Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Uninhabited territories: contemporary strategies to recover and preserve abandoned settlements and their areas of influence in Altoaragon
Sixto Marin, Alejandro Navarro

Last modified: 11-05-2018


The late but accelerated industrialization of our country in the early 1900’s resulted in a polarization of the population movements: while certain cities increased exponentially their number of inhabitants, an important percentage of the territory gradually experienced a consequent depopulation. Whereas the effects of the former phenomenon in the cities have been deeply examined, the impact of the latter in the territory is a relatively unexplored subject, thus full of possibilities. In some areas, the rural exodus was so sudden that the development of their pre-industrial residential schemes froze-up and, thus, the high-value cultural landscape that they take part in remained almost unaltered until today. Most of these abandoned settlements had an intense and balanced relationship with their surroundings. Their location, morphology and the links among them were built upon an environmental friendly and resource efficient basis. This study will focus on the sustainable anthropization of the territory that was performed by these villages, in order to value them as intangible assets and to identify the most feasible strategies to their recovery. As case study, in Altoaragon, we can find no less than 150 abandoned settlements and, in the same territory, almost 30 villages that have been recovered in the last 30 years. Through a comparative study of the latter, we seek to develop generic strategies to help identify, among the former, those settlements or abandoned areas with more potential,  and to draw the basic guidelines to restore and protect the pre-industrial stage as a whole.

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