ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0492.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: dispersed urbanism; residential strategies; residential mobility; economic crisis; Barcelona Metropolitan Region; social crisis; land squandering
Online: 22 October 2018 (12:14:10 CEST)
The development of dispersed urbanism in Spain ran parallel to the real estate boom and consolidated a new model of city sprawl based on the expansion of suburban areas. This process, which started in the mid 1980s, came to a halt with the onset of the economic crisis in 2007. With it, construction stopped, mobility fell and urban growth came to a standstill. The purpose of this article is to carry out an analysis of the recent evolution and chronology of the expansion of dispersed urbanism in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (BMR) in order to gain an insight into some of the explanatory factors of such expansion and to deal with the future prospects of middle-term development of dispersed urbanism in the BMR and in Spain. To do this, we examine the trends in the housing market, in residential mobility and we take stock of the impact of business cycles. The conclusion is that dispersed areas retain their appeal in the stages of creation and expansion of households. For this reason, an effective economic recovery and a renewed rise in the price of housing in denser cities may contribute to an upturn in the popularity of the dispersed residential model, which nowadays could be considered to be in a ‘lethargic’ stage, waiting for certain factors to coincide and re-activate its expansion.