'Cement wall' growing along Spanish coast: report
More than 25 percent of the Mediterranean coast is covered by concrete buildings which cater to tourism needs over the past few years.25 November 2008
MADRID – More than a quarter of Spain's Mediterranean coast is now under concrete after a construction boom to meet the demands of mass tourism, according to a study quoted by a Spanish newspaper Monday.
Spain has "created a cement wall along the coast that is empty most of the year," Carolina de Carvalho, a researcher at the environment ministry's institute for sustainable development, was quoted as saying by El Pais newspaper.
It said 27.5 percent of the Mediterranean coast is now built on, compared with 22 percent five years ago and just 16 percent in 1987.
In the eastern region of Valencia and the Atlantic province of Huelva in the southwest about 50 percent of the land two kilometres from the sea is covered by urban sprawl.
"In just six years, the area under concrete increased by 23 percent along the Mediterranean and 19 percent along the Atlantic" coast, including the northern region of Cantabria, El Pais said.
If the rate of construction continued, by 2071 the entire Mediterranean coast would be urbanised within two kilometres of the sea, the study said.
The government has taken measures to reverse the trend, buying up coastal land and even ordering the demolition of some buildings.
[AFP / Expatica]