The Impact of Economic Crisis in Areas of Sprawl in Spanish Cities
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, firstly, to analyse the recent evolution and chronology of the expansion of dispersed urbanism in the
... urbanism in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (BMR) in order to gain an insight into some of its explanatory factors, and secondly, to look into the future middle-term prospects of dispersed urbanism in the BMR and Spain. To this end, we examine trends in the housing market and residential mobility and take stock of the impact of business cycles on them. The conclusion is that dispersed areas still retain their appeal for people in the life stages of the 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' phase, waiting for certain factors to concur and reactivate its expansion.