The Huerta Agricultural Landscape in the Spanish Mediterranean Arc: One Landscape, Two Perspectives, Three Specific Huertas | Land Portal
Land Journal Volume 9 Issue 11 cover image

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Date of publication: 
November 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The Huerta is recognised as one of the 13 specific agricultural landscapes in Europe, present in only three Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Italy, and Greece. In the case of Spain, three areas fall within the established Huerta agricultural classification: the Huertas de Valencia, Murcia, and Vega Baja. While all of them share common landscape features, each Huerta has distinguishing singularities which are approached through two perspectives: firstly, the structural tangible elements, related to functional networks—water distribution, pathways networks, settlement patterns, and the agricultural production system; and secondly, the role of the intangible components—connotations of the word Huerta, water management, canal and path upkeep rules, and the administration of these territories. The analysis of the tangible elements and intangible components in the three Spanish Huertas shows these territories as complex and balanced systems that have historically counterbalanced the environmental drawbacks in one of the most arid European regions. Despite being a highly appreciated environmental and productive asset, these Huertas are under intense pressure from urban development in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. This study shows Huertas’ uniqueness through their historical role in the territorial planning and management strategies at the local level, finally depicting Huertas as a present strategical opportunity for reaching environmental goals in peri-urban areas.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Martí, Pablo
García-Mayor, Clara


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