Land use comprises "the actions, activities and interventions that people carry out on a given type of surface to produce, modify or maintain it.

Land use encompasses the management and modification of the natural environment to convert it into agricultural land: arable fields, pastures; or human settlements.

The term land use is also used to refer to the different uses of land in zoning.

Residental Land

Land to which planning has assigned the overall residential use.

For each residential area, its graphic surface area measured in hectares is indicated, excluding General Systems; the current number of dwellings, as of January of the corresponding year, as well as the dwellings planned. Among the dwellings to be built, a distinction is made between social housing, subsidised housing and free housing. It also indicates the number of licences granted during that year for the execution of housing within the municipality.

  • Urban land: Land that has been transformed or is in the process of being transformed by urbanisation, integrated into the urban grid and which is built on/urbanised or will be built on/urbanised in the near future.
  • Consolidated urban land: When it has already complied with ECU, equidistribution-cession-urbanisation
  • Unconsolidated urban land: Otherwise.
  • Urban land for development: All the rest of the land.
  • Sectorised land for development: Divided into sectors where the planning has established a series of conditions for its development, a kind of "urban reserve" land.
  • Urban land not sectorised: Land where it is not forbidden to develop but on which the planning has not defined anything.

Undeveloped Land (Rural Nuclei)


Three denominations have been shuffled in the last fifty years by the Legislator -both the state and the autonomous ones- to refer to the same reality, from the point of view of land legislation, spatial planning and urban planning: rustic, undevelopable and rural land.

However, in the light of the postulates of the new State Law 8/2007, of 28 May, on Land and the subsequent Consolidated Text approved by Royal Legislative Decree 7/2015, of 30 October (which repeals it), the concepts of land in the basic situation of rural, in accordance with State land law, and undeveloped land, used by the majority of regional urban planning law (in turn, inspired by the State Law 6/1998, of 13 April, on Land Regime and Valuations), cannot be considered fully identifiable.

As stated in Article 12 of the Consolidated Text of the State Land Law of 2008, all land is, for the purposes of this Law, in one of the basic situations of rural land or urbanised land. That Law desists from making the now classic distinction between classes and categories of land, which had been addressed previously by the State legislator, and which even the Constitutional Court had been accepting in use of the powers assigned to the State by the constitutional bloc, and instead determines two basic situations of land: rural and urbanised.

Pursuant to paragraph 2 of the aforementioned article, it is in the situation of rural land:

  • a) In any case, the land preserved by land and urban planning from its transformation by urbanisation, which must include, as a minimum, the land excluded from such transformation by legislation for the protection or policing of the public domain, nature or cultural heritage, those which must be subject to such protection in accordance with land and town planning legislation on account of their concurring values, including ecological, agricultural, livestock, forestry and landscape values, as well as those with natural or technological risks, including those of flooding or other serious accidents, and any others provided for in land and town planning legislation.
  • b) Land for which the land and urban planning instruments provide for or allow it to become urbanised land, until the corresponding urban development action is completed, and any other land that does not meet the requirements of urbanised land.

In accordance with regional planning law, land for development is understood to be one of the three classes into which almost all of the Autonomous Communities divide land for urban planning purposes, the classification of which is generally the responsibility of general planning. Land that cannot be developed, for urban planning purposes, is land excluded from the development process or, according to the new State Land Law, land that cannot be converted into developed land by means of urban development transformation. It is the land preserved from being transformed into urban land due to its values that must be protected, or, as stated in the original wording of Law 6/1998, on Land Regime and Valuations (later rescued by Law 10/2003), land that is unsuitable for urban development.

Thus, if we establish a comparison between the concepts of land in a basic rural situation, and undevelopable land, they are not identifiable terms. According to the Consolidated State Text of 2008, the land in rural situation includes the following classes of land:

  • a) Land traditionally considered as undevelopable land under state and regional legislation;
  • b) Land for development until it is urbanised (rural land in transition to urbanised land);
  • c) Urban land until it is urbanised (for example, urban land consolidated by building but not urbanised, will not be in urbanised status until urbanisation has been legally and effectively carried out).

Thus, the term "land in basic rural situation" is extremely broad and a faithful mirror of the new ideology that permeates the state land regulations of 2007-2008, which is based, for the first time, on the attempt to combine in a regulatory text the subjects of urban planning and the environment.

Industrial Land

  1. Place where one or more industrial plants are located.

  2. By extension, land made available by the public authorities to accommodate this type of activity.


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