Urbanization, Industrial Development and Environmental Externalities: Discussing the Impact of Economic Cycles on a Local Community
A new relationship among urbanization, industrial development and economic externalities has emerged in the last decades, shading progressively the role of urban-rural gradients in regional studies. Addressing complex realities and increasingly debated regional issues, bio-regional approaches have acquired a strong interest in recent years. The present study focused on a case study in Greece (Thriasio Plain) representative of complex socio-ecological systems with a long industrial tradition and transforming relationships between urban and rural areas. Thriasio Plain has been characterized by spontaneous development of various economic activities with increasing impact on a fragile environment dominated by Mediterranean-type vegetation, poor soils and arid climate. Industrialization of the area and the related land-use changes were realized through a sequence of official revisions of zoning plans. By defining a consistent set of indicators (Ecosystems and Air Quality Stress Indices), the present work aims at investigating recent environmental dynamics typical of Mediterranean agro-urban outskirts, discussing suitable practices and projects for a bioregional recovery of degraded areas.
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