The economic changes (among them the continuous and exponential increase of the price of housing), the social changes (e.g. the growth of the phenomena of urban segregation and residential exclusion), the territorial changes ( e.g. the process in progress of urban sprawl) and the demographic changes (for example, the spectacular increase of immigration in the last years) associated with the ongoing process of globalization are modifying dramatically urban spaces in Spain and are challenging Public Administrations and Public Law.

Social exclusion is visible increasingly in a worrisome urban segregation, with effects in relation to the concentration of immigrant origin students in certain schools, in relation to some phenomena of NIMBY (acronym of the expression Not In My Back Yard) regarding some kinds of buildings (clear examples are the cases of some places of worship and social housing). All this aspects are in connection with an increasing mobility and a different use of space and an increase of antisocial behavior, crime and fear of crime and urban violence. All those phenomena could lead us to a social break which is already visible clearly in other societies like the French or the American.

The urban sustainable development and the social and territorial cohesion in Spain will only be possible through a corrective public intervention of the market failures guided by a suitable, integrated legal framework with rules and principles belonging to Land Use Law, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law or Private Law, for example, in accordance with the data given by serious urban, economic and social analysis.

Thus, it is important to take into account analyses coming from several social sciences that can help the elaboration and application of the Law (in accordance with the current social reality, according to the requirements of article 3.1 of our Civil Code). Those elements become fundamental in order to assure the effectiveness of several involved constitutional rights (for example, equality, arts. 9.2 and 14, housing and urban environment, arts. 45 and 47, education, art. 27 or religious freedom, art. 16, the later developed in the worship places placed in the territory). They are important too to avoid urban segregation which is specially visible in the territory in the extreme case of urban ghettos with an economic and ethnic component.

The study of all those aspects should be developed without forgetting the role of territorial and urban planning. Moreover, from the point of view of territorial organization it is necessary to research the role of public structures of higher level (for example, metropolitan areas) in relation to the protection of public interests beyond the local sphere which are connected to the existence of housing subjected to public protection and of public facilities distributed in the territory in a balanced way.

Goals:

  1. The study of the aspects susceptible of improvements in the current Spanish legal system. The aim of the research is to detect the existing legal loopholes with the help of several social sciences (like for example the Economy) and using the reference of other foreigners legal frameworks more advanced in that field.

  2. The proposal of legal improvements, offering viable solutions from the perspective of these several social sciences, in accordance with the experiences existing in other countries (EE.UU, Italy, France and United Kingdom, mainly). The study of legal solutions at the organizational legal that could allow the suitable development of urban public policies able of protecting public interests beyond the local level.