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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103670

In-Between Sprawl and Neo-Rurality: Sparse Settlements and the Evolution of Socio-Demographic Local Context in a Mediterranean Region

1
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics, University of Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano, I-85100 Potenza, Italy
2
Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Building B, Campus UAB, ES-08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Barcelona, Spain
3
Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis, 5, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy
4
Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, ES-46010 Valencia, Spain
5
Council of Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Centre for Forestry and Wood, Viale S. Margherita 80, I-52100 Arezzo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
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Abstract

Dispersed urbanization during the last half century has transformed metropolitan regions into well-connected, low-density residential areas. However, this kind of urbanization has changed irreversibly the traditional rural landscape around cities, leading to a new definition of ‘rurality’. The present work discusses the intimate relationship between urban sprawl and new forms of rurality. Considering economic downturns and the possible impact on landscape transformations, our study focuses on a representative Mediterranean case of urban sprawl (the metropolitan region of Athens, Greece). In this area, urban settlements expanded rapidly into fringe land, producing relevant socio-demographic transformations that have determined uneven changes in rural landscapes. A spatially-explicit investigation of local-scale dynamics that characterize population residing in sparse settlements over a long time period (1961–2011)—encompassing distinct phases of urban growth and rural development—is relevant for analysis of local changes in the relationship between sprawl and new forms of rurality. A new concept of ‘rurality’—adapting to rapidly-evolving, mixed rural/peri-urban contexts—require reframing the relationship between rural landscapes, scattered settlements, economic cycles and socio-demographic aspects, in the light of a truly sustainable development of local territories. View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape; olive; metropolitan area; sustainable land management landscape; olive; metropolitan area; sustainable land management
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Salvia, R.; Serra, P.; Zambon, I.; Cecchini, M.; Salvati, L. In-Between Sprawl and Neo-Rurality: Sparse Settlements and the Evolution of Socio-Demographic Local Context in a Mediterranean Region. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3670.

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