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The Real Estate and Economic Crisis: An Opportunity for Urban Return and Rehabilitation Policies in Spain

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Type: Journal Article
Author: González Pérez, Jesús M.
Journal: Sustainability
Volume: 2
Page(s): 1571-1601
Date: 2010
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6898
Sector: Urban Commons
Subject(s): cities and towns
Abstract: "In the early 1980s, suburbanization and periurbanization processes became widespread in major cities within Spain. An interesting stage of returning to city centers commenced that materialized in the start of rehabilitation policies within historic centers. These processes coincided with weak population growth, an acute industrial economic crisis, and new democratic policies in municipal councils. Three decades later, we may be witnessing similar processes, although with different origins. The consequences of a construction-based economic model have been disastrous in Spain, from both an economic as well as an environmental point of view. The artificial land boom was significant throughout the country, but was especially prominent within the Mediterranean areas that specialize in tourism and real estate (second homes). The burst of the real estate bubble has shown the irrationality of the economic model and the serious social and environmental consequences that the model has entailed. Within this context, some of the territorial transformation processes that occurred in Spain during the real estate boom period are being studied for the first time. Additionally, changes in land policies (urban renewal of centers and urban renewal in general) within the current economic and real estate crisis are analyzed. An urban rehabilitation that gradually includes new spaces for intervention and for introducing new sustainable methods for recovering degraded spaces, such as the Master Plan for Platja de Palma, a mature tourism destination that seeks a final ‘0 CO2 balance’ scenario, among other objectives."

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