Almería history

The area of ​​the urban region Almería-Poniente.

The article here on the La Voz de Almería site is the seventh in the series.

Read More for a Google translation of the article.

Stories from Almería about the landscape (VII): The Almería-Poniente urban region

A series that aspires to intervene in the perception of geographical and territorial reality

We from Almeria have been the first to be surprised by the great mutation, both physical and socioeconomic, that has occurred in our "solar" in recent decades. We have not hesitated to call the evident socioeconomic progress, verifiable based on indicators of economic and demographic development, in calling it a “miracle”, an unfortunate expression, in my opinion, since it seems to refer to a supernatural intervention that would take away some of the merit from the selfless collective work which is at the base of these transformations.

When it comes to physical deployment (the set of changes in land use), surprise is mixed with stupor, and we have not yet been able to assimilate the nature of these mutations. It is difficult for us to understand and, consequently, accurately name the urban and territorial models that are being consolidated in our environment.


Today we are going to stop at what we can call the “Almería-Poniente urban region”, an entity of about 500,000 inhabitants (two thirds of the provincial population) that multiplies its summer population by 0.6, to reach 800,000 residents.

To speak properly of an urban region, the sum of the inhabitants or visitors of the municipalities that make it up is not enough: there must be an internal relationship that constitutes a unitary market for housing, work and services.

The housing-work relationship is drawn with a few data. In the Social Security listings, it can be seen that in the city of Almería there are 25,000 jobs under the heading "public function". But only 15,000 are covered by residents of the city. In Roquetas de Mar there are 4,700 active members of the same branch of activity, but only 2,500 carry out their work in that municipality.

Almería history

Average daily traffic intensity on the Almeria section of the E-15.

As for the services market, it is very interesting to appreciate the deployment of industrial estates and tertiary parks and large commercial areas around the different links of the highway, from El Ejido to Viator.

However, the main indicator of these relationships is internal displacement in the “region”, which is clearly articulated by the E-15 (A-7) Mediterranean Highway.

An urban island

All the gauging stations on the E-15 between El Ejido and Viator have an IMD above 30,000 veh / day. The point of greatest intensity is between Almería and Aguadulce, with almost 60,000 vehicles / day, adding the capacity of the Highway and those of the N-340a. The rest of the stations in the province indicate intensities below 20,000 veh / day. This urban region constitutes an island of density, not only with respect to the rest of the province. From Algeciras to the border with France, the two minimum IMDs are located in the province of Almería (12,896 vehicles / day along the border with Granada and 13,867 vehicles / day in the municipality of Sorbas). ALPO is thus perfectly isolated, not for lack of infrastructure, but for the presence of a deep void that surrounds it.

The “Cañarete” effect

Despite all the statistical evidence and the large number of displacements that take place, there is no awareness among its inhabitants of belonging to a unitary urban fact. Cultural inertia, the lack of scientific literature on this fact or the perceptual discontinuity produced by the Cañarete cliffs may be causes of this situation, which would be anecdotal if it were not for the fact that our urban region is divided into two areas of spatial planning. subregional planning: the Poniente on the one hand, and the urban agglomeration of Almería, on the other. Two different planning areas, separated at the point that indicates the greatest connectivity and interrelation for many kilometers around.

Without being exclusively attributed to this delimitation of areas, the truth is that this urban region has notable deficiencies in terms of public transport, in the organization of qualified supra-municipal facilities and in the management of a quality urban and territorial model, precisely the aspects for which the public function of spatial planning was created.

Next week, in Virado a Jibia, we will analyze the characteristics of the Almeria tourism model.