Comunicación presentada en ENHR Conference: Housing in an expanding Europe, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2-5 July 2006Over the last years most of the Spanish mediterranean coast undergoes an enormous urban growth, mainly linked to the tourist and real state sectors. Urbanization process is managed without any citizen participation and it’s causing irreparable environmental damages. Economic globalization has affected strongly the real estate investments. Housing sector growth in the Mediterranean tourist areas cannot be understood taking into account only the Spanish investments. People from Britain, Germany and other Western European countries acquire thousands of new built housing units each year, fuelling a speculative dynamic supported by the local and regional authorities. Town planning legislation has been reformed in order to make the work of developers easier. The paper analyses the evolution of one of the most important Spanish tourist territories: the Alicante coast (Costa Blanca). Located in the South East of the Iberian Peninsula, this region has undergone a dramatic demographic and economic growth, mainly based in the tourist and real state industries. From a socio-spatial point of view, the resulting territory is severely segregated. Changes caused by this kind of urban development have affected deeply the local population: for instance, housing prices have risen spectacularly and, as a consequence, housing has become on of the most important problems for several social groups (young people, economic immigrants, etc)
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