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The Linkages between Real Estate Tourism and Urban Sprawl in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)
Landscape Ecology/Biogeography, Geography Department, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitaetsstrasse 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany
Research Group on Sustainability and Territory (GIST), Earth Sciences Department, University of the Balearic Islands, Carretera de Valldemossa, km. 7,5, 07122 Palma (Majorca), Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 April 2013; in revised form: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 30 May 2013
Abstract: Financial capitalism has driven profound changes in urban land use patterns in Majorca, at the Balearic Islands (Spain). This archipelago is a major tourist destination located in the Mediterranean basin, with 4,492 km2 of surface area, 1,113,114 inhabitants and 12,316,399 tourists (2011), of whom 29.9% came from Germany, 24% from the UK and 19% from the rest of Spain. Neoliberal state regulation has favored the elite’s financial interests in the real estate sector through transport megaproject investment and lifting regional planning restrictions which prevented urban growth. Urban sprawl is becoming increasingly significant for inland Majorca, where intensive tourist resorts had not previously been developed. Urban growth distribution patterns are studied, firstly of suburban development both for tourists and for residential purposes, and secondly of exurban sprawl distribution for isolated dwellings. Recent regional planning relaxation guided by the free market economy and roll-with-it politics aims to promote this urban sprawl as a neoliberal answer to the current crisis of capitalism. In this way, a new model of capital investment in urban spatio-temporal fix, such as countryside villas with swimming pools, is shifting the urban model of this island. The paper identifies the site-specific spatial, temporal and planning pathways through which the actions and decisions of residential tourists and developers buying property in Majorca have driven urban sprawl and vice versa.
Keywords: urban sprawl; countryside villas; swimming pools; neoliberal planning; urban growth patterns; financiarization
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Hof, A.; Blázquez-Salom, M. The Linkages between Real Estate Tourism and Urban Sprawl in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). Land 2013, 2, 252-277.
Hof A, Blázquez-Salom M. The Linkages between Real Estate Tourism and Urban Sprawl in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). Land. 2013; 2(2):252-277.
Hof, Angela; Blázquez-Salom, Macià. 2013. "The Linkages between Real Estate Tourism and Urban Sprawl in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)." Land 2, no. 2: 252-277.