THE rate of urbanization of Spain’s coastal land has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to environmental organization Greenpeace.
Despite the introduction of a law in 1988 intended to limit the development along its shores, the property boom throughout the 1990s led to a mass production of resorts, hotels and holiday homes along the Spanish coast, until the financial crash in 2008.
As the world’s second tourist hotspot after France, during the boom coastal laws were often worked around whilst officials turned a blind eye to sprouting buildings.
Since the Spanish economy rebounded, the depletion of the Spanish coastline resumed. As a result, 530,000 hectares of the coast has now been built upon, compared to 240,000 hectares in 1988.
According to the Greenpeace report, over 90% of the first 500 meters of the majestic Marbella coastline has been built upon, whilst the northeastern region of Catalunya has lost a huge 26.4% of its coast to urbanization.
Greenpeace representative in charge of coastal issues, Paloma Nuche, told a Barcelona news conference discussing the condition of Spanish coastal areas: “The occupation of the coast has been massive and this leaves a legacy of a saturated coast”.
In a bid to discourage this excessive urbanization, Spain’s Supreme Court has ordered that the 21-story Azata Del Sol complex in Almeria should be torn down.