Exurban Development in Southern Europe: Emerging or Consolidated Pattern?


Vittorio Gargiulo Morelli

Luca Salvati, PhD
University of Rome La Sapienza

Rosanna Di Bartolomei

Kostas Rontos
Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, University Hill, Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece

Series: European Political, Economic, and Security Issues, Social Issues, Justice and Status

Exurban development has and is attracting the interest of many researchers from all over the world, having the objective to define the nature, dynamics and consequences that the phenomenon of low-density urban expansion is having on the natural and social environment. This contribution provides a detailed picture on the nature of the phenomenon, on its dynamics and effects on socioeconomic and ecological systems with a focus on the Mediterranean basin. In this region urban sprawl was a relatively recent phenomenon compared to Anglo-American societies with key impact on regional planning and competitiveness of large urban areas.

The nature and dynamics of urban diffusion are the outcome of geo-economic and socio-cultural characteristics of the territory and its settlements. Consequently, in order to understand the true nature of Mediterranean sprawl, we briefly analyse the main historical, geographical, economical, social and cultural traits of the Mediterranean region. This analysis has mainly focused on the comprehension of the Mediterranean urban ideal and how the cities of the region are shaped by certain behaviours and practices of the population. At the end of this analysis, the main characteristics of the urban development of Northern Mediterranean and Anglo-American societies is resumed and confronted. The importance of adopting a comparative, ad hoc analysis for studying the phenomenon according to the investigated region is finally stressed. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. Urban Sprawl, U.S. Style?

2. Sprawl Outside the American Territorial Context: Defining a “European Sprawl Style”?

3. Urban Sprawl in the Mediterranean Region


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