Urban development

Demographic pressures are threatening to destroy the unique environment of the Canary Islands. Not only is the local population rising but the archipeligo also has to deal with around 12 million tourists a year! The situation is getting close to breaking point, being particularly grave in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and La Palma.

Environmental pressure on the land comes from all sides, not least from a public administration hell-bent on massive projects that are out of all proportion to the size of the islands - airports, motorways, ports, industrial estates, you name it. But then relations between the construction industry and politicians have always been particularly cosy in Spain.

Corporate interests also do their damnedest to destroy the environment, building large tourist complexes right down to the shoreline. Individuals put in their two-pennyworth by illegally putting up miserable dwellings without planning permision. As a result, the landscape is littered with concrete pillars and half-finished breeze-block walls. The grim picture is rounded off by the politicians' zest for asphalting roads just before the elections, the acres of polythene sheeting covering the islands' banana plantations, and water-wasting golf courses for the tourists. The chances are that the islands will simply run out of land on which to build.

ATAN examines the public administration's monster projects as these have an enormous impact on the environment and waste millions of Euros in taxpayers' money. However, sometimes the sheer mismanagement (some might say corruption) of local politicians surprises even us.

This section invites you to help us ensure the Canary Islands are not simply turned into one large building site by greedy developers and their political accomplices.

Versión española

ATAN reports

La Laguna, World Heritage Site
- Photos of San Roque District. June 2003
- Photos of Jardina and Las Mercedes June 2003
- Photos of La Vega June 2003
- Photos of La Verdellada March 2003
- Photos of La Piterita March 2003
- Photos of Bajamar y la Punta del Hidalgo March 2003
- Photos of la Barranquera March 2003
- Photos of La Cuesta March 2003

Santa Cruz, the capital
- Photos of Barrio Nuevo district Junio 2003

Port of Granadilla
- Main site of this project 14/1/2004

Illegally built houses
- Building at Tierra del Trigo 13/5/2004
- Jerry-built house illegally built on rural land 10/5/2004

- El Calvario: building on a ravine. January 2003

- bunker style" house in Ifonche. deceber 2002

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