A Closer Look to Processes of Territorial Transformations in Europe: Urbanization, Agricultural Intensification and Land Abandonment

  • Carlo RegaEmail author
Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)


Here we examine more in detail how the general processes described in the previous chapter have been developing in Europe and specifically in the European Union. Account is given of recent literature that has examined the main processes of landscape transformation in the EU: relentless urban expansion, agricultural intensification, and agricultural land abandonment. These processes are analysed and interpreted using the conceptual tools developed in the previous chapter. In Europe, urban growth rate exceeding population growth rate is linked to the ongoing processes of neo-liberalization of spatial planning, drawing from extensive empirical evidence from literature. Similarly, agricultural intensification and land abandonment are examined as two interlinked aspects of a joint process of reconfiguration of space under the contemporary dominating economic paradigm. The relevance for spatial planning of these processes is discussed and the necessity to bring back the politics in what has been termed the post-political planning is argued.


Urbanization Urban expansion Suburbanization Agricultural intensification Land abandonment Neo-liberalization of planning Post-political planning 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITERAS - Research Centre for Sustainability and Territorial InnovationBariItaly

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