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For many years AUN and other associations have fought against uncontrolled and unsustainable urban development in the Valencian Community. During this period, we exchanged views with many of you on the status of planning in general, as we became aware that rampant urban development was not exclusive to our Community. Indeed, it has become rather wide spread and essentially covers the whole country like a mediaeval plague. Each autonomous region has adopted laws similar to the Valencian land laws that encourage speculation and outrageous planning, with its attendant corruption, rising house prices, environmental degradation, while burying us in asphalt and cement. “Urbanismo” has been seen as a rich source of instant wealth feeding the politicians’ and developers’ insatiable appetites.

All this is still happening around us, despite some considerable achievements in our campaign against urbanistic and environmental abuses. AUN brought these to the attention of the European Parliament and the European Commission, resulting in a series of devastating parliamentary reports (Fortou and Auken) against the Valencian and other regions’ town planning laws, while AUN’s complaint to the Commission was ruled admissible before the European Court in Luxembourg and is in process. A favourable decision, i.e. a decision against Spain, can affect all other regional planning laws in the points they have in common.

For these reasons and because we have seen that in many regions similar groups in Spain have organized to defend their rights to property ownership, the undersigned agreed to establish a Spanish Federation of Associations with the common interest of truly sustainable development, while defending our human rights, especially those relating to property ownership and fighting against urban and environmental abuses, in accordance with Spanish, EU and international law.

The purpose of this letter is therefore to advise you of the creation of a Spanish Federation of Associations in Defense of Human rights and against Urban and Environmental Abuses (Federación Española de Asociaciones en defensa de los Derechos Humanos y en contra de los Atropellos Urbanísticos y Medioambientales).

Charles Svoboda & Enrique Climent

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