LLOBREGAT RIVER ENVIRONMENTAL RECOVERY, SANT VICENÇ DELS HORTS
Historically, Llobregat River has been one of the main infrastructure corridors of the metropolitan area of Barcelona. During these last decades development of the metropolis roads, highways, railways, high-speed trains and all kinds of network facilities have passed on a territorial scale. This process resulted in a widespread deterioration of its natural space condition, its habitats, water quality, etc. However, the infrastructures succession generated along the river has become a huge obstacle, blocking the access to the river in many municipalities.
Lately, our attitude as a society towards Llobregat has changed. We want to recover the river, we urge to reclaim and improve its ecological values and we wish to take advantage of its great potential as a public space within the city. Based on this global idea, the stretch of Sant Vicenç dels Horts develops part of the right bank of the river. Providing continuity upstream and downstream and solving crossings over streams. A wide range of staying areas, bird observation points and lookouts of interesting sights are proposed along the way.
However, in order to enhance citizen’s accessibility across the river, three of the original roads leading from the urban core to the river, crossing the agrarian park, have been redesigned. They solve the accessibility problems caused by these infrastructure successions creating significant door-like points that help to identify those places as accesses to a natural space. Moreover, they provide paths with common characteristics by planting fruit trees similar to those that abound in nearby fields.
Taking into account the available resources, instead of focusing on designing small regions of the field, we decided to pursue the partial design of the whole. Therefore, the first approach is to enable a basic infrastructure of pedestrian and cycling paths so as to activate the natural area as a public space within the city. In addition, it highlights its pre-existing experiences such as streams, agricultural park roads, visuals, ornithological points of interest, among other ecological values still existing in the river.
This new infrastructure aims to raise awareness among citizens of Sant Vicenç dels Horts in order to change their way of considering and using the river. This new point of view of the river as a natural space as well as a leisure area will lead to a greater demand of new actions, helping in the recovery process of the river.
AUTHORS ENRIC BATLLE, JOAN ROIG, IVÁN SÁNCHEZ – ARCHITECTS CLIENT SANT VICENÇ DELS HORTS CITY COUNCIL TEAM MARIO SÚÑER – ARCHITECT & PROJECT MANAGER / LIVIA VALENTINI – ARCHITECT AND LANDSCAPER ARCHITECT / DOLORS FEU – AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER & LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT / YAGO CAVALLER – AGRIGULTURAL ENGINEERS & LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT COLLABORATORS TYPSA-TECNOMA – ENGINEERING BUILDER CONSTRUCCIONES Y SERVICIOS FAUS, S.A SURFACE AREA 4Ha / 4.05 Km LENGTH OF WALKWAYS PROGRAM PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS, CYCLABLE RAILS, REST AREAS, PUBLIC SPACE LOCATION SANT VICENÇ DELS HORTS, BARCELONA START AND FINISH DATE PHASE II, 2013 – 2015 PHOTOGRAPHY MARIO SÚÑER