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LoCa Studio Architects Barcelona



City-Port interfaces are administrative and physical limits, which are in a continuous process of conversion. Interests and power capacity emerge from both sides of the border on the definition of the fringe and the land transformation process towards new uses. The Port of Tarragona, among the five biggest Spanish ports by total cargo (Puertos del Estado, 2015) is in a comfortable market and administrative position. Its surface, trading capacity and finance turnover provides the Port with a privileged scenario to negotiate with its urban counterpart.


Unlike Barcelona, the urban demand for taking possession of the waterfront does not represent an apparent risk for port operations in the interface. The absence of urban natural boundaries inland, the limited urban scale (Tarragona, 135,954 inhabitants. in 2012) and the low urban density (2.316,60 inhabitants per km² in 2012) are relevant factors that could determine the low real estate prices along the city-port fringe (IDESCAT, 2012). Contrary to what could be expected, land prices within the Port of Tarragona urban part are not higher within the maritime domains. Unlike its biggest competitor, the Port of Barcelona, this fact is foreseen as the main cause of delaying historical urban waterfront plans.


This study aims to analyze the process of land conversions to urban uses along the Tarragona city-port interface through the study of land prices. By withstanding land values from administrative landscapes, market forces and dynamics emerge to emphasize hidden interests. Focusing on the recent period of port and urban growth (1982-2014) the sequence of land transformation will be evaluated. Emphasis is placed on finding the stage when land conversions take place, providing valuable information to urban and port boards about the management and improvement of declining, segregated urban areas and inoperative port zones. The goal is to improve their condition by enhancing common trust and collaboration among the multiple stakeholders involved.

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in International Conference on Regional Science​

Location: Tarragona, Spain

Year: 2015

Authors: Daniel Lorenzo ,Josep-Maria Arauzo Carod, Ernest Ferrè

Department:  Unitat Predepartamental d’Arquitectura

CREIP-QURE, Department of Economics

University​:  Universitat Rovira i Virgili

LoCa Studio Architects Barcelona
LoCa Studio Architects Barcelona
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