Enhancing rural communities by spatial planning: Tierra de Campos (Spain)

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Submission Summary
The rural environment in a large part of inland Spain, beyond the coast and the Madrid metropolis, as in other regions of the world, is today marked by depopulation and conditioned by a debate that seems more attentive to the problem itself than to viable solutions. Apart from well-intentioned policies, as in the EU, where the emphasis is on promoting new relationships between the city and the countryside, the reality is that rural environment is languishing. The political and cultural confusion between rural and agrarian milieus leads to a productivist vision of an exploitative economy of the territory and a conservationist approach to the rural. Magnaghi almost violently, wrote, "the conservation of the landscape is equivalent to its destruction inasmuch as it leads to the petrification of its actors" (Alberto Magnaghi, 2000, "Il Progetto locale”). Could it be possible to reconsider the local project with autonomy and free from extractive interests? In rural areas dominates the “tyranny of small decisions”, in terms of Alfred Kahn (1966), Nobel of Economy, transferred to ecology by E. W. Odum (1982). In fact, for some time, the economy has been rethinking the collaborative management of common goods within a broader framework of values (Elinor Ostrom, 2000; Mariana Mazzucato, 2011). In this framework of redefining the rural and of approaches that prioritize sustainable development supported by local qualities, the rural emerges in its potential as a habitat for the future (LG Horling & TK Marsden, 2014, “Exploring the 'New Rural Paradigm 'in Europe"). The rural, thought of as a resilient environment, (Adam-Hernández & Harteisen, 2019, “A Proposed Framework for Rural Resilience”) requires a review of conventional planning applied to less populated regions. The diversity of contemporary rurality requires the redefinition of its most determining variables (Mark Scott et al., Edrs., 2019, “The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning”), from social change and demands of inclusion, to rethinking the landscape transformation, its sustainability and resilience in front of Climate Change, its territorial resources, also the roles of the public sector and the market in a changing rural environment in territorial governance. The paper presents the results of two research projects carried out on the rural environment of Castile (Spain), with an innovative reading of landscape architecture and built environment. Thanks to an operational diagnosis, planning and intervention strategies are proposed at various scales with an integrated approach, supported by the structure of local landscape.
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4: Resilience and adaptability. Al-Waha: promoting glocal solutions
Full Professor
University of Valladolid (Spain)
Assistant Professor
University of Valladolid

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