Urban planning, as well as the type of city in which it takes place and is promoted, has changed a lot in Spanish cities since the return to democratically elected municipal governments in 1979. This work seeks to characterise the transformation that urban planning has undergone over the last 40 years. It sets out to do this by studying the cases of two medium-sized Catalan cities, their underlying city models, and the ways in which planning has been defined and managed in Catalonia. All of this was undertaken through a bibliographic and documentary analysis of the approved planning documents, which was accompanied by a study of the population dynamics and building cycles. In Spain, urban planning has been one of the instruments used to catalyse expectations for economic growth based on land consumption through urbanisation. Within this context, planning has progressed from fulfilling an initial requirement to regulate activities and urban growth (1979–1991) to facilitating urban development through a clearly expansive and speculative form of neoliberal urbanism (1993–2007) and, finally, to assuming a form in which these previous tendencies coexist with certain new orientations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited