Low density development is a common condition of contemporary urban territories. Such a process involves many areas in proximity of compact settlements originally devoted to agricultural land use and today more and more exposed to urban changes. The resulting conflicts between ecological functionalities and human actions become a priority to deal with. The project of spaces in between town and country represents a point of departure to re-think a new territorial structure for suburban settlements. The paper describes the trend of urban "diffusion" occurred in the agrarian territory of Sassari. By a diachronic analysis of events the authors discuss spatial and social aspects of local context, conflict factors that mainly affect the territory, the role of planning and some possible interventions to improve both the quality of environment and human life.
Keywords: Urban sprawl, low density, country, planning programs and policies, "olive ring", Sassari