WIT Press

Environmental and territorial planning on coastal metropolitan areas. A methodological proposal for Valencia (Spain)


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2019), Issue 1



Page Range

1 - 16

Paper DOI



WIT Press


José Luis Miralles i Garcia


Currently, the mature metropolitan areas have special characteristics. on the one hand, its population is stabilized or has small growths. However, on the other hand, the artificial land increases. these areas present new dynamics in the last period: urban sprawl, transformation of rural or natural areas to artificial lands, increase of mobility, land demands for new uses, abandonment and degradation of con- solidated urban land. this new reality needs a new vision to plan and manage these areas. particularly, the new problems are more strong in coastal metropolitan areas because of in these areas the conflicts between territorial uses are very intensed. valència is a Spanish city in the mediterranean coast. the mediterranean coast of valència, where is its metropolitan area, had a period of economic expansion from 1997 to 2007 and is currently in the economic crisis period initiated in 2008. the metropolitan area of valència includes a large list of very different uses with its own dynamics, often contradictory among them. For exemple, there is an important touristic activity in beaches next to protected areas as the historical agricultural land named “Horta” or the natural park of l’albufera. the urban expansion for differents urban uses (big transport infrastructures, touristic activities, entertainement activities, sea port expansion, ...) is contradictory to the conservation of these natural resources in open spaces. recently, the european union developed the concept of green infrastructure in order to guarantee the natural Capital including urban areas. this article has an objective to analyse the current dynamics in the metropolitan area of valencia and design a planning process where environmental issues are essential and determinant, keeping in mind governance issues.


green infrastructure, landscape and urban planning, regional planning, strategic environmental assessment.