- Experience of Sprawl Control in a Spanish Region    click here to open paper content1487 kb
by    Marinero, Angel & de las Rivas Sanz, Juan | marperan@jcyl.es   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper explains a 10-year process to implement a planning regulatory framework openly oriented to sprawl control, and contrasts it with the reaction of local authorities, market operators, media and the public.
In the last 10 years the Spanish Region of Castilla y León has set a legal framework for urban planning, sprawl control being a major concern. In a switch from older regulations, development-oriented and focused on local authorities’ powers and landlords’ rights, the Regional Government has made of sustainable development the core issue of planning legislation.

The paper’s first part should explain how Castilla y León 1999 Planning Act and its 2004 Planning Regulation try to control sprawl’s worst effects such as gated communities, frog-leap, low-density or flood-prone development, loss of natural areas, under-used, not entertained facilities, lack of public transportation & so on. Regulation’s top goal is to move planning from a formal-, sometimes procedure-obsessed approach, to focus on a set of much more substantive criteria, such as priority to inner-city, Brownfield development, control of densities –avoid socially-rejected high densities as eco-rejected low densities, and effective reserve of enough land for social housing, public facilities and green areas.

The second part should deal with the reaction of local authorities, market operators, media and the Public. A nation-wide hands-off policy has not been a major help, but market pressure strength comes mainly from an ever growing urban middle class, willing to get status through a move to Suburbia, and from the competitive approach that city managers show when potential investors are around. In Castilla y León the global trend towards diffuse, land-consuming and car-dependent urbanization is well represented, supplying the market of congested neighboring regions like Madrid and Basque country, where little non-protected land is left.

Thus the paper should provide a number of cases where the underlying conflict –nobody forgives a politically correct talk on environmental issues- gives some lessons about how far an eco-conscious regional authority can go to control urban sprawl.
Regional Regulation Sprawl Control Market Pressures
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