The study investigates the socio-economic changes in Catalan villages located
between 40 and 115 kilometres from Barcelona.
The counter-urbanisation phenomenon driven by high property
prices in Barcelona has led to the movement of people back into villages in the
surrounding region. Can Cloke's index of rurality be applied to these villages?
Barcelona's more remote rural areas: villages in decline?
The Cloke model suggests that counter-urbanisation may produce
the following effects in rural settlements:
1. Suburbanised or Dormitory Village
A village that is becoming more urban in its character located
near to Barcelona. Often this type of village will have a rural atmosphere,
which is the sort of environment the commuters are looking for.
2. Original Village
The unadulterated villages tend to be found at an intermediate
distance between urban areas. They are too far to commute from with ease but not
so far as to become isolated. This sort of village maintains much of its
3. Second Home Village
If a more isolated village is found to be in a Natural Park or
area of outstanding natural beauty it can become a village of second homes.
Affluent city dwellers will often buy second homes in such locations to use on
the weekends or during holidays; this has the effect of raising the local house
prices, forcing the younger generations especially out of the area.
4. Village in Decline
If a village is isolated and inaccessible it is likely to go
into a downward spiral. As the younger generations leave to find work, there is
a reduced need for services, with fewer services people leave and so on.
The methodology utilised ensures that students are able to
study up to ten villages during the day, which may include the use of transects
and questionnaires. Our staff assist students with translation as necessary.