J. Bernabéu Larena, B. Cabau Anchuelo, P. Hernández Lamas

Technical University of Madrid (UPM) (SPAIN)
Civil engineering builds the territory. Although its activity is essentially related to the place and the landscape where it’s located, most of the subjects of the Grade and Master curricula are technical or mathematical courses abstracted from their relationship with the place. Therefore, it’s particularly interesting to emphasize on the importance of territorial character in civil engineering.

To fill this gap, we carried out a pilot project during several academic years based on self-drawing cartographies by the students. The project to develop by group of three students is the study of a specific topic in a specific territorial area. Cartographies of analysis and representation of the territory are established as necessary. Based on a common theme developed by all the groups (e. g. river and city), the mapping is guided by establishing partial deliveries and shared tutorials in participatory classes. The work begins with the choice of the area and the scale of representation.Then, depending on the subject, the elements to be mapped are identified (physical environment, natural environment, built public works). The different cartographies analyse the variations, influences and incidences by tracing evolutions, transformations, flows and changes. Although all formats allowed in the representation, we encourage students to draw by hand with translucid sketch paper over plans or orthophotos.

Experience shows that these cartographies are key not only for the interpretation and understanding of the site, but also for the student's appreciation of the territorial character of civil engineering.