Anartz Ormaza Ugalde
It is apparent that demographic shifts have an important impact on a language’s social evolution. That also applies to the Basque Country. The concept “linguistic impact” refers to the trace left by non-Basque speaking incomers settling down in Basque-language population areas. According to the author of the article that consideration should not be neglected in urban planning designs.
The author notes that 30 years ago case-studies on the relationship between urban development and language started to be carried out in Wales. He also reminds that the municipalities in the Basque Autonomous Community are required to assess the impact their urban planning can have on local language use, as set out at the Local Regulations Act passed in 2016.
The concept of “sustainable development” should also apply to Basque language, especially concerning the so-called “language shelters”. Language shelters are towns and villages in the Basque Country where Basque is the main, almost exclusive, language of operation. An erroneous territorial planning in these settings could bring about major damage.