Urban sprawl (3) Spanish south


The Spanish south has been historically marked by a predominance of large land estates (latifundium) with all the associated social problems. There are few independent farmers, but rather laborers that depend on the landowner initiative to be able to get a job.

In this context, when the region became subject as the rest of Spain to a large transfer of population from rural zones to cities, particular forms of sprawl have appeared. In this case, it is, paradoxically, a form of “concentrated” sprawl: the dynamic is one of sale of large properties divided in lots, without going through the planning procedures. These areas are easily recognizable for the lack of sidewalks (even if their layout is sometimes elaborate) and of many basic services. Their growth was especially intense during the 1970s and 1980s, and they are definitely a gridlock to any plan. Any action attempting to destroy the illegally built homes is often opposed by the judiciary mentioning the constitutional right to housing.

There are tentative to integrate these tissues into the formal city, but it is hard to convince people that already live there that they have to pay for the services they do not have, but need to be fully legalized.

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