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Commentary

Toward a New Urban Cycle? A Closer Look to Sprawl, Demographic Transitions and the Environment in Europe

1
Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Via Vitaliano Brancati 48, I-00144 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Economics and Law, University of Macerata, Via Armaroli 43, I-62100 Macerata, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy
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Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics, University of Basilicata, Via dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, I-85100 Potenza, Italy
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Departamento de Economia y Ciencias Sociales, Universitat Politècnica de València, Cami de Vera S/N, ES-46022 València, Spain
6
Department of Overland Communication Ways, Foundation and Cadastral Survey, Politehnica University of Timisoara, 1A I. Curea Street, 300224 Timisoara, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jefferey M. Sellers
Land 2021, 10(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020127
Received: 27 December 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
Urban growth is a largely debated issue in social science. Specific forms of metropolitan expansion—including sprawl—involve multiple and fascinating research dimensions, making mixed (quali-quantitative) analysis of this phenomenon particularly complex and challenging at the same time. Urban sprawl has attracting the attention of multidisciplinary studies defining nature, dynamics, and consequences that dispersed low-density settlements are having on biophysical and socioeconomic contexts worldwide. The present commentary provides a brief overview on nature and implications of the latent relationship between sprawl, demographic dynamics, and background socio-environmental contexts with special focus on Europe. Empirical evidence supports the idea that spatial planning should cope more effectively with the increasing environmental and socioeconomic exposure of European regions to sprawl and demographic transitions, being progressively far away from a traditional urban cycle with sequential waves of urbanization, suburbanization, counter-urbanization, and re-urbanization. Growing socio-ecological vulnerability of metropolitan regions was evaluated based on a literature review demonstrating how a better comprehension of the intimate linkage between long-term demographic dynamics and urban cycles is necessary to inform fine-tuned policies controlling sprawl and promoting a sustainable management of peri-urban land. View Full-Text
Keywords: metropolitan growth; local context; social dynamics; population trends; indicators; Europe metropolitan growth; local context; social dynamics; population trends; indicators; Europe
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MDPI and ACS Style

Smiraglia, D.; Salvati, L.; Egidi, G.; Salvia, R.; Giménez-Morera, A.; Halbac-Cotoara-Zamfir, R. Toward a New Urban Cycle? A Closer Look to Sprawl, Demographic Transitions and the Environment in Europe. Land 2021, 10, 127. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020127

AMA Style

Smiraglia D, Salvati L, Egidi G, Salvia R, Giménez-Morera A, Halbac-Cotoara-Zamfir R. Toward a New Urban Cycle? A Closer Look to Sprawl, Demographic Transitions and the Environment in Europe. Land. 2021; 10(2):127. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020127

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smiraglia, Daniela; Salvati, Luca; Egidi, Gianluca; Salvia, Rosanna; Giménez-Morera, Antonio; Halbac-Cotoara-Zamfir, Rares. 2021. "Toward a New Urban Cycle? A Closer Look to Sprawl, Demographic Transitions and the Environment in Europe" Land 10, no. 2: 127. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020127

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