Will discuss the urban development of the city and its agglomeration, and furthermore the state of the local property market in the context of the financial crisis in Spain.
1. The urban development in Seville
Seville, the capital of Andalucía, beneficiated of a great history - when the gold from South America which directly arrived to Seville. It was a time ofwealth for the city, and many monuments and houses were built in this epoque, and now form a part of the heritage of the city. It is both, a source of wealth for the city, with tourism and high prices of many plots of land, but also a constraint for some urbanism projects. More recently in the 60’s, there were public subsidies to create industrial and residential zones in the city. The universalexposition of 1992 in Seville also played a very important role in the setting up of the actual urban configuration of the city, with the construction of many infrastructures like the science and technologic park of the Cartuja, the train station Santa Justa, etc. The big public investments and the improvement of the city were led do a fast-growing of the population in this period. Now Seville has toface the crisis of the international markets as well as the particular problems of Spain and Andalusia.
Moreover, to understand the urban development of Seville it is necessary to consider a larger scale, the agglomeration, which includes many other smaller cities: 46 to be exact. Indeed, Seville is the regional capital of Andalusia, so its urban organization responds to this reality, and goespast its administrative frontiers. However, it is not really the typical case of a big city that polarizes its region like Paris or London. The differences of size and power can explain it in a first attempt. But equally there is a politic will to impeach it, and to conserve a regional balance between the main city (Seville) and the metropolitan area. As it will explain as well, this wishing tomaintain the territorial balance guides the urban development of the area.
Before discussing the urban development of Seville, it is necessary to present the main characteristics of its urban structure, to understand how and why the strategic choices have been made. It can take the form of a SWOT diagram.
Strengths -Strategic situation of crossroads of the city: -South-North, the Guadalquivirvalley -East-West, to join 2 productive areas on the 2 sides of the river; -identity of the city: culture, heritage, production (olive, ceramic, aeronautic…). Opportunities -New fast ways of transport, for better regional links (high speed train Madrid-Seville, motorways A4 and A92); -good situation of big industrial zones which just need more connections.
Weaknesses -An insufficient transportnetwork; -Only ¾ of the industrial areas are used, and most of them have problems of access and of quality.
Threads -It is the inflation of the ground and housing, which becomes more a capital investment and let out the population; -The urban sprawl, which causes problems of traffic jams in the city and a higher consume of energy.
The question of the urban mobility is very important now forthe public policies. There are 2 scales of action: at first Seville needs a better connection with the region, the country and Europe. Located in the South of Spain, it is far from the economic centres of the EU. Therefore high speed train lines have been developed, to connect for example Seville and Granada, Cadiz and Huelva, but also the capital Madrid. Seville has the ambition to enforce itsstrategic position as a communication knot. This is the condition of the future development of the city, to attract possible investors. Moreover Seville benefits of the presence of an international airport, and also of a big industrial and trade port, which are like two knots in the economy of the agglomeration. The port especially is a very important piece in the urban development of Seville: it...