Catalans (Països Catalans) - Settlements

Catalans have been urban for millennia. Major cities include Barcelona (with a metropolitan area of 3,000,000), Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Tarragona, Perpinyà (Perpignan), Lleida, and Girona. All tend to be based on Roman models, although they have undergone extensive development subsequently, especially in the past century. Cities tend to be centered on civil, Catholic church, and commercial activities, which form a core network rather than occupying a single central space. The urban landscape is extremely dense, as is typical of the Mediterranean. Residences, long associated with professional quarters and workplaces, are now more often separated from work and tend to reflect class-linked variations on a shared pattern of multistory apartment buildings. The rural Països Catalans center on the mas, an agricultural household production unit, with dispersed populations in the north and larger villages in the south. Northern houses consist of extended-family dwellings above barns and storage areas, developed on a Roman pattern; southern houses are simpler but encompass wide variations. Since the industrial era, rural areas have been invaded from urban centers and, in the past twenty years, by intensive tourism, both internal and external.

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