15
Quartucciu 27.87 10 766 12 600 19,1 452 9
Dolianova 84.60 7 979 9 404 12,3 111 22
Elmas 13.70 7 930 8 949 12,8 653 10
San Sperate 26.15 6 821 7 972 16,9 305 20
Uta 134.46 6 692 7 859 17,4 58 20
Decimomannu 28.05 6 836 7 831 14,6 279 19
Maracalagonis 101.60 6 731 7 523 11,8 74 18
Pula 138.79 6 535 7 141 9,3 51 33
Settimo San Pietro 23.21 5 949 6 532 9,8 281 13
Sarroch 67.88 5 243 5 198 -0,9 77 25
Monastir 31.76 4 496 4,505 0,2 142 21
Ussana 32.85 3 763 4 285 13,9 130 23
Serdiana 55.66 2 279 2 620 15,0 47 22
Villaspeciosa 27.35 1 947 2 407 23,6 88 23
Villa San Pietro 39.61 1 778 2 009 13,0 51 29
Soleminis 12.96 1 587 1 858 17,1 143 20
Total 1518.81 443 722 453 728 2,3 299
Province of Cagliari 4 596 543 310 550.580 1,3 120
Sardinia 24 090 1 631 880 1 639 362 0,5 68
Italy 301 .340 56 995 744 59 433 744 4,3 197

Metropolitan forests[edit]

Sette Fratelli mountains
Forested areas near Cagliari

The metropolitan area is limited to the east and west by high mountain ranges just over 1000 meters above sea level, largely covered by Mediterranean forests, dominated by evergreen oak, cork oak and arbutus. To the west the WWF nature reserve of Monte Arcosu lies, created to protect the subspecies of Sardinian deer (Cervus elaphus ssp. Corsicanus) and extended 36 km2 (14 sq mi), and the forests managed by the Ente Foreste of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia: Piscina Manna, Is Cannoneris, Monti Nieddu Gutturu Mannu for others 256 square kilometers; to the east Ente Foreste manages the Campidano Forest, and the forest of the Sette Fratelli ("Seven Brothers"), a vast massif with crested peaks that appear in the number of seven when seen from Cagliari (hence the name) and covers additional 132 km2 (51 sq mi).

The woods environment varies with altitude in both temperature and precipitation. In the municipality of Pula, for example, the coastal plain has an annual average rainfall of about 450 mm (18 in), while the mountains (Is Cannoneris, about 800 meters above sea level) have more than 1,200 mm (47 in). The forest is populated by the Sardinian deers (Cervus elaphus corsicanus), now saved from extinction, the fallow deer, reintroduced after its extinction, wild boars, foxes, European pine martens and others.

Metropolitan beaches[edit]

Tuerredda near Chia
Poetto beach, Cagliari

The municipalities of the metropolitan area possess many beautiful beaches. First of all "Su Poettu", the beach of Cagliari and Quartu Sant'Elena, 10 km of fine sand in front of the "Sella del Diavolo". East of Cagliari you can find the beaches of Geremeas and Solanas. Villasimius beaches are 50 km from the center of Cagliari. West of the town you can see the beaches of Nora and Santa Margherita, in the commune of Pula. The wonderful beaches of Chia are only few km from Pula, in the commune of Domus de Maria.

History and Culture[edit]

Is Concias Giant's Grave
Nora, the theater

The history of the villages of the hinterland of Cagliari and of the coasts of its gulf coincides with that of the capital. If in the city there are the ruins of Domus de Janas and Neolithic and Chalcolithic villages, in neighboring municipalities there are many nuraghes; the Nuraghe Diana on the coast of Quartu Sant'Elena and the nuraghes Sa Domu de S'Orcu and Antigori on the coast of Sarroch are particularly important. A deep sacred well is present in Settimo San Pietro and the giant's graves Is Concias in the territory of Quartucciu.

The punic and especially the Roman periods are represented by the massive remains of the city of Nora, the terminus of the trade with North Africa, decayed and abandoned after the Arab conquest of Tunisia.

Saint Mary in Uta
Maracalagonis traditional dress

The whole area belonged in the late Middle Ages to the Judicatus of Calaris, during which the monks of St. Victor of Marseilles built a Romanesque small jewel: the church of Santa Maria in Uta. In the same period the cathedral of San Pantaleo in Dolianova, with its strange façade, was built.

All villages have preserved their ancient religious traditions during which traditional festal dresses are performed . The Feast of Sant'Efis, which begins May the 1st in Cagliari, continues in the following days with the chariot of the Saint towed by oxen to Nora (35 km) where there is a medieval church dedicated to him, where, according to tradition, was beheaded and martyrized by Roman authorities. The traditional economy was based on agriculture, the cultivation of wheat, vineyards, olive groves, garden and orchards where there was plenty of water in the dry summer. The mountains were exploited for firewood and coal that were sold at Cagliari. There were also some mines, particularly the iron mine of San Leone in the territory of Assemini. And of course there were the large salt pans east and west of Cagliari.

Metropolitan region[edit]

Cagliari is also the center of a macroarea, a metropolitan region, which is a larger area that refers to the city of Cagliari in a number of services not available in areas outside the metropolitan area. In such a sense, the entire southern half of Sardinia is a metropolitan region with about a million of inhabitants. The northern part of Sardinia is in reference to the city of Sassari in the north of the island. Since the town of Cagliari is the capital of the Autonomous Region, the city is the center of a metropolitan region that includes the entire island (1,640,000 inhabitants) for the services offered by this institution.

(1)ISTAT, 2011 census[6]

References[edit]