Spain’s global lead in elevators tied to housing policies

Spain leads the world in elevators per 1,000 people and this is the result of certain housing policies:

Compared to other countries, Spain’s elevator supply looks remarkably, well, elevated.

Spain Has Risen to the Top of Global Elevator Rankings

At face value, there’s a pretty simple reason why. Spaniards are some of the world’s pre-eminent apartment-dwellers. In 2012, roughly 65 percent of the population lived in apartment buildings, much higher than the euro-area average of 46 percent. (The only other European countries that compare to Spain in terms of apartment-living are Latvia and Estonia, which are both also around 65 percent.)…

Top-down planning gave rise to relatively high-density urban building, often by politically connected construction companies in a building boom that stretched from the 1960s into the late 1970s.

“The dominant form of this housing was estates (apartment complexes) with over 1,000 dwellings,” wrote then Harvard academic Eric Belsky and colleague Nicolas Retsinas, in a paper on the Spanish housing market back in 2004. “These estates replaced many of the shantytowns that developed near cities like Barcelona and Madrid in the late 1940s and early 1950s.”

Thus was the modern Spanish city born.

With the emphasis on agricultural land in the Franco regime, dense cities and elevators were the result.

Given all this, what are the implications?

1. Do all those elevators detract from or enhance walking (taking the stairs versus having denser communities where walking is the norm)?

2. Are there any unique features of Spanish elevator culture?

3. Do the Spanish any sort of edge in elevator technology or maintenance?