Green Infrastructure 2014 Group J - Case Study 4

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The Ensanche Neighborhood Green Infrastructure Plan

Name The Ensanche
Country Spain
City Valencia
Authors Rafael Narbona
Ensanche orto somb.jpg

Rationale: Why is this case interesting?

The Ensanche neighborhood (L'Eixample) was the first urban enlargement after the Valencian city wall demolition. As most mediterranean cities in the early XIX Century, Valencia also followed the Plan designed by Ing. Mr. Cerdá for the urban enlargement of Barcelona. Unfortunately, the most important ideas of the original Plan were forgotten. The open blocks were built completely closed, preventing people to walk through the green areas that Mr. Cerdá designed for the interior area of the blocks. Even more, these green areas were finally occupied by stores, ware houses and car parks. Furthermore, the original storey number was also increased. The final result is a neighborhood without green spaces or public squares and absolutely waterproof. We must take in account that we are speaking about a big and dry mediterranean city with more than 3.000 sun hours per year but with storm rain episodes that collapses immediately the runoff water management system. All rain water is lost in a place were every drop is needed for life. Why this case is interesting? Because we have a dry, hot, waterproof, polluted and inefficient neighborhood that is asking a better functionality; in other words, new green infrastructures.

Author's perspective

Landscape architect with the classic horticultural engineering background due to the absence of an official degree in this matter in my country. Although nowadays it is possible to study this degree, the profession is still not recognized. In spite of that, I have tried to work as L.A. for more than twenty years, and I'm very proud to be still alive. I brought up in this beautiful neighborhood and now I live and work in it. So, I see everyday the lack of a better environment and the great chance to change it from grey to green with the multifunctionality of green infrastructures.

Landscape and/or urban context of your case

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Analytical drawings

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Green Infrastructure benefits for this site

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Potential for multifunctionality

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Projective drawings

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  • And how could it look like in 10-15 years?
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Summary and conclusion

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