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Are there two Laplands in Europe? One in the North and the other in the South, specifically in Spain? Maybe, yes. Or at least this is the comparison that the group Serranía Celtibérica are making; a hypothetical Spanish territory that will be formed by the Teruel, Soria, Guadalajara and Cuenca provinces, and which would share with Northern Lapland the fact of suffering from the lowest rates of population density in the European Union. With this comparison, the term ‘Lapland of the South’ was born, in order to refer to that geographical entity. Both Laplands will meet in Soria at the spring meeting, organised by El Hueco, concerning Social Entrepreneurship in Scarcely Populated Zones (20 and May 21). For the Spanish side, Fancisco Burillo, professor at the University of Zaragoza’s Teruel campus, will be the project developer. For the Finnish part, there will be another academic; Kristiina Jokelainen, professor at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences (LUAS).
To contextualise the Celtiberian Mountain Range (Serranía Celtibérica) a little more, we took a summary from their website: “The archaeological investigation has enabled the visibility of the entity that is the Celtiberian Mountain Range (Serranía Celtibérica). With a 63,098 km2 expanse (double that of Belgium) it holds a population of 487,417 inhabitants and a density of 7.72 inhabitants per km2. Of its 1,263 municipals, 556 have less than 100 inhabitants, when in the rest of the Spain there are 514. This presents a situation of extreme depopulation which has accentuated since the 60s, a time in which the centres of development were located in other territories, promoting emigration. No wonder the most important social movements in Spain have emerged here:
Teruel Exists (Teruel Existe), Soria Already (Soria Ya), The Other Guadalajara (La Otra Guadalajara), The Civic Platform of Cuenca (La Plataforma Cívica de Cuenca), Touch Jiloca Already (Al Jiloca ya le Toca)…”.