Urban sprawl is eroding the traditionally compact, diverse, and mixed Southern European cities. Besides the rise in land and energy consumption, the expansion of low density urban forms also affects water, a critical resource in the region. This study examines garden watering in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona in order to illustrate the importance of outdoor water use in the urbanization process, and, following the insights provided by urban political ecology, to highlight the differences in garden types and water spending according to power relations derived from income levels. Results indicate that, generally, higher income households prefer and can afford more water-consuming Atlantic gardens whereas lower income households have to resort to more climate-adapted species. These differences produce in turn different urban natures based on who can and who cannot afford water costs. Copyright © 2005 by V. H. Winston & Son, Inc. All rights reserved.
- Garden irrigation
- Income differences