Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.69

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.190
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.896

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 9, Issue 4


Can Naturbanization Promote Environmentally Friendly Built-Up Areas? A Comparison Between Cadí-Moixeró (Catalonia, Spain) and Comana (Romania) Natural Parks

Professor Antoni-Francesc Tulla
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dr. Ilinca-Valentina Stoica
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics, Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu 1, 01004 București, Romania
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Marta Pallarès-Blanch / Daniela Zamfir
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics, Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu 1, 01004 București, Romania
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/euco-2017-0039


The study compares the on-going naturbanization processes in and around two Natural Parks under the impact of newcomers, but also tourists from Barcelona and Bucharest and their metropolitan areas. The landscape value of these areas attracts the urban population, which contributes to local sustainable development process but also promotes construction. New businesses associated with rural multifunctionality and value-added activities related to environmental quality were identified. New residents have contributed introducing responsible patterns of consumer, ecoentrepreneurship by women, recovery of abandoned buildings and intensification of rural-urban relationships. Negative impacts such as intensive construction of second homes, with a lower use, in some areas around Cadí-Moixeró threaten biodiversity and habitat connectivity. Insufficient integration of environmental policies, particularly in the Comana wetlands, reduces the potential for rural renewal. Research methods included a review of the counterurbanization literature and the statistical data related to processes of naturbanization in both areas, along with the conduct of 30 structured interviews with key local actors in each area. Naturbanization still offers the potential to enhance local development; however, it is urgent to assess social perspectives in natural parks management in order to achieve environmentally friendly built-up areas.

Keywords: Built-up areas; Cadí-Moixeró NP; Comana NP; Naturbanization; Quality landscape; Barcelona; Bucharest


  • [1] Andersson, K., Eklund, E. & Lehtola, M. (2009). Farmers, businessmen or green entrepreneurs? Producers of new rural goods and services in rural areas under urban pressure. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 11(1), 29-43. DOI: 10.1080/15239080902774960.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [2] Badia, A., Tulla, A. F. & Vera, A. (2010). Los incendios en zonas de interfase urbano forestal. La integración de nuevos elementos em el diseño de la prevención. Scripta Nova. Revista electrónica de geografía y ciencias sociales 14(331).Google Scholar

  • [3] Baumgartner, D., Pütz, M. & Seidl, I. (2013). What Kind of Entrepreneurship Drives Regional Development in European Non-core Regions? A Literature Review on Empirical Entrepreneurship Research. European Planning Studies 21(8), 1095-1127. DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2012.722937.Google Scholar

  • [4] Bender, O. & Kanitscheider, S. (2012). New immigration into the European Alps: emerging research issues. Mountain Research and Development, 32(2), 235-241. DOI: 10.1659/MRDJOURNAL- D-12-00030.1.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [5] Berry, B. J. L. (1976). The counterurbanization process: Urban America since 1970. In Berry, B. J. L., ed., Urbanization and counterurbanization (pp.17-30). Beverly Hills, Ca: Sage.Google Scholar

  • [6] Best, S. (1989). The commodification of reality and the reality of commodification: Jean Baudrillard and post-modernism. In Wilson, J., ed., Current Perspectives in Social Theory (pp. 23-51). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar

  • [7] Bosworth, G. (2010). Commercial counterurbanisation: an emerging force in rural economic development. Environment and Planning A, 42(4), 966-981. DOI: 10.1068/a42206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [8] Champion, A. G. (1989). Counterurbanization: the conceptual and methodological challenge. In Champion, A. G., ed., Counterurbanization: The Changing Pace and Nature of Population Deconcentration (pp. 19-33). London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar

  • [9] Calvache, M. F., Prados, M. J. & Lourenço, J. M. (2016). Assessment of National Parks affected by naturbanization processes in Southern Europe. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 59(9), 1629-1655. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2015.1083416.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [10] Chape, S., Spalding, M. D. & Jenkins, M. D. (2008). The World’s Protected Areas: Status, Values and Prospects in the 21st Century. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • [11] Cloke, P. (1993). The countryside as commodity: new rural spaces for leisure. In Glyptis, S., ed., Leisure and the Environment. London: Bellhaven.Google Scholar

  • [12] Crofts, R. (2004). Linking Protected Areas to the Wider World: A Review of Approaches.” Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 6(2): 143-156. DOI: 10.1080/1523908042000320722.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [13] Domínguez García, M. D., Swagemakers, P., Bock, B. B. & Simón Fernández, X. (2012). Making a Living: Grassroots development initiatives, natural resource management and institutional support in Galicia, Spain. European Countryside 4(1), 17-30. DOI: 10.2478/v10091-012-0011-x.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14] Elbersen, B. S. (2001). Nature on the Doorstep. The Relationship between Protected Natural Areas and Residential Activity in the European Countryside. Wageningen: ALTERRA.Google Scholar

  • [15] Elbersen, B. (2005). Combining Nature Conservation and Residential Development in The Netherlands, England and Spain. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 48(1), 37-63. DOI: 10.1080/0964056042000308148.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [16] Elden, S. (2004). Understanding Henri Lefebvre. Theory and the Possible. London, New York: Continuum.Google Scholar

  • [17] Florent, L. & Toroimac, G. (2012). Tourist attractiveness of Ramsar wetlands. Case study: Lakes of Champagne Humide (France) and Comana NP (Romania). In Gâştescu, P., Lewis, J. W. & Breţcan. P., eds., Water resources and wetlands (pp. 530-535). Bucureşti: Editura Transversal.Google Scholar

  • [18] Gosnell, H. & Abrams, J. (2011). Amenity migration: diverse conceptualizations of drivers, socioeconomic dimensions, and emerging challenges. GeoJournal 76(4), 303-322. DOI: 10.1007/s10708-009-9295-4.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [19] Gurrutxaga, M. & Lozano, P. (2009). La Integración de la Conectividad Ecológica en los Instrumentos de Ordenación y Planificación Territorial: Una Revisión. Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles 49, 45-66.Google Scholar

  • [20] Halfacree, K. (2007). Trial by space for a ‘radical rural’: Introducing alternative localities, representations and lives. Journal of Rural Studies 23(2), 125-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2006.10.002.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [21] Halfacree, K. (2012). Heterolocal Identities? Counter-Urbanisation, Second Homes, and Rural Consumption in the Era of Mobilities. Population, Space and Place 18(2), 209-224. DOI: 10.1002/psp.665.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [22] Haugen, M. S. & Vik, J., (2008). Farmers as entrepreneurs: the case of farm-based tourism. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 6(3), 321-336. DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2008.01913.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [23] Horlings, L. G. & Marsden, T. K. (2014). Exploring the ‘New Rural Paradigm’ in Europe: Ecoeconomic strategies as a counterforce to the global competitiveness agenda. European Urban and Regional Studies 21(1), 4-20. DOI: 10.1177/0969776412441934.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [24] Ianoș, I., Cercleux, A. L. & Pintilii, R. (2010). Remarks on identity building of rural and urban communities in the Bucharest Metropolitan Area. Analele Universității din Oradea - Seria Geografie 20(2), 173-183.Google Scholar

  • [25] Ianoș, I. et al. (2014). București și zona sa metropolitană. Privire comparativă cu Sofia și Atena. București: Editura Universitară.Google Scholar

  • [26] Lefebvre, H. (1991). The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • [27] Lordkipanidze, M., Brezet, H. & Backman, M. (2005). The entrepreneurship factor in sustainable tourism development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13(8), 787-798. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.02.043.Google Scholar

  • [28] Marsden, T. (2003). The condition of rural sustainability: issues in the governance of rural space in Europe. In Kasimis, Ch. & Stathakis, G., eds., The Reform of the CAP and Rural Development in Southern Europe (p. 19), Aldershot: Ashgate Publishers.Google Scholar

  • [29] McConville, A., Underwood, E., Green, S. & Kettunen, M. (2014). Planning and implementing green infrastructure on a regional level in Romania Ecological restoration of Comana wetlands in Giurgiu County in Financing Natura 2000 in 2014-2020. In Kettunen, M. & Torkler, P, eds., Guidance Handbook, Part II - case studies (pp. 130-132). Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union. DOI: 10.2779/19708.ml.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [30] Marull, J., Pino, J., Tello, E. & Cordobilla, M. J. (2010). Social Metabolism, Landscape Change and Land-Use Planning in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region. Land Use Policy 27(2), 497-510. DOI:10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.07.004.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [31] Mitchell, C. J. A. (2004). Making sense of counterurbanization. Journal of Rural Studies 20(1), 15-34. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(03)00031-7.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [32] Morris, C. & Kirwan, J. (2011). Ecological embeddedness: aninterrogation and refinement of the concept within the context of alternative food networks in the UK. Journal of Rural Studies, 27(3), 322-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.03.004.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [33] Müller, D. K. & Marjavaara, R. (2012). From Second Home to Primary Residence: Migration towards recreational properties in Sweden 1991-2005. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 103(1), 53-68. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9663.2011.00674.x.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [34] Muñoz, F. (2007). La producción residencial de baja densidad en la provincia de Barcelona. In Indovina, F., ed., La ciudad de baja densidad: Lógicas, gestión y contención. Barcelona: Diputación de Barcelona.Google Scholar

  • [35] Muñoz, F., ed. (2011). Estratègies vers la ciutat de baixa densitat: de la contenció a la gestió. Barcelona: Col. Estudis, Diputació de Barcelona.Google Scholar

  • [36] Nel·lo Comon, O. (2001). Ciutat de ciutats. Reflexió sobre el procés d’urbanització a Catalonia. Barcelona: Editorial Empuries.Google Scholar

  • [37] Nel·lo Comon, O. (2011). Estrategias para la contención y gestión de las urbanizaciones de baja densidad en Cataluña. Ciudad y Territorio: Estudios Territoriales, 43(167), 81-98.Google Scholar

  • [38] Norris, M., Paris, C. & Winston, N. (2010). Second homes within Irish housing booms and busts: North - South comparisons, contrasts, and debates. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28(4), 666-680. DOI: 10.1068/c08134.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [39] Pallarès-Barberà, M., Tulla, A. F., Vera, A. (2005). Spatial loyalty and territorial embeddedness in the multi-sector clustering of the Berguedà region in Catalonia (Spain). Geoforum, 35(5), 635-649. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2004.03.004.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [40] Pallarès-Blanch, M. (2012). Natural Protected Areas and Rural/Local Development: A Sustainable Strategy in Remote Areas. Urbani izziv 23 (Suppl. 2), 93-96. DOI: 10.5379/urbani-izziv-en-2012-23-supplement-2-007.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [41] Pallarès-Blanch, M., Prados, M. J., Tulla, A. F. (2014). Naturbanization and Urban - Rural dynamics in Spain: Case study of new rural landscapes in Andalusia and Catalonia. European Countryside 6(2), 1-31. DOI: 10.2478/euco-2014-0008.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [42] Pallarès-Blanch, M. (2015). Women's eco-entrepreneurship: a possible pathway towards community resilience? Ager 18, 65-89. DOI: 10.4422/ager.2015.03.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [43] Pallarès-Blanch, M., Tulla, A. F., Vera, A. (2015). Environmental capital and women’s entrepreneurship: A sustainable local development approach. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 10(3), 133-146.Google Scholar

  • [44] Paniagua, A. (2002). Urban-rural migration, tourism entrepreneurs and rural restructuring in Spain. Tourism geographies 4(4), 349-371. DOI: 10.1080/14616680210158128.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [45] Paniagua, A. (2008). The environmental dimension in the constitution of new social groups in an extremely depopulated rural area of Spain (Soria). Land Use Policy 25(1), 17-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2007.02.001.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [46] Pătroescu, M., Vânău, G., Niță, M. R., Iojă, C. & Iojă, A. (2011). Land use change in the Bucharest Metropolitan Area and its impacts on the quality of the environment in residential developments. Forum Geografic 10(1), 177-186. DOI: 10.5775/fg.2067-4635.2011.036.i.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [47] Picu, V. M. (2011). Contributii la monografia comunei si Manastirii Comana. Tulsa, OK: Total Publishing.Google Scholar

  • [48] Popescu, C. & Gavriş, A. (2012). The impact of the economic crisis in the IT&C Industry - Evidence from Bucharest. Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 4(1), 35-49.Google Scholar

  • [49] Prados, M. J. (2009). Conceptual and methodological framework of naturbanization. In Prados, M. J.,ed., Naturbanization: New identities and processes for rural-natural areas (pp.11-28). London: Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar

  • [50] Prados, M. J. & del Valle, C. (2010). Naturbanización y cambios en la población de los espacios naturales de Doñana y Sierra Nevada. Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica 56(3), 437-462.Google Scholar

  • [51] Sonderegger, R. & Bätzing, W. (2013). Second homes in the Alpine Region. Journal of Alpine Research/Revue de Géographie Alpine. Hors-Série. DOI: 10.4000/rga.2511.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [52] Schaper, M. (2005). Understanding the green entrepreneur. In Schaper, M., ed., Making Ecopreneurs: Developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship (pp. 3-12). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar

  • [53] Shucksmith, M., Cameron, S., Merridew, T. & Pichler, F. (2009). Urban-rural differences in quality of life across the European Union. Regional Studies 43(10), 1275-1289. DOI: 10.1080/00343400802378750.Google Scholar

  • [54] Solana, A. M. (2010). Rural Gentrification in Catalonia, Spain? A Case Study of Migration, Social Change and Conflicts in the Empordanet area. Geoforum 41(3), 508-517. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2010.01.005.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [55] Tălângă, C., Zamfir, D. & Stoica, I. V. (2011). Planification du territoire dans le context européen et national. In Ianoş, I., Popa, N. & Cercleux, A. L., ed., Éléments de planification territoriale et développement régional. Bucureşti: Editura Universitară.Google Scholar

  • [56] Tulla, A.-F., Pallarès-Barberà, M. & Vera, A. (2009). Naturbanization and local development in the mountain areas of the Catalan Pyrenees. In Prados, M. J., ed., Naturbanization: New identities and processes for rural-natural areas (pp. 75-92), London: Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar

  • [57] Ventura, F., Milone, P. & Van der Ploeg, J. D. (2010). Understanding rural development dynamics. In Ventura, F. & Milone, P., eds., Networking the Rural. The future of green regions in Europe (pp. 1-29). Assen: Royal Van Gorcum.Google Scholar

  • [58] Volery, T. (2002). Ecopreneurship: Rationale, current issues and future challenges. In Fueglistaller, U., Volery, T. & Weber, W., eds., Radical Change in the World - will SMEs Soar or Crash? (pp. 541-553). St. Gallen: KMU HSG.Google Scholar

  • [59] Woods, M. (2011). Rural geography: Processes, responses and experiences in rural restructuring. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar

  • [60] Comana NP Administration, http://www.comanaparc.ro/.Google Scholar

  • [61] Espon GROSEE Project (2013). Growth Poles in South East Europe, Scientific Report, ESPON & University of Bucharest, Bucharest.Google Scholar

  • [62] Eurostat, last update 07.04.1.Google Scholar

  • [63] IDESCAT (2015). Institut d’Estadística de Catalonia, Generalitat de Catalonia, Barcelona.Google Scholar

  • [64] INE (2015). Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Gobierno de españa, Madrid.Google Scholar

  • [65] Management Plan of the Comana NP (2013), Comana NP Administration, available at http://comanaparc.ro/docum/continut.pdf.Google Scholar

  • [66] Romanian National Institute of Statistics, http://www.insse.ro. Google Scholar

  • [67] Obra Social la Caixa (2015). Impacte econòmic i social dels Espais Naturals Protegits de Catalunya. Obra Social la Caixa report. https://obrasociallacaixa.org/documents/10280/586356/impacto_economico_y_social_espacios_naturales_protegidos_catalunya_metodologico_ca.pdf/4fc7f6e0-0a48-49f1-84a3-285270d90baGoogle Scholar

  • [68] Peicea D. (2013a). Green infrastructure case study template. Comana wetlands, available at http://www.ceeweb.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/11/GI_case_study_Romania_Comana_wetlan ds. pdf.Google Scholar

  • [69] Peicea D. (2013b) Ecological restoration of Comana wetland, Giurgiu County, available at http://www.posmediu.ro/upload/pages/Prezentare%20REBACO.pdf.Google Scholar

  • [70] Visiting Strategy of the Comana NP (2011), Comana NP Administration, available at http://comanaparc.ro/docum/Strategia_vizitare.pdf.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-01-13

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: European Countryside, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 679–708, ISSN (Online) 1803-8417, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/euco-2017-0039.

Export Citation

© by Antoni-Francesc Tulla. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in