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Environmental recovery of the Llobregat River in the municipalities of Sant Joan Despí, Sant Boi, Cornellà, L'Hospitalet and El Prat de Llobregat and Sant Vicenç dels Horts

Improving the landscape conditions of the river as a green infrastructure and a leisure space in the metropolis.

Recuperació mediambiental del Riu Llobregat a la comarca del Baix Llobregat
Recuperació mediambiental del Riu Llobregat a la comarca del Baix Llobregat

Environmental recovery of the Llobregat River in the Baix Llobregat region

For the stretch of the river Llobregat between Sant Boi and El Prat de Llobregat, we devised a landscaping project to recover the river for social uses and leisure activities. The result is a new peri-urban park to improve connectivity between the embankments and accessibility from the towns along the river. It is a project comprising specific actions to recover the river as a natural space connected with the town and its surroundings.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran – Architect

Team

Xavier Ramoneda, Mario Súñer Díaz, Enrique Valiente, Alejandra Liébana Leirós – Architect / Elena Mostazo, Dolors Feu – Agricultural engineer and landscape architect

Collaborators

Typsa – Tecnoma – Engineering

Promoter

AMB – Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, Ajuntament Sant Boi de Llobregat, Ajuntament de Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Ajuntament de Sant Joan Despí, Ajuntament de Cornellá, Ajuntament del Prat de Llobregat

Construction company

Dragados, Acsa Sorigué, Tau – Icesa

Project status

Built

Start date

2007

Finish date

2015

Total area

1.540.000 m2
© Jordi Surroca
The different interventions seek to create a Llobregat Park with a restored river for social uses and leisure, a network of footpaths to improve connectivity, and good accessibility from all the towns the river flows through. / © Jordi Surroca
© Jordi Surroca

A partial action on the entire scope

Historically, the Llobregat has been the usual infrastructure corridor in the Barcelona metropolitan area (roads, highways, railways, high-speed trains and all kinds of service networks and facilities). This process has deteriorated the natural space, the quality of the water, etc., and the succession of infrastructures has become a huge barrier that hinders and even prevents access to the river from many municipalities.

In order to recover the Llobregat and take advantage of its potential as a public space, various actions are aimed at configuring a new park that connects the beaches of El Prat with the Devil’s Bridge in Martorell, allowing passage to other natural spaces such as Collserola and Garraf .

In view of the available resources, instead of a total action in a small area, it was decided to act partially on the entire area. Thus, a first step enables a basic infrastructure of pedestrian and cycle paths that enables this natural space to be activated as a public space and highlights its pre-existence — streams, agricultural paths, visuals, ornithological points of interest …—. This new basic infrastructure seeks to enable a change of mentality in the relationship of citizens with the Llobregat

© Jordi Surroca
© Jordi Surroca
With a maximum respect for the natural environment, the proposal turns a territorial obstacle into a green and accessible space for civic use, one that moreover connects the river with the towns in the surroundings. / © Jordi Surroca

A unitary landscape treatment

The objective of the proposal is to identify the main conditioning factors for the environmental recovery of the Llobregat River and at the same time define the necessary actions to improve connectivity along its channel, as well as its accessibility from the different municipalities that surround it with the objective of promoting social use by accommodating leisure activities.

It is about giving the river an overall idea, giving it a unitary landscape treatment criterion that serves at the same time to facilitate its future maintenance and understand it as a single entity. The development of the proposal lies in understanding the river from two totally complementary points of view:

The river as a living and changing entity, full of life and a Natural Space with its own dynamics and functioning.

The river as a Green Space and a peri-urban Leisure Space, which is a place of enjoyment for citizens, respecting the environment where it is located.

© Jordi Surroca

Concentrated and specific operations

The landscape proposal takes into account the river from its vision as a Green Space connected to the city and its surroundings. The proposal, carried out in several phases, aims to resolve the relationship of the cities with the river, transforming what is now a limit into an access of a certain urbanity, allowing the connection between the two banks of the river, sewing the road networks that already exist and make a proposal for vegetation consistent with the available water resources. Far from carrying out extensive interventions throughout the river, these are concentrated and specific operations that generate great changes in accessibility and the route along the river.

Regarding the actions on the river bank, they focus on treating certain points from which the river is reacted both at a hydraulic and a vegetable level. It is a medium-long term proposal whose objectives will not be very visible at the beginning. A process of naturalization of the river is started that little by little advances without the hand of man being latent.

The introduction of small elements of alteration of the course of the river (deflectors) manages to reconfigure its meandering appearance in low water regime. All halogen species are eliminated at certain points to introduce selected species, thus creating expansion units of autochthonous flora that little by little must colonize the river banks.

© Jordi Surroca
© Jordi Surroca