WIT Press

GIS analysis of the consequences of short-term urban planning in a mass tourism destination in Spain


Free (open access)


Volume 10 (2015), Issue 4



Page Range

499 - 519

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. L. MIRALLES & S. García-Ayllón


Urban planning is a lengthy and settled process, the results of which usually emerge after several years or even decades. Therefore, for a proper urban design of cities, it is necessary to use parameters that are able to predict and gauge the potential long-term behaviour of urban development. In the tourist towns of the Mediterranean coast, long-term design is often at odds with the generation of business profits in the short term. This paper presents the results of this phenomenon for an interesting case of a Spanish Mediterranean coastal city created from scratch in the 1960s and turned into a tourist destination, which today is hypertrophied. La Manga del Mar Menor in the Region of Murcia every year reaches a population of more than 250,000 people during the summer, with only a few thousand in winter. This crowded environment with an asymmetric behaviour submits annual progressive impoverishment in its economic return. This questionable profitability is the result of a misguided urban development, and its results are analysed through the evolution of the land market and the resulting urbanization in the last 50 years using a GIS methodology.


La Manga, mass tourism product, Mediterranean coast urban development, retrospective urban analysis, urban GIS analysis