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Antoni-Francesc Tulla, Ilinca-Valentina Stoica, Marta Pallarès-Blanch and Daniela Zamfir

Abstract

The study compares the on-going naturbanization processes in and around two Natural Parks under the impact of newcomers, but also tourists from Barcelona and Bucharest and their metropolitan areas. The landscape value of these areas attracts the urban population, which contributes to local sustainable development process but also promotes construction. New businesses associated with rural multifunctionality and value-added activities related to environmental quality were identified. New residents have contributed introducing responsible patterns of consumer, ecoentrepreneurship by women, recovery of abandoned buildings and intensification of rural-urban relationships. Negative impacts such as intensive construction of second homes, with a lower use, in some areas around Cadí-Moixeró threaten biodiversity and habitat connectivity. Insufficient integration of environmental policies, particularly in the Comana wetlands, reduces the potential for rural renewal. Research methods included a review of the counterurbanization literature and the statistical data related to processes of naturbanization in both areas, along with the conduct of 30 structured interviews with key local actors in each area. Naturbanization still offers the potential to enhance local development; however, it is urgent to assess social perspectives in natural parks management in order to achieve environmentally friendly built-up areas.

Open access

Marta Pallarès-Blanch, Maria-José Prados Velasco and Antoni Francesc Tulla Pujol

Abstract

The early 20th century saw the beginning of a process of urbanizing rural space (Berry, 1976a; 1976b), described as counter-urbanization (Champion, 1989). The creation of Protected Natural Areas (PNAs) has defined some rural spaces, relatively far from large urban metropolitan areas, where the ecological and scenic value is a magnet for urbanization (Prados, 2005). Thus, PNAs make rural areas more attractive to new economic and leisure activities and can promote a more positive type of development that has been called naturbanization (Prados, 2009). We address this topic in six sections: (1) Introduction; (2) Conceptual framework of naturbanization; (3) Methodology to analyse the process of naturbanization; (4) Processes of naturbanization in Andalusia and in Catalonia; (5) Comparative analysis of two case studies, and (6) Conclusions and Recommendations