Issuu on Google+


10


Ideas para el Barrio de La Jota - Vadorrey José María Ordeig Profesor de Urbanismo Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Navarra

José María Ordeig Profesores asociados: Javier Martínez Laura Rives Profesores invitados (Convenio COAA – ETSA-UN) Manuel Castillo Miguel Angel Jiménez Asignatura: Planeamiento Urbano y Territorial, 4º, curso 2008-2009 (ETSA-UN) grupo A

José Baldo

Sara Bonet

grupo G

Boleda Arizcun

Ismael Martínez

García Treviño

Rojo Asín

grupo B

María Chocarro

grupo H

Laura Apezteguía

Cecilia Isasi

Ana Huarte

Samuel Mayo

Estíbaliz Iriarte

grupo I

María Moliner

grupo C

Gemma Rincón

Iraida Pérez

María Ruiz de Gopegui

Ekaitz Arandia

Carmen Valtierra

grupo J

Andoni Briones

Alba Zamarbide

grupo D

Silvia Sancho

grupo K

Federico Almárcegui

José María Urbiola

Javier Bressel

Javier Olano

grupo E

Francisco Rubira

grupo L

Carlos Castro

Alvaro Santabárbara

Borja Madrazo

Iñigo Oregui

grupo F

Amaya Echevarría

grupo M

Carlos Martí

Javier Larumbe

Daniel Moreno

Guillermo Pérez

Miguel Yurrita

grupo N

Diego Castellano

Javier Guallar

Juan Montoliu

ANALISIS GENERAL DE ZARAGOZA En el análisis respecto de Zaragoza -necesariamente breve- fundamentalmente se ha tenido en cuenta el sistema general de los espacios libres, los grandes equipamientos y las infraestructuras de comunicaciones más importantes. Como consecuencia se puede apreciar la terminación o falta de terminación de algunos barrios. En cuanto a lo primero, se puede apreciar un sistema de espacios libre que dan continuidad y estructuran todo el centro de Zaragoza (riberas del Ebro), que tiene su remate en el Oeste por la actuación de la Expo; pero que, en cambio, se aleja del núcleo urbano hacia el Este sin atender a las potencialidades que otorgan tanto el meandro del Ebro como la existencia del Gállego. Por otra parte, en cuanto a equipamientos se refiere, es evidente que las actuaciones de las últimas décadas han servido para equilibrar el Sur y el Norte del Ebro (Actur de Santiago y, sobre todo, la Expo); pero todavía queda pendiente la zona Noreste (y, con ella, la Sureste), sobre todo si se piensa en ir sustituyendo la industria por la actividad residencial como en otras muchas ciudades. Respecto de las infraestructuras de comunicaciones, Zaragoza ha experimentado un salto que era necesario hacía mucho tiempo. Tomando como base los proyectos realizados y aprobados se destaca especialmente el cierre del anillo de alta velocidad, una sucesión de anillos concéntricos, y un sistema radial; pero, en este último, es evidente la diferencia entre la abundancia y tamaño de ellos en el Oeste y su carencia en el Este. Por todo ello, parece lógico admitir que existen todavía grandes áreas periurbanas en situaciones de transición indefinida situadas en la Zona Este de la ciudad, en los límites de los barrios de La Jota, Las Fuentes y San José, que suponen una gran oportunidad de actuación global y de reequilibrar la ciudad. Además, la ordenación conjunta del Área Este de la ciudad ofrece una gran oportunidad de actuaciones de naturaleza urbanística, arquitectónica y paisajística.

z

Taller la Jota-Vadorrey / ETSAU Navarra

PRESENTACION GENERAL El Sector del Barrio de la Jota ha sido motivo de estudio por parte del Departamento de Urbanismo de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Navarra. Se presenta, a continuación, un breve análisis de su situación, tanto respecto de Zaragoza como respecto de su entorno próximo, para pasar a un comentario general de las propuestas presentadas y, finalmente, al desarrollo de tales propuestas.

Profesor

11


Taller la Jota-Vadorrey / ETSAU Navarra

z

ANALISIS DE LA ZONA DEL BARRIO DE LA JOTA LAS INFRAESTRUCTURAS El barrio de la Jota presenta dos infraestructuras terrestres principales, el ferrocarril y los viales de ronda para uso del automóvil. Tanto las rondas como el ferrocarril tienen un diseño en forma de anillo que rodea toda Zaragoza y que por tanto atraviesan el Ebro por la zona Sur del barrio. Surgen por ello dos grandes infraestructuras para atravesar el río como son el Puente de La Unión para la ronda del Marqués de la Cadena; y el Puente de Manuel Jiménez Abad para la ronda Z-30. Para acceder al barrio aparecen viales más pequeños pero no de menor importancia como puede ser por ejemplo la Avenida de Cataluña que atraviesa el barrio por completo o la Avenida de la Jota o Alfonso Zapater que se introducen en el barrio de manera escalonada. LOS ESPACIOS LIBRES El sector La Jota se oxigena principalmente gracias al Parque de Oriente y las actuales huertas anexas al río Gállego. También contribuye a ello el nuevo paseo al lado del Ebro, que conecta al mismo tiempo con otros espacios verdes de la ciudad. Todo ello unido al Parque Royo del Rabal, a la calle Carlo Bruna así como otras pequeñas intervenciones hacen de La Jota un barrio con potencialidades en espacios libres que se pueden distribuir por todo el sector. LOS EQUIPAMIENTOS Se aprecia una fuerte carencia de equipamientos, especialmente en la zona límite del barrio acercándose al río y en la parte Norte cerca de la zona industrial. No existen grandes dotaciones que puedan atraer flujo de población de otras partes de la ciudad. El único tipo en número suficiente en la zona son los colegios y escuelas infantiles. En previsión de un crecimiento del número de viviendas, sería imprescindible plantear dotaciones tanto para asumir el incremento de población como para generar un interés en esta parte de la ciudad.

12

LOS TEJIDOS URBANOS DEL ENTORNO El barrio limita al Norte con un denso tejido industrial. La zona residencial tiene un ordenamiento discontinuo por lo que no se obtiene un límite claro de la ciudad. Dicho barrio no dispone de las suficientes dotaciones,

hecho que provoca el desplazamiento de sus residentes a otras zonas con mejores servicios de la ciudad. VALORES NATURALES, AMBIENTALES Y PAISAJISTICOS Los planes de ordenación de recursos naturales (PORN) determinan que toda esta zona se encuentra incluida en la franja de Sotos y galachos del Ebro (tramo EscatrónZaragoza). Sin embargo, podemos hallar diferentes tratamientos ambientales en el Sector. Por una parte la zona más cercana al río o la zona de ribera esta constituida por vegetación de ribera con especies arbóreas y/o arbustivas. Dicho entramado forestal se extiende a lo largo de toda la ribera del Gállego hasta la desembocadura con el Ebro, y constituyen una formación muy rica e interesante ya que se trata de una formación lineal que sigue el curso del río en ambas márgenes del río (“bosque”). En un corte transversal podemos encontrar cuatro zonas de vegetación: Plantas acuáticas, cañaverales, la vegetación ripícola propiamente dicha de agrupaciones arbóreas y en la zona más alejada las especies propias de esos sectores que no requieren de un flujo de agua continuo pero si una humedad habitual como pueden ser el pino, el sauce y sobre todo el chopo. En cuanto a la fauna que podemos hallar las especies más habituales de los márgenes de los ríos como pueden ser ranas, pequeños roedores y pequeños peces. Cabe destacar que la zona es un ámbito de protección del cernícalo Primilla (Falco Naumanni). Destaca también la zona del Soto y Mejana del Ebro declarado como lugar de interés comunitario (LIC), aparte de una zona al margen derecho, de bosque de frondosas y otro al margen izquierdo que se extiende por la margen del Ebro, de matorrales esclerófilos. El resto del territorio se clasifica como terrenos de regadío permanente. RESUMEN GENERAL: ESTRATEGIAS PARA EL SECTOR Se puede afirmar que el Sector del Barrio de la Jota es un área de oportunidad para la terminación natural del


Esquemas y planos de análisis de la zona de estudio: La Jota-Vadorrey

desarrollo urbano del Norte de Zaragoza hasta las riberas del Gállego. En consecuencias, las propuestas para el Sector deberían tener en cuenta lo siguiente: La definición de un modelo de implantación que tenga en cuenta tanto el borde de la ciudad, como la convivencia de las potentes infraestructuras con el desarrollo urbano que minimicen el efecto de barrera y la integración con un elemento natural, el río Gállego y sus riberas. La transición de las zonas de alta densidad hacia los espacios naturales y la propuesta de usos relacionados con el medio natural en los terrenos que linden con el río Gállego. La definición de una trama urbana que unifique todo el desarrollo al Sur de la Avenida Cataluña y la incorporación de los espacios residuales configurando una nueva fachada urbana. La implantación de un equipamiento de carácter metropolitano, unido o no a una estación del tren-metro-cercanías, articulado con la ordenación del entorno y la nueva trama urbana que se proponga. La continuidad o posible unión de los espacios naturales de la margen izquierda (río Gállego) con las riberas del Ebro y con los espacios naturales de la otra margen (Soto de Cantalobos), como escenario de recualificación paisajística medioambiental, con la estrategia de creación de un parque fluvial a escala metropolitana.

resultante, a pesar de los puntos de partida comunes para este Sector. Sin embargo, es de advertir como cuatro criterios o elementos que parecen tener carácter de invariante: el parque-exposición en la ribera o riberas del Gállego, el apoyo -de muy diversas maneras- en las infraestructuras de comunicaciones (ferrocarril), el enlace con lo existente a base de edificación residencial y la introducción de una actividad de resonancia comarcal. Es en la articulación entre esas “invariantes” donde se produce la diversidad de soluciones, fruto de la distinta creatividad de cada equipo, pero no menos del proceso metodológico seguido. En esta línea sirva la reflexión siguiente donde pueden distinguirse grupos de soluciones basados en los distintos puntos de partida. Por ejemplo, se puede diferenciar aquéllos que han partido de esa actividad especial que ha configurado, de manera y formas diversas pero siempre mediante una gran fachada, la articulación entre la edificación residencial y el parque, dejando en la mayoría de los casos las infraestructuras soterradas (grupos 4, 5, 10 o 13). En cambio, otros grupos han articulado directamente la edificación residencial y el parque sin acudir a esa “fachada”, dejando entonces la actividad de gran resonancia en los espacios específicos fruto de esa articulación, sean entrantes verdes o salientes edificados (grupos 2, 6, 7 o 9). Hay otros, que son evidentes, que han optado por incorporar las potencialidades formales de la infraestructura ferroviaria, sirviéndose de ella para unificar su propuesta y articular sus diferentes zonas en un gesto de gran espectacularidad (grupos 1, 3, 8 o 12). Es de señalar aparte la solución tan igualitaria entre el diseño del parque y el tejido urbano del grupo 14.

PROPUESTAS. VISION GENERAL Las propuestas referidas al Sector de La Jota que se presentan son resultado de los trabajos de los alumnos de la asignatura de Urbanística II (cuarto curso) de la Escuela de Arquitectura de Pamplona. Esta presentación es un comentario general de las soluciones adoptadas en su conjunto, así como también una breve descripción de cada una de ellas correspondientes -en el número- a imágenes que acompañan esta publicación. En líneas generales se puede afirmar la existencia de una gran diversidad de opciones en el diseño urbano

PROPUESTAS COMENTARIOS PARTICULARES Grupo A. Esta propuesta busca delimitar el final de la ciudad a través de una megaestructura, que se rompe y adapta a la ciudad y, a su vez, encierra la posible Expo Floralia. Su diseño crea un contraste entre la verticalidad y rigidez de la edificación, con la organicidad y horizontalidad de la Expo, que genera unos mantos verdes para acercarse al río. La solución adoptada a la presencia del tren es la de soterrarlo desde antes del puente, creando en el cruce con la Megaestructura, un gran zócalo Administrativo, Deportivo, Comercial que alberga a su vez la Intermodal que dará acceso tanto a la Expo como a todo la actuación y a la ciudad. 13


Fotografías del estado actual de los terrenos de la zona del Gállego

Taller la Jota-Vadorrey / ETSAU Navarra

z

Grupo B. Con esta intervención se pretende la creación de dos tipos de espacios relacionados. Por una parte, la continuación de la trama urbana desde el barrio de La Jota; y, por otra, la creación de un gran espacio público natural. Este último penetra en el tejido urbano configurado y lo atraviesa hasta llegar al propio barrio existente, sea en forma de zona verde, sea en forma de plaza de la que surge un recorrido por las riberas del Gállego hasta empalmar con el paseo de las orillas del Ebro. Los grandes equipamientos se ubican en el espacio público, creando una “ciudad de las artes”. Grupo C. El proyecto surge de la intención de incorporar la vía del tren al trazado urbano evitando el efecto barrera y potenciando su forma. Así, se eleva el ferrocarril y aparecen conjuntos de edificios en perpendicular al ferrocarril donde se prevé alojar el sector terciario. Esta especie de “greca” funciona como elemento transitorio entre la ciudad y el parque Floralia, creando entrantes del parque en la ciudad y de la ciudad en el parque, fomentando así la aparición de espacios públicos. Se plantea también la conexión, mediante un vial y espacios verdes, del barrio de la Jota con la nueva parte de la ciudad, que incorpora equipamientos y dotaciones urbanas. Grupo D. El proyecto quiere ofrecer una nueva fachada al barrio de la Jota y conseguir a su vez que éste se abra al espacio natural del Gállego. Así, el parque fluvial es el elemento principal del conjunto conservando la vegetación existente en la actualidad, la cual parece penetrar en la ciudad a través de grandes aperturas y donde surge la Expo Floralia. El anillo verde recorre así las dos riberas. Esa gran fachada nos crea una sección repetitiva de dos tipos de espacios entre bloques. Los primeros, espacios públicos que miran al río, provistos de dotaciones; y los segundos espacios privados que facilitan el uso comercial, administrativo y residencial de dicha fachada. Al norte se prevee una zona más residencial (baja más dos), que cuenta con espacios privados a los que vuelcan todas las viviendas por ser pasantes.

14

Grupo E. La propuesta se basa en el posible diseño de la Expo Floralia. Si ésta puede configurarse como bandas que llegan hasta las orillas del Gállego, el espacio residencial continúa esa lógica hasta su conexión con la ciudad. Las torres son la culminación de la propuesta ante la ronda de la ciudad, dando

una nueva tipología edificatoria. Los espacios internos del tejido edificatorio se van cerrando con arbolado, edificios dotacionales o edificios comerciales. Grupo F. En esta solución se proponen dos tramas, dando continuidad a los ejes urbanos preexistentes, con un centro de negocios ubicado en lo que sería el nuevo centro de barrio. El ferrocarril pasa a ser parte tranvía y parte ferrocarril, unidos por una intermodal en la zona de negocios. Se elevarían sobre la rasante urbana dejando un paso libre hacía el río Gállego, con la creación de un gran parque de ribera que sería un nuevo pulmón tanto para la zona como para la ciudad que vería así cerrado el anillo verde. Se ha optado una solución de vivienda de bloques lineales que reaccionan ante los viales y el tren adoptando diferentes dimensiones en función de su situación. Grupo G. En esta solución se opta por crear tres placas residenciales continuidad, cada una de ellas, de cada una de las zonas del barrio de la Jota. Entre ellas aparecen unas cuñas verdes que se insertan en el parque fluvial. Se prevé que la placa del Sur se dedique, en su mitad Este, a Floralia. La infraestructura ferroviaria se eleva, de modo que permite espacios singulares debajo de ella útiles para el barrio y para la exposición. De este modo, la intervención dará un carácter peatonal a la zona, a la vez que dotara de un carácter singular a Floralia. Grupo H. El principal objetivo de esta propuesta es la regeneración de la ribera del Gállego, que actualmente está en precarias condiciones. Para ello se ha creado un gran parque que se introduce en la ciudad existente, regenerando la ciudad y permitiendo que ésta respire. Del mismo modo, la edificación se introduce en el parque, lo que permite un diálogo entre el espacio libre y el construido. Por ello, se han convertido en vías urbanas tanto el tercer cinturón como el vial previsto hacia Santa


Los puentes desde los terrenos de la Margen Izquierda del Ebro

Puente del Ferrocarril y Puente de Giménez Abad (Z-30), sobre el Ebro

Isabel. En el parque, la zona cercana al río conserva su hábitat, mientras que el resto se ha acondicionado para acoger la EXPO Floralia 2014, con un diseño que atiende a su pasado agrícola. El tren se ha enterrado. Grupo I. Conceptualmente el proyecto propone una aproximación al río Gallego pasando de lo más urbano a la naturaleza virgen a través de diferentes niveles. En la parte urbana, la actuación sigue los tres ejes preexistentes del tejido del entorno. La adecuación de los tres ejes al proyecto crean recorridos y visuales que continúan en la aproximación al Gállego. Posteriormente se crea un gran espacio libre y a la vez dotacional en el que se encuentra un gran centro de investigación hortofrutícula y botánico, una gran plataforma que se asoma al espacio natural final. En ella, hacia el Sur se encuentra la estación de tren, a través del que se realiza el encuentro con las viviendas existentes del barrio de la Jota. Por último, el espacio natural propio de la zona riparia. Grupo J. El proyecto se basa en la consideración de tres zonas claramente diferenciadas. Una el paseo de ribera, otra una zona intermedia de parque y la tercera el tejido urbano propuesto. Se consigue un parque sutil en la ribera y contundente en la trama urbana, utilizable en época de riadas gracias a un camino elevado que posibilita el paseo sobre el agua, entre la vegetación. El tejido urbano, a su vez, continúa las tramas existentes del barrio de la Jota para asegurarle cohesión y cerrar el borde de la ciudad. Se crean dos entradas de parque en progresión desde el bosque de ribera del Gállego hacia un parque interior, más urbano, que se ordena en diferentes niveles mediante diques, elevando vistas y protegiéndose de las riadas. Grupo K. Esta solución se apoya fundamentalmente en la idea de completar el anillo verde iniciado con la Expo 08, rehabilitando las riberas del río Gállego y terminando

el plan de riberas del Ebro, para lo que se crea un gran paseo que discurre a lo largo del Gállego. Comienza en la zona norte con un complejo deportivo y confluye con la ribera del Ebro en una dotación que alberga usos ligados al río, como la pesca y el remo. Lo peculiar es la articulación de tal eje con otro (línea del ferrocarril) que posee una serie de dotaciones que permite convivir lo preexistente con la nueva propuesta, mediante unos paseos peatonales que prolongan la trama antigua hasta la nueva zona verde. Grupo L. Con esta intervención se pretende la creación de dos tipos de espacios relacionados. Por una parte, la continuación de la trama urbana desde el barrio de La Jota; y, por otra, la creación de un gran espacio público natural. Este último penetra en el tejido urbano configurado y lo atraviesa hasta llegar al propio barrio existente, sea en forma de zona verde, sea en forma de plaza de la que surge un recorrido por las riberas del Gállego hasta empalmar con el paseo de las orillas del Ebro. Los grandes equipamientos se ubican en el espacio público, creando una “ciudad de las artes”. Grupo M. Esta propuesta poco convencional trata de articular fuertemente el uso residencial y el parque del Gállego. Para ello se ha optado por una sucesión de “dedos” formados por edificios que generan una greca, con viviendas de doble orientación, que se distribuyen en dos zonas diferenciadas. Entre ellas se ha planteado dotar a este barrio de una Universidad que funcionaría como “rótula” de esos dos entramados y que sería, sin duda, una dotación que regeneraría ese sector de la ciudad aportándole juventud y comercio. Se prevee enterrar la infraestructura ferroviaria, además de dotar al barrio de la nueva estación intermodal. Grupo N. Esta propuesta centra la revitalización del barrio mediante la creación de un gran parque a ambas riberas del Gállego que funcionará como una de las áreas en las que Expo Floralia 2014 desarrollará su programa. Se toman dos decisiones iniciales: el soterramiento de las vías ferroviarias, y la eliminación del vial proyectado en el plan nuevo que une el centro de la ciudad con el cuarto cinturón para crear un parque urbano sin barreras de grandes dimensiones. Por su parte, se plantea también una trama que esté al servicio del gran parque, dando una fachada urbana.

15


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA U Politécnica de Cataluña

z


37


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA VallĂŠs

z

38


39


Grupo B

Grupo L 1. Compactación. Concentran la máxima intensidad urbana en la franja comprendida entre la Z-30 y la traza ferroviaria,

Taller las Fuentes / ETSA Vallés

z

rebasándola puntualmente e intentando establecer bordes nitídos entre lo rural y lo urbano. 1. Compactación. 2. Difusión. 3. Relación con la taza ferroviaría. 4. Polarización.

Los ejercicios propuestos en el taller plantean cuatro tipos de actuación (cada una de ellas corresponde a una de las filas del panel): 2. Difusión. Suponen, en cierto modo, la estrategia contraida; es decir, difuminar los límites entre la ciudad y el campo buscando una mezcla equilibrada de ambos y empleando, en ocasiones, densidades urbanas moderadas.

Grupo A 40

Grupos BL ACJ HFEM DGKI

Grupo C

Grupo J


Grupo H

Grupo F

GrupoE

Grupo M

3. Relación con la taza ferroviaría. Entre las estrategias intermedias, algunos proyectos trabajan especialmente conla linea férrea y las implantaciones que supone curzarla transversalmente (ya sea por arriba o por debajo). En ocasiones, deviniendo un eje central estructurador, y en otras un tanto sorprendentemente, adoptándose como límite a partir del cual concentrar lo edificado, generando un espacio libre entre la ciudad existente y la nueva intervención.

4. Polarización. Otro grupo de proyectos son los que generan distintos polos de intensidad urbana, generalmente buscando la relación con el existente parque de Torre Ramona. En algunos casos para conectar éste con el Anillo Verde, en otros, con las nuevas áreas urbanas.

Grupo D

Grupo G

GrupoK

Grupo I 41


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA VallĂŠs

z

42


43

Grupo

A

Duro - Gonzรกlez


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA VallĂŠs

z

44

Grupo

B

Estrada - Ferreira - Herrera - Sousa


Ballester - Liébana

C Grupo JERARQUÍAS VIARIAS

ESQUEMA DE AGUAS

FRANJAS DE DENSIFICACCIÓN

Sistema progresivo que minimiza el impacto a la

Recogida y tratamiento de aguas de riego y residuales.

Necesidad de llevar alta densidad al limite con la ciudad

vez que se integra en el paisaje

Ciclo natural de aprovechamiento de los residuos

hasta llegar a integrar el huerto urbano. Habitabilidad / Equipamiento

FRANJAS DE ACTIVIDAD AGRÍCOLA

ESTRATEGIA DE CRECIMIENTO

CIRCUITO DE CORREDORES VERDES

La apuesta por integrar la realidad agrícola del lugar con

Expo HuertoFR / Media densidad

Conexión a pequeña y gran escala

el necesario desarrollo de la ciudad

Baja Densidad 45


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA Vallés

z

46

Grupo

D

Armengol - Bas - Bertrán - Puglia


COMERCIO Y OFICINAS

EQUIPAMIENTOS

VIARIO

PARADAS DE TRANSPORTE

Bartolucci - Gens - Llonch - Porras

TIPOLOGIAS EDIFICATORIAS

Grupo

E

ALTURAS

ESPACIOS VERDES

47


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA Vallés

z

48

Grupo

F Aràjol - Gubern - Panochová


49

Grupo

I

Farina - Herrero - Amaral - Velloso


Taller las Fuentes / ETSA Vallés

z

50

Grupo

K

Hójeno - Mujal - Pérez


Barrabin - Masala - Quetglas - Vela

L Grupo EQUIPAMIENTOS

TERCIARIO

TRANSPORTE PÚBLICO

51


“Reflexiones sobre la orla este” Luis Peirote Samped Presidente de la Demarcación de Zaragoza del Colegio de Arquitectos de Aragón

gracias al evento de Expo-Zaragoza 2008. Igualmente, las reflexiones sobre la Orla Este, realizadas por la DZ del COOA, y en la que han colaborado los Talleres de tres Escuelas de Arquitectura, han pretendido despertar un gran debate urbanístico en las asociaciones de vecinos de dichos barrios, así como en la ciudad, para que se pueda, en un futuro, acometer el desarrollo urbano necesario, la revitalización de dichos barrios y el acondicionamiento de los espacios naturales, consolidando de esta manera la ciudad. La importancia de volcarse en dichos barrios olvidados para compensar de alguna manera el desequilibrio existente entre la Orla Oeste (formada por los barrios de la Estación Intermodal del AVE y por el meandro de Expo Zaragoza 2008), y la abandonada Orla Este, nos motiva a actuar ahora, desde el meandro este y desde la ribera del Gállego, para revitalizar dichos barrios, hecho que nos impulsó a presentar nuestra propuesta. La propuesta pretende completar infraestructuras y el Plan de Movilidad y Transporte pendientes, suplir las deficiencias de equipamientos y servicios, desarrollar el Anillo Verde, y completar la plataforma del entorno del nuevo Estadio de Fútbol. Por todo ello, entendemos, que la propuesta de “Desarrollo Urbano y Revitalización de los barrios de la Orla Este”, realizada por la Demarcación de Zaragoza, del COAA, debatida y consensuada de una manera preliminar, con las Asociaciones de Vecinos de dichos barrios y el Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, es importante dentro de la historia urbanística de nuestra ciudad, porque es importante el “desarrollo del debate, del conocimiento y la cultura ciudadana” y sobre todo porque a través de dicho conocimiento, podemos aprender a no incurrir en errores urbanísticos, cometidos en el pasado de nuestra ciudad. Igualmente, todo ello, nos tiene que impulsar a proyectar adecuadamente nuestro futuro urbanístico, como una ciudad de cultura y de vanguardia. En la publicación de esta revista hay que agradecer la participación del Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, a las Asociaciones de Vecinos de los Barrios de la Orla Este, a los Talleres de las Escuelas de Arquitectura de Pamplona, Valladolid y del Vallés (Barcelona), así como a los componentes del Laboratorio de Urbanismo y Comisión de Urbanismo de la Demarcación de Zaragoza del COAA. Y agradecer especialmente al Excmo Sr. Alcalde del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, Don Juan Alberto Belloch, la estrecha colaboración mantenida en los últimos años con la Demarcación de Zaragoza, del COAA que ha hecho posible la realización de todos estos trabajos, exposiciones y publicaciones, entre las que se encuentra esta revista, hecho importante en cuanto que servirá de documento histórico urbanístico y arquitectónico, no sólo para el Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, las Asociaciones de Vecinos de los Barrios de la Orla Este, y la Demarcación de Zaragoza del COAA, sino para los alumnos de las nuevas Escuelas de Arquitectura, investigadores y para los ciudadanos, que son al fin y al cabo los depositarios y artífices reales de la transformación de la ciudad. Por todo ello, recibamos esta publicación, con interés, con entusiasmo y con implicación, tal como nos hacen reflexionar las palabras del joven Goethe en el inicio de este prólogo.

z

Presentación

“…pero cuando de los escritos, como de las acciones, no se habla con afectuoso interés, y con un cierto entusiasmo de implicación, queda tan poco que no merece la pena hablar de ello…” del joven GOETHE. Nos interesa hacer una revista que sea un espacio de reflexión sobre la disciplina desde todos los puntos de vista, que escape de la mediatización del urbanismo y de la objetualización de la arquitectura, y de su reducción a un simple medio de consumo. Una revista que pueda ser un vehículo de conocimiento que funcione en dos direcciones, desde y hacia adentro del colectivo de los arquitectos, desde y hacia fuera de los intereses ciudadanos. Por todo ello, antes de presentar esta nueva publicación de la revista “Z arquitectura”, dedicada a la “Propuesta de Desarrollo Urbano y Revitalización de los barrios de la Orla Este”, nos parece necesario reflexionar sobre el conjunto de las exposiciones que se desarrollaron en la Demarcación de Zaragoza del COAA, con motivo de los últimos 100 años de urbanismo y de arquitectura, que contemplaba “la arquitectura y la evolución urbana de Zaragoza en el período 1908 – 2008”. En ellas, se pudo completar el debate histórico de un período que arranca con 1908, y que presupuso la celebración de la Exposición Hispano Francesa para Zaragoza, entendiendo que a partir de este año, acontecía un importante proceso de transformación y modernización de la ciudad, del que todos hemos sido testigos. Si en esta reflexión, dentro de ese ámbito, repasamos los últimos años, comprobamos que el compromiso de los arquitectos con la ciudad, y el repensar la ciudad, se ha reflejado en varias ocasiones entre las que podemos destacar recientemente las siguientes: La propuesta de la eliminación de la barrera de la infraestructura ferroviaria y cierre de la cicatriz a su paso por el centro de la ciudad, uniendo los barrios divididos y construcción de una nueva Estación Intermodal del AVE en el barrio Delicias-Bombarda. La propuesta de realización de un Plan Director de Ordenación de todos los tramos de la Ribera del Ebro entre los dos meandros, uniéndose mediante un Parque Lineal. Y actualmente, y es objeto de esta revista, la Propuesta de Desarrollo Urbano y Revitalización de los tres barrios de la Orla Este. Si se consiguió que comenzara un proceso imparable de regeneración y consolidación urbana, con la construcción de la Estación Intermodal del AVE, tal como se planteaba desde la propuesta, e igualmente ocurrió con el Plan Director de Ordenación de todos los tramos de la ribera del Ebro y sus proyectos, hechos hoy realidad,

3


Tres Talleres urbanísticos para repensar el Este de Zaragoza Javier Monclús Fraga Arquitecto. Catedrático de Urbanismo. CPS Universidad de Zaragoza.

Prólogo

z

4

http://arquitectura.cps.unizar.es

Zaragoza como laboratorio urbanístico Para muchos arquitectos, urbanistas y paisajistas, Zaragoza se ha convertido en los últimos años en un interesante laboratorio urbanístico. Como otras ciudades en distintos momentos de su historia urbana, Zaragoza ha experimentado un importante cambio de escala. Una transformación que ha ido asociada a la dinámica acelerada de crecimiento urbano de las últimas dos décadas, con el consiguiente y progresivo aumento de la complejidad en la estructura y funciones de la ciudad. Esas transformaciones también son el resultado de importantes operaciones de construcción de infraestructuras y del impulso de algunos grandes proyectos urbanos. Entre las primeras, hay que destacar las nuevas infraestructuras de transporte, desde las ferroviarias, con la llegada del tren de alta velocidad, a las derivadas del completamiento de las rondas viarias (tercer y cuarto cinturón). Aunque también han sido muy relevantes las asociadas a la plataforma logística y a la modernización y ampliación del aeropuerto. En cuanto a los grandes proyectos urbanos, además de la reordenación del entorno de la Estación intermodal de Delicias, es obligado destacar la recuperación de las riberas del Ebro y la reconversión del polo de Ranillas en parque metropolitano equipado, ambos impulsados por la Expo 2008 y su plan de acompañamiento. No hay duda de que, en términos urbanísticos, el balance y el diagnóstico global, después de ese ciclo de crecimiento, resultan globalmente positivos. Sin embargo, resulta obvio que algunas partes de la ciudad esperan todavía su turno. El eslogan es “ahora le toca al Este” (aunque también al centro histórico o a otros barrios de Zaragoza). Es el momento de ampliar una estrategia focalizada en los espacios libres y las infraestructuras a partir del doble polo Estación- Expo, articulados por el Ebro al Oeste de la ciudad, para tratar de reequilibrar la estructura urbana hacia el Este. De hecho, el propio Ayuntamiento ha reconocido las carencias y la insuficiente definición de todo ese ámbito urbano en el vigente plan general (PGOU aprobado en 2002). La zona es todavía una asignatura pendiente, en la que los acuerdos más relevantes se referían a la protección genérica del extenso territorio que se extiende desde el tercer cinturón hasta el río Ebro, en el llamado meandro de Cantalobos. Sin embargo, así como determinadas decisiones no tienen marcha atrás- la traza de los cinturones viarios, posición de los puentes, etc.-, ello

no significa que la ciudad esté definitivamente planificada ni mucho menos acabada en los barrios del Este de Zaragoza. Sobre todo cuando el PGOU solamente prevé nuevos desarrollos en algunos sectores situados al SE del ámbito en cuestión, sin atender a los espacios de borde entre las áreas consolidadas y el territorio periurbano. Es por ello que, desde principios de 2008, la Comisión de Urbanismo del Colegio de Arquitectos (Demarcación de Zaragoza) se planteó la necesidad de repensar la ciudad en esos barrios y sectores urbanos. La Comisión propuso trabajar apoyándose en tres escuelas de Arquitectura a las que se confió el desarrollo de otros tantos talleres urbanísticos sobre los tres sectores urbanos referidos. La solicitud no pudo ser más oportuna, pues resultaba necesaria una exploración con cierta perspectiva global, con la aplicación de metodologías diversas no comprometidas por el debate político local y los planteamientos sólo a corto plazo, proponiendo intervenciones que fueran más allá de la zonificación y las determinaciones normativas incluidas en el plan. Aunque hay que advertir que no se trata de ejercicios puramente académicos, sí es preciso destacar que las aportaciones de los talleres tienen precisamente esa condición de exploración abierta, en la que más que las soluciones propuestas interesa, sobre todo, la apertura y el descubrimiento del potencial de actuaciones en esa parte de la ciudad. Hay que decir que las escuelas han respondido muy satisfactoriamente a la petición del Colegio, lo que puede deberse no sólo a las relaciones personales y profesionales con los responsables de los Departamentos de Urbanismo de las mismas, sino también al hecho de que a todas les ha resultado un lugar de trabajo de elevado interés. Un laboratorio en el que la reflexión a desarrollar se concebía, desde el principio, de forma abierta y sin autocensura. En efecto, el ámbito y los problemas propuestos se corresponden con los que centran la atención de los urbanistas, y por tanto de las escuelas,


Pág. 4: Orla Este. Vista de conjunto. Estado actual. Pág. 5: Propuesta presentada en la Asamblea AIPH Dubai Octubre 2008.

desde hace tiempo. Problemas de envejecimiento físico y social de barrios configurados sobre todo en las décadas del crecimiento poco controlado y en el que la cantidad primaba sobre la calidad urbana, es decir, entre los años 50 y 70 del siglo pasado. Problemas propios de áreas relativamente periféricas (o “periferias interiores”) caracterizadas por la escasez de espacios públicos y la baja calidad de las tramas urbanas. Así como los que resultan de la fragmentación generalizada de determinados sectores y de la proliferación de barreras provocadas por las infraestructuras de transporte (viarias o ferroviarias). Junto a esos problemas bien conocidos y tan frecuentes en determinadas áreas de nuestras ciudades, también son objeto de exploración las oportunidades urbanísticas y proyectuales que surgen de considerar las relaciones entre la ciudad consolidada y los ámbitos periurbanos, con la proliferación de vacíos urbanos y espacios en proceso de abandono en los que coexisten los usos agrícolas con otros obsoletos, poco adecuados o residuales. No es extraño, por tanto, haber conseguido atraer miradas externas de profesionales y de universidades sobre este laboratorio urbanístico. Si bien no es nada frecuente disponer de la participación y asistencia de varias escuelas sobre una serie de temas urbanísticos que se plantean de forma abierta en una ciudad. Y menos en el caso de Zaragoza, al no disponer de estudios universitarios de Arquitectura hasta fechas recientes.

Estrategias posibles para el Este: revitalización, cierre, apertura Es en ese contexto amplio donde deben situarse las reflexiones de los talleres urbanísticos sobre la denominada “Orla Este”. Porque los planteamientos universitarios van más allá de dar respuesta puntual a los problemas inmediatos de cada caso, donde resultan más eficientes las visiones de los vecinos o de los profesionales zaragozanos que conocen en profundidad los problemas aludidos. Las aportaciones de los estudiantes, dirigidos por profesores (que son también urbanistas profesionales) se presentan aquí con intención de enriquecer el debate iniciado por el Colegio de Arquitectos y que también ha desarrollado por la misma Comisión de Urbanismo un año más tarde, como se recoge en esta misma publicación. Podemos decir que las estrategias que están en la base del trabajo de los distintos talleres tienen su punto de mira en conceptos diferentes, aunque complementarios. Así, mientras algunos se centran en la “revitalización” de sectores consolidados, otros optan por el “acabado” o el “cierre” de esos ámbitos, esforzándose en el tratamiento de las franjas de transición entre los barrios y las infraestructuras que, de un modo u otro, se entienden como límites urbanos. Y es precisamente la indefinición de los límites lo que convierte muchos de los trabajos en una interesante exploración sobre la complejidad de nuestros barrios y su relación con el entorno periurbano. En el fondo, la rígida dicotomía y pretendida disyuntiva entre los tratamientos “revitalizadores” y los de carácter “extensivo” respecto a la ciudad consolidada, da paso a propuestas que no sólo tratan de “cerrar” la ciudad mediante intervenciones de sutura urbana, sino que también plantean la oportunidad de su “apertura” al entorno agrícola y natural. Lógicamente, todos esos son conceptos más propios de los talleres

5


Propuesta para la Orla Este (Consorcio Expo Junio 2009) Orla Este. Vista de conjunto. Estado actual.

Prólogo

z

6

urbanísticos que de las metodologías al uso en el urbanismo municipal. Pero no por ello resulta menos urgente y oportuna la reflexión sobre unas formas de intervención urbanística que ya han sido experimentadas con carácter un tanto excepcional en el urbanismo asociado a la Exposición de 2008. En particular, como señala el urbanista François Ascher (recientemente fallecido), es fundamental reconsiderar la noción de límite y la concepción de los espacios urbanos, sobre todo “cuando la distinción entre ciudad y campo, entre público y privado, entre interior y exterior se difumina”. Porque parece evidente que en las lógicas de crecimiento urbano reciente no caben nociones ingenuas sobre separaciones nítidas y límites rígidos entre “ciudad” y “campo”. Por ello, la noción de cierre implica el tratamiento de bordes urbanos en los que siempre están presentes espacios de transición de la ciudad consolidada a los espacios periurbanos, agrícolas y naturales. Centrándonos en los barrios zaragozanos de La Jota- Vadorrey, Las Fuentes y San José, puede decirse que estamos ante realidades de gran identidad urbana, aunque carentes de la claridad morfológica de las tramas de la ciudad tradicional, tanto el centro histórico como los ensanches ordenados en el siglo XIX o a principios del XX. Además, en todos ellos se produce una relación poco satisfactoria con un espacio agrícola y natural, fragmentado por las infraestructuras de transporte y sometido a procesos de abandono y marginación. Porque los vacíos urbanos proliferan no sólo en la “ciudad consolidada” sino también, y sobre todo, en las áreas periféricas de transición con los espacios agrícolas y naturales. Por otro lado, la reconsideración del papel de los vacíos urbanos no supone su obligada ocupación o relleno. Pero tampoco parece viable su integración en la ciudad mediante su exclusión de algún tipo de tratamiento urbanístico o paisajístico que vaya más allá de su protección genérica y pasiva. No hay mejor solución que proponer actuaciones, en positivo. Parece lógica su renaturalización o su revitalización en el caso de los espacios agrícolas, o su reconversión a través de la definición de piezas urbanas con usos mixtos, tanto residenciales o terciarios como productivos en su más amplia concepción. Por su propia naturaleza, el trabajo de los talleres puede ser más interesante allá donde se abordan algunas “oportunidades de proyecto” tanto en espacios públicos de distinto tipo –reurbanización de avenidas, calles y plazas- como en el tratamiento del sistema de espacios libres que ya no puede concebirse al margen de la visión global de la ciudad, el territorio y el paisaje metropolitano.

Si se consideran ahora las aportaciones de cada uno de los tres talleres, lo primero que destaca es la diversidad de aproximaciones y propuestas efectuadas. Lógicamente, ello no sólo obedece a la especificidad de cada sector sino también a las diferencias en las aproximaciones y metodologías utilizadas. Las visiones y los instrumentos se inscriben en la cultura urbanística más actual e innovadora, pero la heterogeneidad de las respuestas tiene que ver con aproximaciones propias, con talleres coordinados por profesores que, lógicamente, utilizan metodologías no idénticas y que centran los esfuerzos de los estudiantes en el tratamiento de diversas cuestiones. Aunque todos descubren muchas más oportunidades y potencialidades de las consideradas al inicio de los trabajos. En el caso del sector de La Jota- Vadorrey, el taller de la Universidad de Navarra (coordinado por Jose María Ordeig con la colaboración de los arquitectos del equipo zaragozano (M. Castillo, M.A. Jiménez), el análisis de partida confirma el diagnóstico esbozado por la Comisión de Urbanismo. Así, las “situaciones de transición indefinida” se entienden como oportunidades de actuación global y de reequilibrio urbano. El análisis de las infraestructuras, espacios libres y equipamientos da paso a las propuestas para el sector, concebidas como oportunidades para la “terminación natural del barrio”. Es destacable la diversidad de opciones presentadas a partir de ese diagnóstico y visión general. Se trata de apuestas que se corresponden con alguno de los criterios de intervención clave planteados: parques de ribera, permeabilización de infraestructuras, frentes de edificación residencial que conectan y rematan tejidos existentes, etc. Desde cualquiera de esos principios, sobresale el esfuerzo por el tratamiento unitario de todo el sector. Si se observan en paralelo los planos del PGOU y las propuestas efectuadas, se pueden comprobar las potencialidades y oportunidades de intervención de muy distinta naturaleza. Esa estrategia de integración con las riberas del Gállego puede entenderse así como “apertura” al medio natural y,


Propuesta para la Orla Este (Consorcio Expo Junio 2009)

también, como “cierre” de los barrios por el Este. En este sentido, la idea del “cierre del Anillo verde” se convierte en una de las opciones más trabajadas por algunos de los equipos. También es perceptible la preocupación por salvar e integrar la barrera del ferrocarril, así como la apuesta por una relación con el medio natural que puede realizarse mediante distintas estrategias proyectuales. Por otro lado, en un alto porcentaje (más de la mitad de los equipos), se consideran las potencialidades vinculadas a un proyecto singular y estratégico que podría desarrollarse en ese ámbito: Expo Paisajes 2014, presentado públicamente a la vez que los talleres comenzaban su trabajo (septiembreoctubre de 2008, cuando la propuesta del Ayuntamiento fue aprobada por la Asociación Internacional de Productores Hortícolas, en Dubai). El sector de Las Fuentes, fue abordado por el Taller de la Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (coordinado por Carles Llop, con la colaboración de los arquitectos del equipo zaragozano y barcelonés que se indican), y sus resultados también confirmna el diagnóstico de la Comisión de Urbanismo contribuyendo a enriquecer las visiones iniciales. En este caso, es interesante destacar la aproximación del taller claramente centrada en el “espacio de transición al medio natural”. En esta interpretación pesa el interés del propio equipo en explorar determinadas cuestiones del “proyecto urbano y arquitectónico contemporáneo”, centrándose en esas situaciones propias de la experimentación urbanística actual: nuevas formas para programas complejos, estrategias de reciclaje urbano de la ciudad existente, nuevos paisajes con papel estructurante en la ciudad contemporánea, etc. En particular, se parte de un interés por repensar determinados “espacios de oportunidad”, entendiendo la transición entre la ciudad consolidada y el territorio agrario y periurbano, muy en particular con la integración de una “huerta” cada vez más fragmentada y desvinculada de la ciudad.

El Anillo verde, como instrumento ampliamente experimentado en otras ciudades toma aquí especial protagonismo. De su concepción inicial como “límite al crecimiento urbano” se pasa a su entendimiento como elemento estructurador de la ciudad, asociado al sistema fluvial y, en general, al sistema de espacios libres urbanos, periurbanos, agrícolas y naturales. Hay que decir que el equipo ha sido muy consciente de las oportunidades pero también de los riesgos de trabajar en unos sectores donde coexisten espacios de gran calidad ambiental con una gran presión urbana con pérdida de uso en elementos de borde naturales, con claro riesgo de generar expectativas no deseadas”. Se plantea así la necesidad de llegar a equilibrios entre posturas maximalistas de no intervención, en un extremo, y de colmatación urbana, en el otro. Con esas premisas, y el correspondiente reconocimiento de la estructura y formas del territorio en cuestión, se ponen de manifiesto los cambios en su organización y textura. Como en el ámbito anterior, las aportaciones van más allá de lo sugerido por la Comisión, descubriendo numerosas potencialidades y oportunidades de intervención. Por ejemplo, en relación a la integración de la Ronda de la Hispanidad, o a la barrera del ferrocarril. También en este caso se efectúan interesantes consideraciones sobre Expo Paisajes, evento entendido como oportunidad para catalizar las transformaciones propuestas. El sector de San José fue el ámbito de trabajo del taller de la Escuela de Arquitectura de Valladolid (coordinado por el profesor Juan Luis de las Rivas, con la colaboración de los arquitectos zaragozanos G. Molpeceres y Pablo de la Cal). A diferencia del taller anterior, el concepto dominante aquí es el de revitalización del barrio. Un barrio (o distrito) que se considera bien delimitado, si bien se acepta que “pierde coherencia física y social en sus bordes al Este”. La opción de “concentrarse en el barrio” es coherente con la decisión inicial de limitar el ámbito de trabajo sin superar la Ronda de la Hispanidad. Eso significa que el esfuerzo fundamental se dedica a explorar las diferentes situaciones urbanas en las áreas consolidadas. Como consecuencia de esas exploraciones, se produce un desarrollo y confirmación del diagnóstico esbozado por la comisión de urbanismo. En este caso, a diferencia de los anteriores, además del análisis de los procesos de formación del sector, se toma el plan general como “instrumento útil para interpretar el barrio” y también como documento que permite ir descubriendo las oportunidades de proyecto. Pero, también en correspondencia con

7


Izquierda: Propuesta Anillo Verde de Zaragoza. Derecha: Propuesta para la Orla Este (Consorcio Expo. Julio 2009) Ordenación posible piezas de transición. Vista de conjunto. • Intervenciones en la ciudad consolidada: anillo verde interior, transformación de la Ronda Hispanidad en eje urbano equipado, transformación de la carretera de Castellón en eje urbano, regeneración de espacios públicos, ampliación de parques existentes, rehabilitación de conjuntos urbanos, equipamientos (nuevos y rehabilitados), tranvía y cercanías. • Intervenciones en espacio de transición: cierre del Anillo Verde por el Este y equipamientos vinculados, reordenación de áreas industriales y piezas urbanas de transición. • Intervenciones en la huerta y el medio natural: sistema de recorridos, revitalización y activación de la huerta, equipamientos vinculados al medio natural y revitalización de espacios naturales.

Prólogo

z

8

esas aproximaciones, se profundiza en el entendimiento de un sector susceptible de intervenciones más elaboradas que las contempladas en el plan: actuaciones de reforma interior, unidades de actuación sobre suelo urbano no consolidado o “pequeños ámbitos de suelo urbanizable a lo largo de la Ronda”. El trabajo de los diferentes equipos va siempre más allá de las determinaciones, un tanto simplistas, del plan general. En particular, cuando se considera el Anillo verde como “argumento principal” para la recomposición y mejora del sistema de espacios verdes públicos. En resumen, el trabajo del Taller de Valladolid permite un descubrimiento del importante potencial de mejora del barrio. El interés por abordar la revitalización de la ciudad consolidada produce resultados de gran interés metodológico, poniendo las bases para desarrollar los trabajos en multitud de “ocasiones proyectuales” que no eran fáciles de intuir anteriormente. Oportunidades y condiciones Una de las conclusiones que pueden extraerse de los trabajos de los talleres es que no se detectan contradicciones entre las oportunidades para hacer ciudad desde el proyecto integrador de la escala de ciudad y las que al mismo tiempo plantean el proyecto desde la realidad de los barrios. Porque, de nuevo, el reto es superar esa dicotomía tradicional, como lo es el de la integración y apertura de la ciudad al paisaje periurbano. Uno de las apuestas con visión globalizadora de ciudad pero también vinculadas a la voluntad de tratamiento unitario de los barrios del Este es la del Anillo Verde. Efectivamente, hay que recordar que esta es una idea surgida con el Plan de acompañamiento de la Expo, como una continuación lógica de la estrategia de conexión de los corredores del Ebro y el Canal mediante el corredor Oliver-Valdefierro, con diversas opciones de “cierre” por el Este. Esa estrategia se enriquece ahora al considerar las posibilidades de vertebrar distintos corredores verdes interiores y exteriores a la trama urbana consolidada. Pero también con la renovación sustancial de las concepciones iniciales al entenderse cada vez más como parte del sistema ecológico de espacios libres y naturales. De ahí que la idea de “cierre” sea complementaria a la de “apertura” al medio natural, en mayor correspondencia con la actual sensibilidad paisajística y medioambiental. A partir de estas reflexiones es posible descubrir las potencialidades y oportunidades de incorporación de la naturaleza a la ciudad y de integración de los viejos y nuevos frentes urbanos con el medio natural y agrícola del entorno. Los objetivos propios de la nueva cultura territorial y paisajística

van imponiéndose, lentamente, a los ya tradicionales de “dignificación de las periferias”. Como también avanzan las nuevas visiones más sensibles a la heterogeneidad de los espacios urbanos, tendiendo a identificar las oportunidades que se presentan para impulsar actuaciones estratégicas, en lugar de la rutinaria imposición de técnicas normativas tradicionales. Por otro lado, lo que se deduce de estas formas de repensar el Este de la ciudad, es la compatibilidad y complementariedad entre visiones globales o “macro” y visiones “micro”, entre proyectos estratégicos y microurbanismo. Y también se comprueba que “devolver la naturaleza a la ciudad” tiene que ver no solamente con la dimensión micro sino que pasa también por intervenciones macro de regeneración urbana. Continuidad, coherencia, complejidad, anillos verdes y ciudad verde, integración con el medio natural, etc. No parece haber excesivas divergencias en el modelo deseable, aunque si puede haberlas en relación a los medios y a los instrumentos. Las diferentes interpretaciones por parte de cada una de las tres Escuelas es ilustrativa y enriquecedora. Es posible así hablar de deterioro y regeneración del borde urbano, de “apertura” al medio natural, tanto como de “cierre” de los barrios, o “revitalización” de los mismos… El punto de partida y el objetivo último de esta publicación es el de contribuir a la reflexión colectiva sobre determinados problemas de naturaleza urbanística y las propuestas correspondientes que deberán ser objeto de desarrollo por parte de técnicos y ciudadanos. En cualquier caso, interesa insistir en el valor de las “propuestas de Taller” como instrumento para avanzar en la concreción de los planes y proyectos que se desean poner en marcha. Es ahora cuando esas opciones se abren a un debate más amplio de ciudadanos y profesionales, en un proceso que debe culminar con la puesta en marcha de un gran proyecto que también puede entenderse como un conjunto coherente de pequeñas operaciones de mejora urbana, paisajística y medioambiental.


9


Taller San José / ETSAU Valladolid

z

58

Grupo

A

Nieto - Rodríguez - Rueda


59


Taller San JosĂŠ / ETSAU Valladolid

z

60

Grupo

B

Miranda - Morante


61

Grupo

C

Llorente - MartĂ­nez


Taller San JosĂŠ / ETSAU Valladolid

z

62

Grupo

D

Antunes - Pinela - Trindade


63

Grupo

E

Senosiain - Sola


Taller San José / ETSAU Valladolid

z

64

Grupo

F

González - Huerta


65

Grupo

G

MartĂ­nez - MartĂ­nez


Taller San José / ETSAU Valladolid

z

66

Grupo

H González - Jiménez


67


Taller San José / ETSAU Valladolid

z

68

Grupo

I

Sáenz - Sánchez


69


Taller San José / ETSAU Valladolid

z

70

Grupo

J Galiana - García-Avello


71


Editorial AZ Magazine By José Javier Gallardo Ortega City[one], “as it is”, intended you to discover subtle, serene architecture, the symbol of an unassuming city of a lesser scale and the in control of its urban fabric; City[two], workshops, sets the stage for an urban development and architecture laboratory, esconced against the by the outer boundary of the city’s eastern districts, (San José, Las Fuentes or La Jota Vadorrey) on its way to improve the general quality of the urban environment. Additionally, the regeneration of the riverbanks, (of the Ebro and of the Imperial Canal), is a base from which to rediscover the natural environment and to resolve the connection between the green spaces and greenways; we now know that at times man controls, captures, changes and consumes ”fresh water”; whilst he can only survive in “salt water”. Let us take advantage of it! SO WHAT IS ALL OF THIS ABOUT? On the one hand, we have already commented in the previous issue that, on the whole, institutional projects or “top-down processes” (e.g. the Expo), tend to have an expiry date; they are not usually updated. However, this time it is different, and in light of the intentions to maintain an adequate balance between the different axes of urban development (now is the time for those in the east), it might be possible to feel more positive about a dynamic project such as the 2014 Expo Landscapes. On the other hand, let us take “bottom-up processes” or less institutionalised, renewals, which are perhaps more real, and which allow us “to think about what we’re doing”. The actions discussed in this issue involve participation, a social approach and working with the community, encouraging dialogue between those who make and those who use. On this occasion, the articles on what the Las Fuentes and San José Community Associations, Roberto Escudero, chairman of the Vadorrey Community Association and Pablo Polo, chairman of Iberflumen, all think on the matter help us to reflect upon these points, as well as others. Issues 13-14 also discuss how the establishment of the new schools of architecture in ZARAGON has given rise to a new power- the academic. The schools of architecture of Valladolid, (working on ideas for the district of San José, directed by the lecturer Juan Luis de la Riva Sanz), Pamplona (whose target area was the district of La Jota-Vadorrey and led by the lecturer Carlos Llop Torné) have a connection with the political, creative and industrious power, which is both desirable and indeed necessary in order to exert a positive influence in our social environment. As such, these schools’ workshops seem good examples of the healthy link between political and institutional power. I wish to take a bit of time to talk about a subject that is of particular interest to me:

94

[The exercises shown in these pages are a LESSON ON HOW TO THINK, so that students continue thinking about Zaragoza or about other social topics, with the necessary and invaluable help of select analysis. To do this, they are using a tool that is to my mind the most valuable that a workshop can have: DIAGRAMMATISATION as a basic drawing to explain an idea and and as a tool for design concepts. At the start of the research, an inventory is made of aspects like the programme, restrictions, regulations, the location... Through graphic representation, the abstract data is more precisely interpreted and recorded, and general structural characteristics are described. Information is recorded by means of a systematic administrative system. However, the creative moment takes place when deciding what information should be recorded and how. Selection, reduction and simplification are mechanisms that are activated as starting points and stimuli for interpretation. The initial

studies involve the widest possible exploration of options. Studies of programme, density and type are presented in different variations and models, without being the direct result of one particular means. They are therefore diagrammatical, and show the most radical speculations. What is there of intellectual value in this administrative work? The use of diagrams in analytical exploration can reveal the invisible structures of contemporary society. It seems therefore that we were starting from scratch and that we had to invent an “idealised Zaragoza”. We are deeply involved in this. What is more, from previous initiatives, there seems to be an imbalance between the necessary actions: institutional initiatives, or “those that do” renovations from the ground up, or “those that think” and the academic power- which is “at the influential forefront” in our social environment. Perhaps now we can focus on external influences, because we have something to say and because we can be the example of a balanced start to the urban development process. However, they cannot interfere with our own internal influences; because right now, the standards we follow are not Madrid or Barcelona but our own concerns. Let us not forget that the urban development workshop is the initiative of the Zaragoza branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, and for this reason its Urban Development Commission, led by the architect Pablo de La Cal, has come up with several interesting proposals that help to understand the idea of the revitalisation of the eastern fringe. It is also that of the Guest Editor, Javier Monclús, Coordinator of Architecture and Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Zaragoza, and it is to him that we owe the impetus of these work strategies and of the present publication. In short, this idea of ORIGINALITY stimulates the artistic component of architecture and urban development, and makes it more accessible and less important, because everyone has an opinion that they wish to share. There are two main reasons for this phenomenon, among others: the first is that its parameters merge with other technical and artistic disciplines; and the second is that architecture is once again being portrayed in the media as a consumer product.

Preface Juan Alberto Belloch Julbe Mayor of Zaragoza The close association maintained in recent years between Zaragoza City Council and the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon has paved the way for the implementation of several important works which, without doubt, will constitute part of the intellectual and documentary heritage that is vital for understanding the key urban development and architectural aspects of the Zaragoza of today and of the last century. This issue of Z Arquitectura magazine focusing on the Eastern Fringe is one of them. The growing significance that the need for a solution to the completion of the city in the east is gaining in the city’s public agenda has come about as a natural, if paradoxical, consequence of the urban transformation process set into motion by Expo 2008. In this way, the concentration of actions and investments in the city’s west – principally focused on the Ranillas meander, but also the area surrounding the new high-speed train station – created indisputable ‘counterweight’ logic, resulting in a focus on the other side of the city to maintain an adequate balance between different urban poles. Additionally, the completion of infrastructure such as the third and fourth ring roads – essential for marking out the space for urban functions –


The East’s time has now come. This is what I expressed in the debate on the state of the city in 2009, and I believe that there is considerable political and social support for the need to concentrate our efforts over the upcoming years on this extensive area of the city. In this respect, we have taken some very important steps that allow us to be optimistic about the feasibility and success of the process that has been initiated. Not least amongst these is the work presented in this issue of the Official Association of Architects’ magazine. Its value lies not only in the advanced nature of its exploration into the best solutions for the Eastern Fringe, but also in the process of professional reflection, social discussion and citizens’ participation that has been promoted and which is absolutely essential for ensuring the democratic sustainability of the operation. This work is the subject of intense popular debate on the necessary and recommendable mechanisms and instruments for the effective implementation of urban development and landscape transformations which are beginning to take shape in this extensive area of the city. It is more than reasonable to expect that, after the concentration of attention and effort involved in a project of the scale of Expo 2008 and its Accompanying Plan, a renewed interest should be aroused in the policy of small projects and the so called ‘urban acupuncture’. It is generally accepted that large-scale projects end up sacrificing the finer points and losing sight of specific problems in the everyday life of the city, of the streets and squares where we spend a great deal of our lives. What is needed is a shift in focus from the bigger picture down to the finer details of myriad individual actions. In political terms, however, I believe this is a futile discussion. No largescale urban project is worthwhile if it fails to consider the situation from the perspective of resolving many small scale problems. However, it is impossible to have an essential comprehensive view of the balances and needs of the city if we fail to raise our sights above our small patch to gain a proper perspective. The scale of the problem we face in the east urgently requires a perspective that is both broad and in-depth, allowing us to implement many specific projects which are consistent with general goals. There is also a pressing need to decide upon the tools and resources that will enable today’s dreams to become reality in the city before it is too late. This strategic vision provides the setting for Expo Landscapes 2014, which my government has invested time promoting as a powerful lever capable of accelerating the implementation of the best solutions which we are able to find for the Eastern Fringe. Our obligation as public administrators and leaders is not only to seek and find the best solutions for the developmental problems facing us, but also to articulate the appropriate strategies with which to carry them out. Designing is not enough. There must be implementation. The undeniable success experienced by Zaragoza with Expo 2008 supports the idea that the urban transformation of the Eastern Fringe will be faster and more viable if we are able to associate it with a large project that drives it. This is the vital issue to be debated in the coming months.

Preface “REFLECTIONS ON THE EASTERN FRINGE” “…but when writings, as actions, are not spoken of with affectionate interest, and with a certain enthusiasm of involvement, what is left is so insignificant that it is not worth talking about...” GOETHE at a young age. It is our intention to create a magazine that provides a space for reflection on the discipline of architecture from all points of view, distancing itself from the media’s portrayal of urban development and the objectualisation of architecture, and their reduction to a simple form of consumption. This is a magazine that can act as a vehicle of knowledge that operates two ways, from the architectural collective and inwards, and from the interests of the citizens and outwards. For all of these reasons, before presenting this new issue of “Z Arquitectura” magazine, focusing on the “Proposal for Urban Development and Revitalisation of the districts of the Eastern Fringe”, we deem it necessary to reflect on all of the exhibitions held in the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, contemplating “the architecture and urban development of Zaragoza in the period 1908-2008” to mark the last 100 years of urban development and architecture. These exhibitions featured the historical debate on a period which started in 1908 with the Hispano-French Exhibition and what it meant for Zaragoza, with the understanding that this year marked the beginning of an important process of transformation and modernisation for the city, one that we have all borne witness to.

z

English

has provided a framework for specific, well defined urban development. Against this background, unfinished situations like the current outer boundary of the districts of San José, Las Fuentes and Vadorrey have only strengthened their demand for some kind of action. The regeneration of the banks of both the Ebro and the Imperial Canal have also opened up new perspectives and demands for the adaptation of the whole of the urban space in terms of reconciliation with the natural environment, the appropriate transition from the city to the countryside, the beautification of the environment and linking of the city’s green spaces and greenways.

If we review the last few years as part of this reflection and within its scope, we can see that the commitment of architects to the city and to its redesign has been portrayed on a number of occasions, among which the more recent examples can be given special mention: The proposed elimination of the barrier formed by the railway and closure of the ‘scar’ left by its route through the city centre, the connection of divided districts and the construction of a new Intermodal Station for the high-speed train in the Delicias-Bombarda district. The proposed implementation of a Master Development Plan for all stretches of the Ebro Riverbanks between the two meanders, and their connection by means of a Linear Park. And, currently, and the subject of this magazine, the proposed urban development and revitalisation of the three Eastern Fringe districts. The beginnings of the irrepressible process of urban regeneration and consolidation came about through the construction of the Intermodal Station, as per the original proposal, and also through the Development Master Plan for all stretches of the Ebro Riverbanks and its projects. These projects have now become reality as a result of the Expo 2008 event. In the same way, the reflections on the Eastern Fringe by the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, with the collaboration of workshops held by three schools of architecture, are intended to foster an in-depth debate on urban development among the community associations in these districts, as well as in the city as a whole, to allow us to bring about the necessary future urban development, the revitalisation of these districts and the conditioning of natural spaces, leading to consolidation of the city. The importance of investing our efforts in these forgotten districts to offset the existing imbalance between the Western Fringe (comprising the districts of the Intermodal Station and the Expo Zaragoza 2008 site meander) and the neglected Eastern Fringe motivates us to act now with the scope of our proposal extending from the eastern meander and from the Gállego riverbank with the intention of revitalising these districts.

95


The proposal intends to complete pending infrastructure and the Mobility and Transport Plan, to make up for the shortcomings in facilities and services, to develop the Green Ring and finalise the platform for the area surrounding the new football stadium. Consequently, we believe that the proposal of “Urban Development and Revitalisation of the districts of the Eastern Fringe”, made by the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, debated and initially agreed upon with the community associations of these districts and Zaragoza City Council, is essential within the context of our city’s history of urban development. This is because the “development of debate, knowledge and urban culture” is important and, above all, because by acquiring this knowledge, we can avoid making the urban development mistakes committed in our city’s past. Likewise, all of this must drive us to appropriately plan our urban development future, as a cultural and cutting-edge city. Our thanks go to Zaragoza City Council, the community associations of the Eastern Fringe Districts, the Workshops of the Pamplona, Valladolid and Vallés (Barcelona) Schools of Architecture and the members of the Urban Development Laboratory and Urban Development Commission of the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architecture of Aragon for their contribution to the publication of this magazine. Special thanks go to the Mayor of Zaragoza, Juan Alberto Belloch. I am also especially grateful for his close association with the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, a collaboration which has enabled all these works, exhibitions and publications, including this magazine, to go ahead. This magazine is an important tool, considering that it will serve as a historical document in the fields of urban development and architecture, not only for Zaragoza City Council, the community associations of the Eastern Fringe districts and the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, but also for the students of the new schools of architecture, the researchers and the citizens, who are, after all, the trustees for and real protagonists behind the transformation of the city. Therefore, let us embrace this publication with interest, enthusiasm and commitment, in much the same way as the words of the young Goethe at the beginning of this preface invite us to reflect.

It is logical to acknowledge that there are still large areas of the urban fringe in situations of undefined transition in the eastern part of the city, at the edges of the Barrio La Jota, Las Fuentes and San José districts, which provide a good opportunity for comprehensive action and for restructuring the city. The comprehensive development of the eastern zone of the city also offers a great opportunity for urban planning, architectural and landscaping actions. ANALYSIS OF THE BARRIO LA JOTA ZONE THE INFRASTRUCTURE Barrio La Jota has two main pieces of land infrastructure: the railway and the ring roads. Both the ring roads and the railway encircle Zaragoza, crossing the Ebro to the south of the district. There are two structures for crossing the river – the La Unión Bridge for the Marqués de la Cadena ring road, and the Manuel Jiménez Abad Bridge for the Z-30 ring road. There are other smaller but no less important leading to the district, such as Avenida de Cataluña, which crosses the district from end to end, or Avenida de La Jota and Calle Alfonso Zapater that form a staggered entry to the district. OPEN SPACES

José María Ordeig

The Barrio La Jota sector has its main green spaces in Parque de Oriente and the market gardens currently found alongside the River Gállego. Another addition is the new Ebro waterside greenway, which connects with the other green spaces in the city. Other actions include the Royo de Rabal Park and Calle Carlo Bruna street landscaping, as well as several other smaller ones that make Barrio La Jota a district with potential for a having green spaces throughout.

Urban Planning Lecturer

SERVICE FACILITIES

University of Navarra School of Architecture

There is a definite shortage of service facilities, especially at the fringes of the district close to the river and in the northern part near the industrial zone. There are no significant services that would attract people from other parts of the city. The only services in sufficient supply in the area are infants and primary schools. If more housing were to be built, more services would need to be provided both to cover the needs of a growing population and to generate interest in this part of the city.

Ideas for Barrio La Jota - Vadorrey

OVERVIEW The Barrio de la La Jota sector was studied by the Department of Urban Planning at the University of Navarre School of Architecture. The following is a brief analysis of the situation, with regard to both the city of Zaragoza and its immediate surrounds. It continues with a general outline of the proposals that are being put forward and, finally, the development of these proposals. GENERAL ANALYSIS OF ZARAGOZA The analysis of Zaragoza, which is necessarily brief, basically takes into account the general system of open spaces, the major service facilities and the most important transport infrastructures. The result of this allows us to appreciate the state of completion, or lack of completion, of a number of districts..

96

by both the meander of the Ebro and the River Gállego. It is clear that actions to provide service facilities in recent decades have balanced the north and south banks of the Ebro (Actur de Santiago and, in particular, the Expo site). However, the north-east zone is still pending action, (so to is the Southeast), especially within the context of replacing industry with residential activity as in many other cities. Zaragoza has experienced a quantum leap in the provision of transport infrastructure hthat had long been necessary. Based on undertaken and approved projects, special mention should be made of the completion of the express ring road, a succession of concentric rings and a system of radial thoroughfares. Although, in this respect, there is a striking difference in the number and size of them in the west and the scarcity of them in the east.

There is evidently a system of open spaces that gives continuity and structure to the whole of central Zaragoza (Ebro banks), culminating in the west, at the Expo site. However, it is a system that is distant from the urban area to the east, and which does not harness the potential that is offered

THE SURROUNDING URBAN FABRIC The district is bordered to the north by a densely occupied industrial estates. The adjoining residential area has irregular planning and, as such, does not form a clean edge to the city. Residents go to other parts of the city with better services since there is not enough on offer in the area itself. NATURAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND LANDSCAPE VALUE The government’s Natural Resources Management Plan has designated the whole area a part of the Ebro Groves and Oxbow Lakes (the Escatrón-Zaragoza stretch). However, different environmental actions are possible in the area. The area closest to the river are covered in riparian vegetation consisting of species of trees and shrubs. This


S cross section shows four vegetation zones: Aquatic plants, reed beds, riparian vegetation, i.e. stands of trees, and furthest away are particular species that do not need the continuous flow of water but which do require constant moisture, such as pines, willows and, especially, black poplars. The most common wildlife found here is the variety of species typically found along river banks, as are frogs, small rodents and small fish. This is a protected area for the Primilla kestrel (Falco naumanni). Additionally, the Ebro Woodlands and Islands area has been designated a Site of Community Importance (SCI), apart from an area of evergreen forest on the right bank and another of sclerophyll shrubland running along the left bank. The rest of the area is classified as permanent irrigation land. GENERAL SUMMARY: STRATEGIES FOR THE AREA It can be seen that the Barrio La Jota sector is an area of opportunity for the natural completion of urban development from the north of Zaragoza to the banks of the Gállego. As such, the proposals for the sector should consider the following: The definition of a model for implementation taking into account both the edge of the city and the coexistence of significant infrastructure with urban development that minimises the barrier effect, and the integration of a natural feature – the River Gállego and its banks. The transition from high density areas towards the natural spaces, and proposals for uses consistent with the environment of the land bordering the River Gállego. The definition of an urban fabric that unifies all of the development south of Avenida Cataluña and the incorporation of the residential areas to form a new urban façade. Implementing metropolitan-wide services, possibly linked to a suburban train-metro station, and connected with the plan created for the surrounding area and the new urban fabric that is being proposed. The continuation and possible union of the natural spaces on the left bank of the River Gállego, those of the Ebro and the natural spaces of the right side (Cantalobos Woodland). This should provide a setting for rezoning as an natural environment, with a strategy to create a river park on a metropolitan scale. PROPOSALS: GENERAL IDEAS The proposals for the Barrio la Jota district presented here are the result of work carried out by fourth year students studying Urban Planning II at the Pamplona School of Architecture. This presentation is a general commentary on the solutions adopted byt the class, as well as a brief description of each one that corresponds – in number – to the images that accompany this publication. Generally speaking, there is a wide variety of options in the resulting urban design, despite common starting points for this sector. However, there are four main criteria that they all seem to share: The exhibition park on the banks of the Gállego, supported – in many different ways – by transport infrastructure (railway), the link with the existing residential buildings, and the introduction of more regional activity. The difference lies in the solutions to link all of these “key concepts”, products of the different levels of creativity of each team and the methodological process they follow. This has led to the following initiative that can be broken down into groups depending on the various starting points. For example, one can differentiate between those that have gone in the

direction of designing the connections between the residential buildings and the park, in different ways, by means of a large façade burying the infrastructure in the majority of cases (groups 4,5,10 or 13), and those chose another direction. Other groups instead chose to link the residential buildings directly with the park without with resorting to this “façade”, and so leaving the more impacting activity in particular places left by this join, whether they be green openings or built exits. There are still others who have evidently opted for incorporating the structural opportunities of the railway infrastructure, using it to link their design and the different zones in a spectacular fashion (groups 1, 3, 8 and 12). The particularly egalitarian solution between the design of the park and the urban fabric from group 14 merits special mention. PROPOSAL DESCRIPTIONS 1. In this solution, two fabrics have been proposed, providing continuity to the existing urban axes, with a business centre located in what would be the new district core. The railway becomes part tramway and part rail, connected by an interchange in the business area. It would be elevated, leaving free passage the River Gállego, with the creation of a large riverside park that would be a new heart as much for the area as for the whole city and would be complete the Green Ring. A linear formation for the housing has been selected, which corresponds to the streets and the train, with different dimensions depending on its function. 2. This project aims to create two interlinked spaces. One aspect is the continuation of the urban fabric from Barrio La Jota, and the other is the creation of a large open public space. The latter penetrates the existing urban fabric and crosses it to reach the existing district, whether in the form of a green space or as a public plaza from which a riverside path follows the banks of the Gállego until it connects with the greenway along the Ebro. The main services are placed in this public space, creating a “city of arts”.

z

English

woodland area extends along the whole bank of the Gállego as far as its confluence with the Ebro, and constitutes a rich and interesting feature that follows the river on both banks.

3. This initiative is centred on the idea of completing the Green Ring that was started for the 2008 Expo, restoring the banks of the river Gállego and finishing the plan for the Ebro riverbanks, which was to create a long walkway that ran the length of the Gállego. It starts in the northern area at a sports complex and runs along the riverbanks of the Ebro in such a way as to facilitate other uses for the river, such as fishing and rowing. One particular aspect of this plan is the link between this axis with another (the railway line) that aids the successful combination of the new proposal with what is already there, by means of footpaths that connect the old layout with the new green area. 4. This proposal seeks to demarcate the city limits by means of a megastructure that breaks up and moulds the city and, at the same time, could host the potential Expo Floralia. Its design creates a contrast between the vertical and rigid nature of the buildings with the organicness and horizontal nature of the Expo site, with green areas leading down to the river. The solution adopted is to build a railway tunnel before the bridge, creating at the site where it intersects with the megastructure; a large podium for administration, sports and business. It also houses the transport interchange, which will provide access not only to the Expo but to the whole complex, and to the city. 5. This proposal focuses on the redevelopment of the district through the construction of a large park on both sides of the Gállego which will act as sites for the 2014 Expo Floralia. Two initial decisions have been made: to put the railway lines in a tunnel and to eliminate the road from the new plan, which links the centre of the city with the fourth ring road. This is to create an urban park that does not have substantial barriers. In

97


turn, there is also and area planned to be of service to the park, giving it an urban façade. 6. In this proposal, the decision has been made to create continuity through the means of three contiguous residential extensions, one from each the areas in Barrio La Jota. Located between each one are little green areas that open onto the riverside park. The eastern half of the southern extension is proposed to be used for the Floralia. The railway infrastructure is elevated, to create spaces beneath it for use by the district and for the Expo. In this way, the project creates a pedestrian feel for the area, and also gives a unique character to the Floralia. 7. The main objective for this proposal is the restoration of the Gállego riverbanks, which are currently in poor condition. It comprises a plan to build a large park that incorporates itself into the existing city, regenerating it city and giving it breathing room. Similarly, the buildings spread into the park, establishing a dialogue between them and the free space. The express roads such as the third ring road and the planned road towards Santa Isabel have become urban thoroughfares. In the park, the area nearest the river has been conserved, whereas the rest of it has been adapted to accommodate the 2014 Expo Floralia, with a design that lends itself to the agricultural nature of the event. The train has placed in a tunnel underground. 8. This project focuses on incorporating the railway into the urban layout, avoiding the barrier effect and improving its framework. The track has therefore been elevated and runs perpendicular to the buildings that are to make up the commercial zone. This pseudo-border works as a transition element between the city and the Floralia Park, creating gates into and out of the park from the city, and so making the public spaces more visible. It also establishes a connection between Barrio La Jota and the new part of the city, with its service and urban infrastructure, by means of a road and green spaces. 9. This one considers three very different areas, the riverbank path, the intermediate park area and the proposed urban fabric. It achieves a subtle park that encroaches onto the riverbank, but whose main focus lies within the urban fabric, useable in times of flooding thanks to the raised pathway that allows one to walk along it despite the water, amidst the vegetation. The urban fabric, in turn, continues the existing grid of Barrio La Jota to ensure cohesion and a clean demarcation of the city’s edge. Two entrances have been put in place from the Gállego riverbank woodlands towards a more urban internal park, which is laid out on different levels using dikes, raising the scenery and protecting it from flooding. 10. This initiative aims to offer a new façade to Barrio La Jota and, at the same time, to make it open onto the natural space of the Gállego. Therefore, the riverside park is the fundamental element to the project, conserving the current plant life in the existing park, the plant life that seems to extend out into the city and where Expo Floralia is proposed to be held. The Green Ring follows the two riverbanks. This large façade provides a repetitive section of two types of spaces between the blocks. The first are to public spaces with facilities that overlook the river; and the second are made up of the private spaces for commercial, administrative and residential use. A more residential zone is proposed to the north (dual aspect, three-storey buildings), opening onto private spaces.

98

11. The idea behind this project is a progressively “urban to nature” pathway to the River Gállego along different levels. In the urban part, the action carries on from the three existing axes of the surrounding urban fabric. Adapting the three axes to the project creates routes and scenery that develops as we get closer to the Gállego. The later intention is to create a large open public space with large experimental fruit and

vegetable and botanical gardens, which will greatly help to achieve the natural element that the team is striving for with this space. The train station is located towards the south, which serves as the connection between the existing residential areas of Barrio La Jota. The last stage is the natural riverbank area. 12. The urban design aims to revitalise the area’s current residual space as well as to improve the Gállego riverbanks. It consists of three parts. The residential northern area and its relevant characteristics with the corresponding same area of Barrio La Jota, the south east area where the Expo Floralia is to be found, and the south west, which is also residential but more in keeping with the open building plan in this part of the neighbourhood. All of them are connected by a boulevard adapted to a tramline, but which contains the activities that are key to revitalisation: university facilities and a business park. 13. This unconventional proposal deals with establishing a strong link between residential use and the Gállego Park. A succession of building “fingers” have been chosen to form a fringe, with dual aspect homes, that are distributed between two different areas. Between them is a University that acts as the “lynchpin” of these two sections, and which would without a doubt be a source of rejuvenation in the area of the city with youth and business. The railway network is placed underground in this plan, as well as providing the district with an intermodal station. 14. This concept is based on the potential design for the Expo Floralia. If this is to be of a concentric band design that extends as far as the banks of the Gállego, the residential area will follow this logic until it connects with the city. The towers are the culmination point of the proposal before the city ring road, giving it a new type of building style. The internal spaces of the building fabric are enclosed with a tree line, service buildings and commercial structures.

Ideas for the Las Fuentes District Project for the transition space between the city and the Las Fuentes Sector Green Ring. Carlos Llop Torné Urban Planning Lecturer The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) Vallés School of Architecture (ETSAV) ETSAV’s F projects workshop raised the following general questions on contemporary architectural and urban projects: • Experimenting with new forms for the complex ‘mixed form’ regional and metropolitan programmes with productive, commercial and service uses. • Designing residential spaces around infrastructure in complex urban settings under transformation, where the infrastructure, means of transport, use of riverside and railway areas and transport interchanges create value added and new enclaves featuring contemporary urban development. • Creating new landscapes through a ‘landscape design’ project for continuous sites with a structural role for the contemporary city: green corridors, wildlife corridors, riverfront areas, infrastructure fringe areas, urban-rural transitional spaces and urban redevelopment sites articulated by transport. • Exploring architectural spaces in a three-dimensional city, going beyond the trends of hyperspecialisation and monofunctional zoning that have characterised traditional urban fabric. Designs that explore new construction, structural and infrastructural techniques and their size requirements, associated with the previouslymentioned architectural concepts that materialise the principals of environmental sustainability.


Zaragoza has been undergoing a substantial change in recent years. Its location at the centre of the triangle formed by the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao lends it exceptional strategic value. The arrival of the high-speed train and the excuse provided by the Expo Zaragoza 2008 International Exhibition have presented the opportunity of the rethink the city and its metropolitan character using the Expo Accompanying Plan as a starting point. The various actions contained in the Plan, as well as a generous provision of new infrastructure, have endowed the city with a large number of development opportunities. Redesigning the city, involving understanding the transition between the consolidated city and agricultural lands, which in many cases have fallen into disuse, is one of the challenges currently facing the city. Another challenge is the importance of the river and its banks that cross the city, as well as the proposal of bringing natural spaces closer to the city with the so-called Green Ring. During the 2008-09 academic year, within the framework of an Agreement between the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the Official Association of Architects of Aragon-Zaragoza Branch, we developed an exploratory project for one of the urban fringes in the Cantalobos Sector between the Las Fuentes district and the city’s Green Ring. The Workshop aims to analyse all of these circumstances which have placed the city of Zaragoza in a privileged position of development in our country. Once the recent development taking place in the city has been analysed, the workshop will study the strategies contained in the Accompanying Plan, ultimately focusing on the Soto de Cantalobos meander owing to the appearance of problems that also occur in other parts of the city. The spaces occupied by infrastructure, the character of green entry points, the Green Ring, the consolidation of the built-up city in urban fringe areas and how to put this into practice without the risk of creating undesired expectations are all important considerations. The issues and strategies dealt with in the workshop have the following considerations as their starting point: - The stretch of the Ebro between the Ranillas meander, upstream, and the Las Fuentes meander, downstream, in the east of the city, can be considered the river’s urban course. This area, principally agricultural with spaces of natural interest alongside its course and bordering the built-up city centre, will be the subject of this work. - A scope has been set involving the observation of problems and opportunities specific to these transition areas. The eastern sector of the city of Zaragoza, bordering the Ebro and the Las Fuentes district, comprises market gardens, service facilities, infrastructure and other elements of the metropolitan landscape, among others. This space is a landscape of great interest; it includes a large expanse of protected areas not zoned for building, with a high degree of pressure for urban expansion, endangered farming activities and land development initiatives on the horizon. - The problems of this area are well known: general loss of land use in areas forming natural boundaris, with a clear risk of creating undesired expectations. - At the same time, possible actions of interest are being considered. In particular, the possibility of consolidating the city’s incipient Green Ring is presented as an opportunity in need of a definite boost. - The metropolitan distribution of green spaces can be based on four components situated on the city’s boundaries: To the south, Parque Grande, the city’s large historic park, extends

towards the surrounding farmland through its prolongation, the Pinares de Venecia pine woods. • To the north, a future metropolitan park is planned above the escarpment adjacent to the Ebro lowlands. • To the west is the recently constructed Water Park, on the River Ebro’s meander upstream of the city, where the Expo 2008 site is also located. • Finally, on the Eastern Fringe, the fourth metropolitan park is being planned for downstream, on the Las Fuentes meander. - The layout of infrastructure, parallel to the urban fringe, creates a series of bands: • Between the urban area and the third ring road, with an area of open land awaiting the creation of an already planned green area. • Between the third ring road and the railway line, a space in which market gardens still coexist with small-scale service facilities, electrical infrastructure and a sites currently under development. • Between the railway line and the river, the market gardens predominate, on different levels due to the the construction of levees, finally leading to the riparian woodland beside the river. • Finally, the opposite bank as far as the the fourth ring road (Z-40) is agricultural. - The proximity of the river and the topography of the site explain the floodable nature of the meander and the history of the place, to a large degree. The Las Fuentes meander is currently an important overflow space downstream of the city for flood management purposes. - The river corridor is given continuity in the Galacho de la Alfranca wetlands, in terms of natural environment and urban uses linked to it, integrating areas of natural, research and recreational interest.

z

English

• Exploration of different strategies aimed at recycling of the existing city and the development of new designs for livability and the coexistence with plans centred on housing, work and services.

The project workshop for the Soto de Cantalobos woodlands area of Zaragoza takes into consideration the articulation of the existing city (the Las Fuentes district) with the rural area and the integration of the road and rail infrastructure (Z-30, Zaragoza-Huesca line) that acts as a barrier. This state of this site has been explored from a new perspective, to enable the contribution of original, creative solutions for balanced urban development with respect to the challenges of urban sustainability and enhancement of heritage and of the landscape. Starting with the ‘double condition’ concept (being from outside the area and in an academic context), the current workshop proposes new possibilities for the city of Zaragoza project: designing its eastern boundary, the transition between urban and rural uses, as a compact urban space that takes advantage of the previouly-described infrastructure to enable access to a new selection of facilities and occupancy programmes, while marking the limit of expansion as the area of the projected Green Ring. The woodlands will also take on renewed importance as a rural space of great environmental value, forming a backdrop for the Horticultural Exhibition (2014). The suggestions arising from the workshop will enable a necessary city-wide debate in which the civil society, government and institutions such as the Official Association of Architects will contribute strategies towards the desired city project of the future. Some of the key ideas to have come out of the work already carried out are: 1. The pervading spirit of the Zaragoza-Ebro relationship, in which the role of the river system in the structuring of the city is a determining factor for the system of open spaces. In terms of value added, any proposal put forward in this sense would have to take into account the river spaces and aspects such as floodability as essential considerations to incorporate into the landscape project. 2. The Green Ring should be seen as the main structural element of the future city and a powerful tool to enable the city to be connected and involved with its eastern edge.

99


3. In terms of the construction of new urban spaces, and respecting the balanced management of urban and rural areas (between the two extremes of non-intervention and urban overlay responding to speculative interests, particularly in the midst of today’s crisis), there is an extensive range of intermediate solutions to explore which, in any case, should achieve: a. Successful contact between rural and urban aspects. b. Integration of infrastructure. c. Good articulation with the existing city by means of service facilities that contribute to improving the livability of the buildings already in place. In this regard, the exercises proposed by the workshop shape four types of project to establish diverse urban processes and serve to create project criteria from the perspective of urban and landscape transformations (see the different exercises for this presentation, below): A. Compaction. Concentrating the maximum level of urban density into the band flanked by the Z-30 and the railway line, exceeding it at certain points, and aiming to establish clear boundaries between rural and urban land. B. Diffusion. This involves a different strategy, i.e. blurring the boundaries between the city and the countryside, seeking a balanced mix of the two and occasionally making use of moderate urban densities. C. Relationship with the railway line. Among the intermediate strategies, a number of projects interact with the railway line and involve considerations arising from the need to cross it (either over or under). At times, this is done by making the railway a central, structural axis, and at others, somewhat surprisingly, taking it to be a boundary, a point from which to concentrate the building, creating a free space between the existing city and the new project. D. Polarisation. Another set of projects comprises those which create different poles of urban intensity, generally seeking interplay with the existing Torre Ramona Park. At times, the aim is to connect the park with the Green Ring and, at others, with the new urban areas. 4. Expo Landscapes 2014 can be viewed as an opportunity to catalyse this transformation but for this it is necessary to: a. See beyond the ‘ephemeral’ nature of the event, incorporating the “post-expo”scenario as a key element; in other words seeing how it will contribute to the general city project and the improvement of the neighbouring districts. b. Manage to involve the people of Zaragoza in a project which inspires and which brings about consensus on the implementation model. c. Achieve collaboration and a sense of joint responsibility among the different government bodies involved in the process. d. Establish a clear timeline together with monitoring and control mechanisms; even if it seems a long way off, 2014 provides a tight deadline for the many challenges presented by an urban transformation of the magnitude proposed. Indeed, the evaluation which we carry out following the development of the workshop highlights the strategic disposition for a city project which values the maxim “More countryside, more city”, a slogan proposed by the ecologist Salvador Rueda which serves to summarise the contemporary land use project for our cities.

100

It is an inescapable fact that the city needs the nearby market gardens and, to an even greater degree, the river and open landscape spaces surrounding it. From the perspective of a symbiotic relationship, that is to say a mutual exchange of resources, the city and its environs should move forward in a kind of cooperation and co-evaluation. The fields supply the city with vegetables, but they also form a space in their own right, culturally- and environmentally-speaking, and are essential ingredients for the psychological and physical good of the population. The city should be rooted in its geography and, appropriately, respect the balance between the built-up space and the protection of environmental resources and values.

In the transitional band between the eastern districts of Zaragoza and the Soto de Cantalobos woodlands, we find one of the city’s most privileged areas and an ideal location to test out a balanced project between the countryside and the city. This project should be directed at benefitting a society which is more and more sensitive to territorial and landscape values specific to the environment itself and set apart by the quality in the biodiversity of spaces that give identity in relation to the place’s inseparable personality. Zaragoza, which was able to channel a paradigmatic process of urban transformation of the city’s civic quality during the development for the 2008 International Exhibition, now has another opportunity to research, promote and plan a new metropolitan strategy based on the implementation of the “Green Ring” strategy. This strategy involves decisive management of urban growth and the land available in the medium- and long-term as urban development space. In basic terms, it proposes the recycling and regeneration of the existing city by means of the consolidation of ill-equipped fringe spaces or derelict areas requiring restoration, redevelopment and urban regeneration operations. From our point of view, and arising from the knowledge which has allowed us to come up with these strategies, the activities included in the project workshops of the Schools of Architecture of Pamplona, Sant Cugat del Vallès and Valladolid directed at the eastern districts with the Official Association of Architects of Aragón are seen as an opportunity to recreate the city starting from the integrating project on a citywide scale and at the same time design it from the perspective of the city’s districts. Indeed, I believe that Expo Landscapes 2014 can provide an incentive for innovation in land management (being incorporated into the exhibition’s scheduling, from university research agents through to those citizens who constitute the lifeblood of our cultural landscapes). This should be done in such a way that environmental sustainability challenges take precedence in the event’s scheduling. These include the management of water and the functional restoration of our market gardens and unirrigated cropland, to mention just two interesting cases; in the same way, in planning and project development, social consensus takes precedence, allowing the space of transition from the city to the countryside to regain its livability. Another priority is the integration of infrastructure, going beyond its status as a barrier and enabling subsequent building in the Green Ring to set a limit for the built-up space, without wasting the land already set aside but which is not seeing the best use made of its potential.

Ideas for the San José District URBAN RENEWAL: THINK, REDEVELOP, REVITALISE. Juan Luis de las Rivas Sanz Lecturer in Urban and Land Use Planning University of Valladolid School of Architecture This interesting urban development project that was started in Zaragoza with the coming of the 2008 Expo and the reflection brought about through the Accompanying Plan” form an excellent framework for the assignment of a group of architecture students who are beginning to understand the complexities involved in urban planning. Teaching staff and students gratefully accepted the invitation from the Zaragoza Architects’ Association and were keen and enthusiastic from the beginning of the academic year, trying from the start to “understand” the subtle complexities of such an urban reality, one which is far from familiar territory for us.Our remit was the district of San José, the context of which was given to us by the debate that the Architects’ Association began on the Eastern Fringe of Zaragoza. Considering all of the different proposals


Our students are taking on a project of “city scale” fro the first time this year, not just from an analytical perspective but also in a proposalmaking capacity, identifying the key tools of urban planning. What makes the students’ assignment more difficult is that their training usually deals with creating spaces from scratch rather than the redevelopment existing ones. To aid the students in coming up with ideas and proposals, and to give the project focus, we established three main principles: -a thoughtful and detailed interpretation of the district’s character, the places within it that were historically built to suit a specific geographical setting, and permanent features; -a distinction between what is consolidated in the physical form of the district and what is not - the more unstable features offer opportunities for the redevelopment; -the establishment of five main integrated project strategies (integrated in the sense that they all achieve the objectives of form, function, social role and local identity) to be applied to those less stable areas or spaces: regeneration with interior reform and a redesign of the urban fabric, renewal through the provision of service facilities for the district, new internal expanded developments intended to infill empty spaces and to develop the Green Belt, redevelopment of the streets and avenues, those that are considered as continuous public spaces (particularly Avenida San José, Avenida Tenor Fleta and Avenida Cesáreo Alierta), a review of the district’s focal points and redevelopment of the spaces associated with them, and the redesign of local identities. There are some common areas that serve as starting points: the completion of the Zaragoza Green Belt, parallel to the ring road and articulatedbwith the proposed park that is to run along the Imperial Canal, or the integration of the brutal barrier created by the railway network with the definition of suburban railway stations in Avenida Tenor Fleta and interaction with the future football stadium. We took one initial decision: to limit the scope of the assignment to the Hispanidad Ring Road, beyond which there are proposals for new developments. We focused on the district to ensure the best possible effectiveness for work that is always intense and in which one is always against the clock. We must not forget that the students had to think and draw up proposals while learning how to think and draw up proposals. This learning process could only be the main argument and priority justification for their work. The first were focused on analysing the space and understanding the different urban situations taking place in the district. Initial study soon showed some of the key traits of the area, such as the historical and geographical imprint upon which the district was built, among others. The district took its name from the old convent located outside the city walls south of the River Huerva and the name of San José was kept for

the main thoroughfare giving structure to the district, then a series of paths leading to the Miraflores area. As can be seen from the historical map Figure 1, the district occupies what used to be an area of market gardens and grand villas, irrigated by means of channels that followed the topography of the land, to which the Imperial Canal was made to adapt. The path that is now Avenida de San José used to connect the convent with the village of Torrero, built on the Canal, where today a military barracks encloses the San Fernando church, the only historical building preserved there. It is with remarkable ease that one discovers the layout of features of the pre-existing landscape, such as paths and irrigation canals, adapted to the topographical relief that bear witness to a “agrarian periphery” among the complex and irregular buildings of the district of today. This area was changed by the fragmented construction of free-standing service facilities (the abattoir, Utrillas Railway Station, Quays along the Imperial Canal, etc.), the straight line formed by the railway and the peripheral settlements that seem to have sprung up almost spontaneously: the Cuber, Monforte, Comín and Amistad neighbourhoods, which became the polynuclear core of the working-class district of San José, which today is known as the Old San José and Upper San José neighbourhoods. All of this leads to the basic geometry that is fundamental to understanding the current urban layout (see maps from 1899 and from 1938 – Figure 2). Construction was resumed in the post war era, particularly in 1959, to “incorporate” these spaces into the growing urban area. The district became more complex; voids wer infilled with heterogeneous housing and the earlier urban spaces areas achieved higher density.

z

English

put forth by the three schools of architecture, the debate is sure to be enlivened.The San José district is made up of a heterogeneous setof urban spaces originating in peripheral settlements created to the south east of Zaragoza in the last third of the nineteenth century, and which consolidated its current layout around 1980. It is a large area of 395 ha, 207of which is built up and populated by some 68,000 inhabitants. It is well delimited by the thoroughfares Avenida Miguel Servet, the Hispanidad Ring Road, the Imperial Canal, Paseo de Cuellar and Camino de las Torres. We are therefore dealing with an urban situation which goes beyond the normal image we have of a city district, in terms of complexity and layout. That being said, it is also a very compact area with a strong identity, which only loses social and physical coherence on its eastern fringe, around the Hispanidad Ring Road, where there are still some voids and important service facilities, like the Principe Felipe Sports Hall.

The students did not only make use of this historical construction process, the origins of the area; another useful tool for interpreting the district layout was the current General Urban Development Plan. Read between the lines as a learning tool, it clarifies the information drawn from the beautiful area photographs available, and exceeds the closeness offered by Google or by street view images taken made by someone who is not yet an expert. The General Plan outlines smaller interior renewal actions in the the area, and sets out designs for non-consolidated urban ground- in the vicinity of La Zaragozana brewery or along the Canal banks, for example- where new layouts have been proposed, new spaces outlined, such as the Cabezo Cortado area, and, lastly, it marks out small areas of developable land along the ring road. The General Plan is already telling us about the district’s “urban design potential” and suggests several fundamental urban development strategies to consolidate the built up areas. In fact, “detecting the urban design potential” of spaces that make up the district was the first task, along with study of the origins of the space. This was the case owing to the opportunities for the urban design projects that might have arisen and because we were starting with an interpretation that was more open to the possibilities and and profiles of integrated urban renewal for the district. We considered three basic actions: the conservation, transformation and the creation of new spaces. Another important point was the commitment to the district of the architects that the Architects’ Association designated to us as assignment coordinators. This allowed us to obtain an insight into the district and its social profiles, the issues that the residents themselves detect and a more in-depth interpretation of the area’s social and human dynamics and its identities. From the heart of San José, in

101


its Plaza Mayor main square, to areas on the boundaries where residents identify less with the district, such as those in the Miraflores complex, between the maze of neighbourhood streets and the seemingly ordered arrangement of the avenues, certain questions arise to which answers cannot be based solely on physical space: Where are there businesses and where are businesses having problems? What characterises the the residents? Why is there a need for parking? What services are there and what is lacking? What do the local residents think about the suburban railway or the future stadium? And there are many others. After the first stage of analysis- historical background of the district, urban structure and a morphological study of the different types of urban fabric, Figure 4, and of setting out the objectives for the working groups, with the aim of redesigning and improving public spaces in the area, with the Green Belt as the main theme, and reorganising the district’s system of centralities with a view to strengthening the identity and urban image, Figure 3, the projects are carried out in groups of two and three students. In order to develop an articulated system of proposals, the projects were devised to deal with set issues and areas: 1. Redesigning Avenida San José, the district’s backbone, as a feature articulating the public spaces and the specific project actions in order to create a precise urban sequence. 2. Developing an integral redeveloping project for the Old San José core, so as to revitalise the urban activity with small interior reform operations. 3. Redesigning the spaces along the Imperial Canal, from the vicinity of the San Fernando church to the Cortado Cabezo, infilling voids and giving shape to a linear park that will be incorporated to the inner Green Belt. 4. Redeveloping the La Zaragozana brewery area as far as Parque de la Memoria, creating a landmark cultural space – Z@RTE – and giving the Upper San José neighbourhood new energy. 5. Restructuring the Avenida Tenor Fleta and Avenida Cesáreo Alierta, thoroughfares designed as urban spaces to bind the district together. 6. Developing the eastern boundary, along the Hispanidad Ring Road as micro-extensions to the district, integrating the Green Belt and addressing particular problems, such as the end of Avenida Tenor Fleta and the uncovered stretch of railway line. 7. Presenting an integrated image of the San José neighbourhood, centred around improving spacial continuity, and the reconfiguration of its urban structure with two conceptual alternatives in mind: San José as a single, better united and articulated district, or San José as a series of neighbourhoods – well defined micro districts organised around either a public space or landmark service facilites. The result of the students’ work, shown in part in this magazine, is a highly varied collection of proposals, both for their strategies and for their particular achievements. I see no need to evaluate them one by one. To do so properly is difficult in a context that is completely different to that of the workshop, in other words, away from the actual process of teaching and learning. It is possible, however, to draw some conclusions of general interest, which would be impossible were it not for the students’ efforts. The first conclusion to be drawn friom the projects is that the current city is a very attractive area for an urban development project: there is extrordinary potencial for improving our cities; one finds many incomplete areas, and areas with new requirements, both of which are caused by the fragmented and provisional manner with which many parts of the city have been built. The actual, more elementary urban space, thoroughfare like Avenida San José, offers extraordinary working material if one correctly interprets the urban fabric. 102

The second idea that I consider to be relevant is related to what conventional urban development plans tend to do: simplify reality. The

students’ projects show the versatility of the spaces in the built-up city, of streets and the interior spaces of perimeter blocks, of small squares and empty lots. If work is not based solely on simplification, the mixed and dense city will be able to recover its lost and longed for complexity of spaces, as seen in historical old town and new town areas. The third is that the work shows the interaction between architecture and public space. The public spaces cannot be planned as separate entities; they belong to a system and play an urban role. They require both strategies of continuity and urban design strategies that can give them more precise definition. For this to happen, the relationship between what is built and what is not built, and the articulation of urban uses both inside and outside buildings are all relevant. The scale of work shows us that the public spaces are not marked out with special paving. The details become clearer if one has a deeper understanding of their urban function, the nature as spaces and representative features. The importance of the public spaces, in this case defined by what is already exists and by the Green Belt project, is emphasised in the microextensions put forward. This is not only about redesigning the built-up area piece by piece. The key is in the urban structure, of which the Green Belt forms a part, and which requires a deeper interaction between the new projects and what is already there. There is a geometry brutality in most urban contemporary urban development proposals that is impossible to combine with the need for adaptation that is required today by both the city and the environment. One cannot continue to work arbitrarily with form: the landscape, with its solid forms that begin in with the very relief of the land, and climate impose profiles that are vastly different from independent graphic expression. The students understand this although they identified few effective solutions, but the key to the solution lies in the attempt. It is not about singing the praises of a group of young people that are still in training.However, it is imperative that their attitude, commitment and work should be recognised. These are encouraging “indications” that take place in a context of highly pressured teaching. Throughout the year I have had the honour of teaching an attentive and able group of students. The results barely acknowledge the educational efforts undertaken, the difficulties overcome and the quiet daily work that has been done. Those of us who work in the cities should regain this determination and stop simplifying and reducing the urban design to its economic circumstances, and we should progress towards a more responsible way of working.

Redesigning the Eastern Fringe Roberto Escudero Royo (Chairman, Vadorrey Community Association). Pablo Polo Sicilia (Chairman, Iberflumen Cultural Association) The current plans for redevelopment of the city’s Eastern Fringe allow us to make public the area’s demands, which have long been considered a great necessity. Of particular significance are those relating to the course of the River Gállego, so that they may be taken into account during the drawing up of the new projects. While the citizens of Zaragoza turned their back on the Ebro for many years, what is really troubling is that several of our fellow citizens are not even able to locate the Gállego on a map. For residents of areas downstream of the city, on the left bank of the Ebro, the Gállego forms one of the natural boundaries that restricts our movement owing to the lack of accessibility from one bank to the other. The high levels of pollution in its waters also take its toll on us. The lack of concern shown by most of the inhabitants of Zaragoza


The residents found radioactive waste that had been dumped in the vicinity of the river, which, given its nature, was reported in the media and and caused reactions from international organisations. We refused to let anybody manipulate that fact in return for having trees planted along the riverbanks as a means of facilitating their use for leisure purposes and to ensure that measures were introduced to counteract the dumping. This action revealed that the situation was much more serious than was detected on the surface. The first stage of tree planting was a total failure given that a great many trees died as a result of the fact that the soil was contaminated by toxic waste. The team from the Department of the Environment in the city indicated that in order for the planting to proceed, 6-m deep wells would have to be dug so that the roots of the new trees would be below the contaminated soil. There came a steady stream of complaints against the company’s waste, which steals this space from the public because of its continuous polluted discharges into the water and the air. This is still the biggest threat to the enjoyment and use of the most recent investment made to regenerate the area. It was with great excitement that we took part in the latest redesign of the right bank of the Gállego estuary, and we requested the name “Heron Park” for the reclaimed area. Today, we are once again demanding the full recovery of this natural space, requesting the construction of bridges across the river and nearby car parks to provide easy access for people with reduced mobility. In this way, we will all be able to enjoy the very diverse birdlife that has transformed the area into a concert hall of nature. Inside the park, ample pathways should be created to allow prams and mobility vehicles to pass. The future plantings should follow the same criteria that were applied in the last project, with the appropriate transition planting between areas, involving aromatic species. We also consider it very important that the Gállego’s channel should be altered, at least the 180-m stretch before its mouth so that its waters do not meet those of the Ebro perpendicularly, but rather so that it forms a tangent with it. The reason for this is to prevent river currents interfering with each others’ flows when both rivers are in flood, retaining volume, as this would mean the higher surface water levels and higher groundwater levels owing to natural pressure. This perpendicular meeting has resulted in the formation of an island in the middle of the River Ebro owing to the effect of retaining the sediment carried by the normal flow. Today this island is a threat for the city, heightened by the works carried out on the riverbed since 2005. It is currently covered with mature vegetation, which has resisted the currents of regular flooding like that of January 2010. We are appealing for steps to be taken to free the city of a threat that we hope we shall never come to regret. We also need to remove the foundry slag that has been dumped on the left bank of the river mouth. We have high hopes for the future redesign, but if we want to create a worthy natural space, this task must be entrusted it to worthy individuals. We believe that we are in the hands of such people.

Las Fuentes Community Association town planning and urban space working group In May 2008, Gerardo Molpeceres explained to us that the Zaragoza Official Association of Architects had started collaborative work with

other architecture schools to carry out proposals on the “Eastern City Limits”, and that the Community Association would be participating, working in the fringe districts. It was a pleasure to inform fellow members of the Las Fuentes Community Association Town Planning and Urban Space Working Group about the work, but it was also a challenge for everyone to envisage resuming a line of work that we had initially started in October 2003 at the conference held in Las Fuentes to define the “Dream Neighbourhood”, at which it was strongly proposed that the fringe area of the Las Fuentes district be completed. This new hope also led to the idea of resuming collective work, which has always been seen by the Las Fuentes Community Association as a way of “getting things done”, and to the convening of a meeting in June 2008 between the seven Community Associations for the districts comprising the fringe area. The San José Community Association, the Jerónima Zaporta Association from La Cartuja, the Montemolín Community Association, the Civitas Las Fuentes Association and the Barrio La Jota, Vadorrey and Las Fuentes Community Associations were in attendence. Since that time, there has been a surge in good, collaborative work, which, together with that promoted by the Official Association of Architects and architecture schools, has provided all of the Associations with a deeper understanding of our districts and clearer definitions of the ongoing proposals in each area. All of the Associations received technical support from members of the Association of Architects, Gerardo Molpeceres and Sergio Marta in San José, Teófilo Martín in Las Fuentes and Manolo Castillo in la Jota Vadorrey. In their company, each district analysed the proposals and established which ones were most suitable for our area. We worked with them on the Council’s proposal, which was for the development of an Expo-Landscapes in the fringe area, offering contributions to the technical team that was working on the proposal for the exhibition.

z

English

contrasts with the worry felt by the residents of Vadorrey. Agricultural use greatly reduces the amount of water in the river after water is diverted near the Carthusian monastery of Aula Dei, and what reaches the city is barely the minimum ecological flow. The water is also affected by waste discharges from “la Montañanesa”, a paper mill, which kills off the fish.

We have held Information Talks in the on the study’s proposals in the districts, a conference in the San José with support from the Zaragoza Housing Authority, and there are further initiatives planned for 2010. The most important thing about this reflection is that the results of the efforts started by the Association of Architects have been taken on by the community associations. Our work does not end with proposal presentations; those efforts were a starting point for the work the associations have been carrying out today, and will continue to do in the future. The Las Fuentes Community Association Town Planning and Urban Space Working Group would like to offer our thanks for all of this.

San Jose District Community Association Good work in the name of city-building From the point of view of our Association, the collaboration between the Official Association of Architects of Aragon (COAA) and the University of Valladolid School of Architecture has been very positive. The studies made by the students, based on the observation of the reality, and coordinated by lecturers and Zaragoza architects, turned out to be been an experience that we hope will be repeated in the future, to everyone’s benefit. The document, “Revitalising the Districts of the Eastern Fringe of Zaragoza”, includes reasoning and suggestions that would help to solve current issues besetting the city and to plan future developments. The conference on the urban redevelopment of San José held last September made it clear that there is social and technical consensus.

103


A diverse neighbourhood in terms of its urban development and population, San José has both great and small opportunities for improvement. It is an appropriate subject for which to create a balanced and comprehensive plan covering the land currently available for development. What is more, this is the best time to carry out short term internal redevelopment projects, where social policies and the provision of services required by the area’s inhabitants should have weight. It is not necessary to rezone new land or to retain the present model of outward expansion. The priority for city council policies right now must be historical districts and sustainability. Our objectives for the future are to maintain social and urban cohesion in San José. Consideration must therefore be given to the studies made by the different schools. It has been a privilege to work with the students and lecturers from the University of Valladolid in this process. Our thanks go to COAA, for setting up the experience and giving us the opportunity to participate, and to the dedication shown by Gerardo Molpeceres, Pablo de la Cal and Sergio de Marta. We would also like to thank the group of lecturers from the University of Valladolid School of Architecture, coordinated by Juan Luis de las Rivas, who, in the September conference, left us with this thoughtprovoking statement: The future of San José is not the San José of the future, but the San José of today that must be improved.

Three Urban Planning Workshops for redesigning Eastern Zaragoza Javier Monclús Fraga Architect. Professor of Urban Planning, University of Zaragoza ZARAGOZA- THE URBAN PLANNING LABORATORY Zaragoza has recently become an interesting urban planning laboratory for architects, landscape architects and planners. As with other cities at various points in their urban history, the scale of Zaragoza has undergone a significant change. This transformation has been associated with the accelerated dynamics of urban growth during the last two decades, with a consequent and progressive increase in complexity in the structure and function of the city. This transformation is also the result of significant infrastructure building operations and major urban projects. The former feature new transport infrastructure, from the arrival of the high speed train, to the road networks associated with the completion of the third and fourth ring roads, although there have also been many developments associated with the logistics platform and the modernisation and expansion of the airport. In addition to the redesign of the Delicias Intermodal Station surrounds, other featured major urban projects include the regeneration of the Ebro riverbanks and the redevelopment of the Ranillas axis as a metropolitan park, both projects having been executed for Expo 2008 as part of its accompanying plan. There is no doubt that in terms of urban planning, the outcome and overall

104

assessment have been entirely positive following this cycle of growth. That being said, some parts of the city are still awaiting their turn for similar redevelopment. The slogan is “The East’s time has now come” (although it is also time for the old town and and other districts of Zaragoza). Now is also the time to broaden a strategy focused on open spaces and infrastructure in the dual Station-Expo axes, connected by the Ebro in the west of the city, to deal with the issue of rebalancing the urban structure towards the east.

The city council has actually acknowledged the deficiencies and lack of definition of this urban area in the current General Plan (GUDP passed in 2002). The area is still pending action. The most relevant agreements refer to the general protection given to the extension of land from the third ring road to what is known as the Cantalobos meander of the River Ebro. However, while decisions such as the route of the various ring roads, position of the bridges and the like cannot be changed, this does not mean that the planning is defined, much less finished, for the eastern districts of Zaragoza. There was no mention of the bordering spaces between the consolidated areas and the urban fringe, particularly when the GUDP forecast new developments in some south eastern sections of the area in question. It is for this reason that, starting in early 2008, the Urban Planning Commission of the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects felt it necessary to reconsider the city in terms of those districts and urban areas. The Commission proposed working with three schools of architecture, which would be given the task of establishing urban planning workshops for three sectors included in its scope. The request could not have been timelier. It was necessary to carry out an explorative study with a certain sense of the bigger picture, and with an application of different methods that uncompromised by local politics or purely short-term approaches. The proposal was for a project that was more than simple zonifing and regulatory decisions like the one included in the General Plan. While it should be pointed out that these were not purely academic exercises, mention must be made of the free nature of exploration fostered in the workshops. More than the proposed solutions, the interest of the exercise lay in the unlocking and discovery of the potential for action in that part of the city. The schools responded satisfactorily to the Architects’ Association’s request, which is most likely due not only to the personal and professional relationships with those in charge of the Urban Planning Departments of each of the schools, but also because the location turned out to be of great interest to all of them. It was a laboratory in which the intial reflection to be developed came about from the start through an open process without self-censorship. In fact, the scope and problems put forward are the same as those that the urban planners, and therefore the schools, have been focusing for some time. These problems include the physical and social ageing of districts laid out in decades during which there was almost unbridled growth in which quantity took preference over quality of development, i.e. during the 50s, 60s and 70s. These problems are typical of relatively peripheral areas (or “inner-city peripheries”), and are characterised by a lack of public spaces and lower quality urban areas. There are also those resulting from the general fragmenting of specific zones and from the proliferation of barriers brought about by road or rail transport networks. In addition to these well known and rather common problems in particular areas of our cities, their exploration also took into account urban development opportunities arising from the consideration of the relationships between the consolidated city and fringe areas, featuring voids and spaces in the process of being abandoned, where agricultural land use co-exists with other obsolete, unsuitable or residual land use activities. It is no wonder then that this urban planning laboratory has managed to attract the attention of professionals and universities. While it is not common to find different schools participating and offering assistance in a series of urban planning fields that are so openly considered in a city, it is even less so in Zaragoza, where the architectural studies have not been offered until very recently. Possible strategies for the East: revitalisation, completion, opening-up


While the base strategies of the work done in these different workshops draws on different concepts, these concepts are complimentary to one another. For instance, whereas some focus on the “revitalisation” of consolidated sectors, others opt for the “finish” or the “completion” of these areas, putting more effort into dealing with the transition boundaries between the districts and the infrastructures which, one way or another, are seen as urban boundaries. It is precisely this undefined nature of the borders that turns a great deal of the work into an interesting exploration of the complexity of our disrtricts and their relationship to the surrounding peripheral environment. Behind all this, the strong dichotomy and supposed dilemma between “revitalisation” and the “extensive development” alternatives with respect to the consolidated urban area city give rise to proposals that not only attempt to “complete” the city by means of urban suturing actions, but they also consider the opportunity for opening it up to its natural and agricultural surrounds. Logically, all of these are concepts that are more specific to the urban planning workshops than to the methodology in use by the city’s planning department. However, this does not mean that reflection on forms of urban development actions is any less important or timely than those experimented with so exceptionally with the urban development associated with Expo 2008. As the late urban planning specialist François Ascher pointed out, it is essential to reconsider the notion of boundaries and the design of urban spaces, particularly “when the distinction between the city and the country, between public and private spheres, and between interior and exterior is blurred”, for it seems apparent that, in the light of recent urban growth, there is no room for ingenuous notions about clean separations and rigid boundaries between “city” and “countryside”. Therefore, the notion of completion involves the design of urban boundaries where transition spaces between the consolidated city and fringe spaces, both natural and agricultural, are always present. If we focus on the Zaragoza districts of Barrio La Jota-Vadorrey, Las Fuentes and San José, one can see that we face the realities of urban identity, although these areas lack the morphological clarity of the traditional urban fabric as seen in both in the old town and new town expansion areas that were laid out in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Additionally, none of these districts have a satisfactory interaction with agricultural and natural spaces, fragmented up by transport infrastructure and subject to processes of neglect and marginalisation.Urban voids are are not only a feature of the “consolidated city”, they are also present, particularly so, in the peripheral areas in transition with agricultural and natural areas. On the contrary, the reconsideration of the role of urban voids does not necessarily imply they should be occupied or infilled. However, it is evidently not possible for them to be integrated with the city through the exclusion of any sort of urban development or landscaping other than general or passive protection. There is no better solution than to propose positive action. Their return to a natural state or revitalisation in the case of agricultural areas, or their redevelopment through the

definition of urban spaces with mixed uses, either residential, industrial or tertiary seem more logical. By their very nature, the task of the workshops can be even more interesting where “project opportunities” are designed, whether for public areas of different types (redevelopment of avenues, streets and squares) or the design of open areas that can no longer be considered on the sidelines of the overall plan for the city or the metropolitan territory and landscape. If we now consider the contributions of each of the three workshops, the first thing that stands out is the diversity of strategies and and proposals put forward. Obviously, this is not solely the result of the specific aspects of each sector, but also with the differences in the strategies and methodologies used. The views held and tools used are part of the most current and innovative urban planning culture, but the heterogeneous nature of the contributions is related to the the particular strategies themselves, with workshops coordinated by teaching professionals who, of course, do not use the same methodology and who direct the efforts of the students towards dealing with a variety of issues. All of them, however, identified many more opportunities and potential aspects than had been considered at the beginning of the project. In the case of the La Jota-Vadorrey sector, the analysis performed by the University of Navarre workshop (coordinated by José María Ordeig), with the help of a team of Zaragoza architects (M. Castillo, M.A. Jiménez), confirmed the Urban Planning Commission’s rough diagnosis.

z

English

It is within the broad context of the so-called “Eastern Fringe” that the urban planning workshops’ initiatives are based. This is because the university-based considerations go further than specific responses to the immediate problems found in each case, for which the ideas of Zaragoza’s locals or professionals, who understand the gravity of the issues in question, are far more effective. The students’ contributions, directed by lecturers, (who are also professional urban planners), are presented here with a view to enrich the debate initiated by the Architects’ Association, which was has also been built upon by the Urban Planning Commission itself a year later, as is included in this magazine.

Here, the “undefined transition situations” are seen as opportunities for comprehensive action and urban rebalancing. Analysis of the infrastructure, open spaces and service facilities contribute to the proposals for the zone, which were designed as opportunities for the “natural completion of the district”. The range of options presented as a result of this analysis and general view is noteworthy. They encompass strategies corresponding to some of the key project criteria: riverside parks, the permeability of infrastructure, residential building lines that connect and embellish the existing urban fabric, etc. Efforts were made to achieve a unified design for the entire sector from each of these starting points. Placed sideby side with the GUDP, the proposals put forward identify the potential uses and opportunities of a very different nature. The initiative to integrate the Gállego riverbanks is a strategy of “opening-up” to the natural environment, and also “completion” of the string of districts in the east. Consequently, the idea of “completing the Green Belt” became one of the options to receive the most attention and focus from some of the teams. The preoccupation with overcoming and integrating the barrier presented by the railway is also quite noticeable, as was the strategy for creating a dialogue with the natural environment, which can be achieved through various project strategies. On the other hand, a high percentage (more than half of the teams), considered the potential linled to a unique strategic project to be developed in this area: Expo Landscapes 2014, which was made public as the workshops were commencing work on the project, (September- October 2008, when the city council’s bid proposal was accepted by the International Association of Horticultural Producers in Dubai). The Las Fuentes sector was studied by the from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia workshop (coordinated by Carles Llop, with

105


collaboration from a team of Zaragoza and Barcelona architects), and their results also confirmed the Urban Planning Commission’s analysis and helped to build on the initial ideas. In this case, it is interesting to note that the workshop’s strategy is based on the “space of transition with the natural environment”. Weight is given in this interpretation to the team’s interest in exploring specific questions regarding “the contemporary urban design and architecture project”, basing themselves in the following particular areas of current experimentation in urban design: new models for complex programmes, existing urban recycling strategies, new landscapes with a structural role in the contemporary city, etc. In particular, this stems from an interest to redesign certain “opportunity spaces”, understood to be the transition between the consolidated city and the agricultural and urban fringe lands, with special attention given to the integration of the market gardens area that is becoming increasingly fragmented and disassociated from the city. The Green Belt, a concept that has been used extensively in other cities, plays an especially important role here. From its initial conception as a “urban growth boundary”, it has come to be seen as a structural element of the city, associated with the river system, and generally with the system of urban, peripheral, agricultural and natural open spaces. It should be mentioned that the team was very aware of the opportunities, but also of the obvious risk of raising unwanted expectations involved in working in a sector with a high quality natural environment combined with great pressure for urban expansion and deteriorating use of natural boundary lands. It was therefore important to consider the balance between the extreme positions of non-intervention, on the one hand, and of urban infilling, on the other. Given these conditions, the corresponding recognition of the structure and forms of land use in the area under study was expressed by changes to its organisation and texture. As in the previously-described sector, the ideas went beyond those suggested by the Commission, with the identification of numerous opportunities and potential for action, for example with regard to the integration of the “Hispanidad Ring Road”, or the barrier formed by the railway line. What is more, some interesting considerations were given for the Expo Landscapes horticultural exhibition, an event that is seen as an opportunity and catalyst for these proposed transformations. The San José sector was the area studied by the Valladolid School of Architecture workshop (coordinated by Juan Luís de las Rivas, with collaboration from Zaragoza architects G. Molpeceres and P. de La Cal). Unlike the ideas put forward by the previous workshop, the prevalent concept in this case was urban renewal in this district. This district is considered to be well defined, although it “loses physical and social coherence on its eastern fringe”. The option of “focusing on the district” is coherent with the initial decision to limit the scope of the operation so that it does not cross the “Hispanidad Ring Road”. This means that the main effort is aimed at exploring different types of urban development within the consolidated areas. The result of this exploration was a developing and confirmation of the initial analysis made by the Commission.

106

Unlike with the previously-described sectors, in addition to analysing the formative processes at work in the sector, the GUDP was taken as “a useful tool for interpreting the district”, and also as a resource that enabled identification of project opportunities. Also in correspondence with these strategies comes a more deeper understanding of a sector area that is highly suitable for more elaborate actions than those included in the plan: interior redevelopment actions, actions on unconsolidated developable land or “small pockets of developable land along the ring road”. The work of the different groups always went beyond the somewhat simple

intiiatives of the GUDP, particularly when considering the Green Belt as the “argument of weight” for the redesign and improvement of the public green spaces. In short, the endeavours made by the Valladolid workshop allowed the significant potential for improvement in the district to be identified. The interest in taking on urban renewal projects in the consolidated city has produced results of great interest from a methodological perspective, providing a basis for developing a multitude of “project opportunities”, which were not so easy to identify prior to this. OPPORTUNITIES AND CONDITIONS One of the conclusions that can be drawn from the efforts invested by the workshops is that there are no distinct contradictions between the opportunities for city-building with city-scale integration projects and those opportunities for designing district-centric projects. This is because, once again, the challenge is to overcome the traditional dichotomy of integration and of opening the city up to the peripheral landscape. The Green Belt is one of strategies that is both comprehensive to the city, but which also ties in with the desire for a unifying design for the eastern districts. Indeed, one must remember that this initiative arose in the Accompanying Plan for Expo 2008, as a logical continuation of the strategy to connect the Ebro and the Imperial Canal corridors by means of the Oliver-Valdefierro corridor, with various options for “completion” in the east. Now this strategy has been built upon with the idea of structuring different greenways both inside and outside the consolidated fabric of the city, along with the substantial renovation of the initial ideas, which are increasingly understood as a part of the environmental system of open and natural spaces. It is in this context that the idea of the “completion” might be complementary to the idea of “opening up” to the natural surrounds, in that it has greater bearing with the current awareness of landscape and environment. From these initiatives it is possible to identify the opportunities and potential for the incorporation of nature into the city and the integration of old and new urban façades with the natural and agricultural environment surrounding them. The typical goals of new land and landscape culture are slowly being imposed onto those more traditional ones of “cleaning up the urban fringe”. The more sensitive views of diversification of urban spaces are also progressing, and tend to identify the opportunities that arise for undwertaking strategic actions, instead of the routine imposition of standard regulatory techniques. On the other hand, what can be deduced from these ways of redesigning the east of the city, are the compatible and complementary natures that “macro” and “micro” views, between strategic projects and small-scale urban planning. It also shows that “returning nature to the city” is not only associated with the small scale, but also comes with large-scale urban renewal projects in the form of continuity, coherence, complexity, green belts and green cityscapes, and integration with the natural environment, among others. There does not seem to be great divergence in the desired model, although there is a degree of difference in the means to those ends. The different interpretations from each of the three schools are both illustrative and enriching. It is therefore possible to talk about the deterioration and regeneration of the urban fringe, of the “opening up” to the natural environment, as much as about the “completion” and “revitalisation” of districts. The starting point and the ultimate aim of this publication is to contribute to the collective reflection on specific problems identified in the nature of urban planning and the corresponding proposals, which must be the development goals for both technicians and residents. In any case,


New Proposals for Public Action in the Traditional Districts of Zaragoza Juan Rubio del Val Architect and Urban Planner, Chief of the Urban Renewal Department AN HISTORIC EXPERIENCE Through a signed agreement between the Zaragoza Architects’ Association and , the city council-owned housing company, it was decided that there would be diffusion of the works that are now copublished in this monographic edition of the Z Arquitectura Magazine. The first reflection that comes to mind is one of admiration and gratitude when contemplating the now complete experience undertaken by Urban Development Commission of the Association of Architects of Aragon, Zaragoza Branch, by inviting three schools of architecture to share the the reflections already started by this Commission regarding the urban development of the Eastern Fringe. We cannot think of a similar experience in Zaragoza in the last thirty years, or even further back than that, in a city that has not had a School of Architecture until now, and which is not accustomed to particularly academic debate or discussion when it comes to urban planning. What there has been is the product of work previously undertaken some years ago by a number of architects who have worked within the Urban Development Commission. The Commission brings together of wide range of intelligent and generous individuals, who see the urban debate as both a cultural and ethical obligation in their professional practice. We wish to extend our thanks to them, both as professionals and as citizens, for their years of service to Zaragoza and its inhabitants. We imagine that the recently established schools of architecture, one in Zaragoza and one in its metropolitan area, will be the ones to enliven the necessary debates and, with their teams of students and professors, fuel them with analysis and enthusiastic and scientific proposals to help transform their city and land. We also wish to show our gratitude and admiration to the following people their generosity in participating in this experience: The staff and students from the Navarre, El Vallés and Valladolid schools of architecture, the residents of the Vadorrey, Las Fuentes and San José districts, and the Zaragoza architects who worked on this project. Our special thanks and congratulations go to you all, and to the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon, who promoted, supported and financed this historic experience. Meeting and participation spaces for the debate on urban and social development Zaragoza is not endowed with meeting and participation spaces technical and contemplative debate on urban development. We therefore believe that the publication of these different studies, and the broad and diverse range of proposals designed to provide solutions to the current and future problems faced by districts and of the encounters with their physical boundaries will undoubtedly help the residents of those areas. They will also be of help to those of us with public responsibilities to see ourselves reflected in them and to pose questions about the destiny of what has

already been built and what has not, as occured with notable success in the recent conference on the Urban Renewal of San José , (“Design the district and build the future”) and the exhibition of the work by students from the Valladolid school, held between 17 and 20 September 2009, in which we took great pleasure in partaking, as did many of people who have contributed to the success of this particular process. Aim has for some time been to work with the Community Associations and the more active entities of our city’s traditional districts to come up with new proposals for their social and economic revitalisation. Thanks to EU funding and the framework of the Spain-France Interreg project (Revitasud), the highly participative diagnostics and research projects led by the most representative Community Associations of the Las Fuentes and Delicias districts of the redesign and redevelopment of both areas could be supported. Both were particularly focused on the redevelopment of these districts, particularly the older, more central areas and were coordinated by lecturers from the University of Zaragoza, Angel Sanz and Angel Pueyo, respectively. Gaining insight and analysis into the social and physical reality of the traditional districts Zaragoza City Council commissioned Zaragoza Vivienda to do create “Study and Rehabilitation Proposals for 21 Urban Settings of Interest” placed in the traditional inner-city districts, which was where the city expanded between 1950 and 1965. The study was within this strategy of analysis and search for solutions to the problems of housing in the areas of our city that need them the most. The aim was to achieve a physical and social diagnosis of those areas, under a single project designed by some excellent Zaragoza architects for official trusts and institutions of the time, and which covered more 8,000 homes and some 20,000 residents, a large proportion of whom lived in the districts of Las Fuentes and San José. This initiative, the first of its kind in our country, is now starting to take effect, with the completion of pilot integral redevelopment projects in four areas of these districts, designated IR (Integral Redevelopment) zones, which included more than 600 homes in stage one, and which could be repeated and extended to double that number.

z

English

the value of the “workshop proposals” must be stressed as a tool for progress in the definition of the plans and projects that we want to put into action. Now is when these options should be opened to broad debate amongst citizens and professionals, in a process that should culminate with an grand project that can also be seen as a coherent set of smaller urban, landscape and environmental operations.

More recently, we have worked with various associations and entities from another district, that of Picarral-Balsas Ebro Viejo, to the north of Zaragoza, in an old industrial area that is in teh process of full renewal and redevelopment. The concern and the demands of the residents were voiced at the very succesful conference between the 12 and 14 February 2008 and became the driving forces behind the formulation of a Renewal Plan for the district, which will hopefully set an example to the other districts of Zaragoza. Necessary redevelopment, ordered transition and opportunities Everything that is systematically presented here in this monograph and debated at the highly interesting San José Conference has produced, and continues to produce, discussion regarding the various possible methodologies from a disciplinary and social perspective: with urban redevelopment as a priority, which is what the residents of San José deem the most important thing in their article: ““It is not necessary to zone new land nor to maintain an expansive model. The priority for municipal policy at present must be the traditional districts and sustainability. Our objective for the future: to maintain social and urban cohesion in San José. In order to do this, it is important to listen to what the schools’ projects tell us”. Others are more expansion orientated, promoting different infrastructures or service facilities. Using the same cross-sectional view of the city that is asserted by the Urban Development Commission of the Architects’ Association, we

107


find no truth in the dichotomy “to seek a view between urban renewal and progress based on new development, where there is scope for both internal reworking and plans for growth that complement former. However, the starting point for all actions to “improve and strengthen” the districts of the eastern arc of Zaragoza is to ‘build a city’ including the districts, not to ‘build the city’ beside them” Within this conceptual context, the new housing programmes espused by the autonomous regions and the state aim to favour redevelopment of urban areas as opposed to those that are more remote, which is what has been happening up until now, and to encourage comprehensive projects in these areas and their buildings against less extensive redevelopments. The revitalisation of consolidated urban areas is a strong and decisive strategy that will rebalance the opportunities for new expansion with existing areas, to prevent their depopulation and their social and physical deterioration. In a city of 680,000 inhabitants, there is scope for different strategies to simultaneously boost areas with many dysfunctions, which must also be able to benefit from the potential external benefits that can give these urban areas the sense of worth that they are currently lacking. As the architects and lecturers Juan Luis de las Rivas and Alfonso Vegara pointed out in the introduction of their excellent book ‘Intelligent Territories’, “The key to the quality of our cities, in the context of globalisation, will be their ability to attract and generate highly capable human resources. Connectivity, opportunities for work, an innovative atmosphere, the education infrastructure, available housing, quality of life, social balance, security, care for the landscape and the quality of the urban areas will become the priority factors for competitiveness. Cities that are more successful in attracting and educating the best talent are those that will thrive, because people are the raw material of the of the 20th century economy.” In order to achieve regenerated districts, ‘intelligent territories’, that stop their depopulation and ageing, that attract new residents, that can accommodate new uses and new ways of living, there must be social, economic and environmental sustainability at the heart of all proposals. These are the indispensable new means of public action, and are those that Sociedad Municipal Zaragoza Vivienda and a vast number of residents of Zaragoza are striving for.

Now the East, a new Architects’ bet. Pablo de la Cal Nicolás The Urban Development Commission of the Zaragoza Branch of the Official Association of Architects of Aragon has been involved in recent years in notable urban transformation projects for the city of Zaragoza, such as the revision of the general plan, the plan for the Ebro riverbanks and the covering over of railway lines in the Portillo and Delicias areas.

108

Since the end of 2007, the Commission has focused its efforts on the east of the city, in the districts of Barrio La Jota-Vadorrey, Las Fuentes and San José. This is the result of different factors. The first is the significant shift of hubs of service facilities and urban activity towards the west of the city, and the resulting progressive and alarming devaluation of commercial activity and quality of the urban environment in these three districts. And the other is the opportunity provided by projects in progress, such as the construction of a new football stadium in San José and its integration into the city, as well as projects which have long been demanded, like the lengthening of Avenida de Tenor Fleta or the need to define and design the closure of the “Green Ring” in the east, one of the most significant actions relating to the provision of public space in Zaragoza.

This is the first time we have worked with three Schools of Architecture simultaneously, one in each of the three chosen districts. Students from the University of Navarre School of Architecture in Barrio La JotaVadorrey, from the Vallés School in Barcelona in Las Fuentes and from the University of Valladolid in San José had to face unfamiliar contexts, making use of strategies and considerations without prior conditioning factors. At the same time, participation from residents was a determining factor. The members of the respective Community Associations provided an accurate and pragmatic knowledge of the land and the problems arising on each corner, in each street and at each location in these districts. Uncorseted suggestions, involving interesting exercises of analysis and project methodology and outstanding graphic results, complemented by the sensitivity conveyed by the residents, often suffering the consequences of urban projects that fail to take them into account, were the necessary ingredients of a menu rounded off by critical reflection from the group of architects comprising the Urban Development Commission. There were numerous joint reflection sessions in which views were exchanged for the purpose of focusing on the necessary aspects and priorities, in order to communicate the need for an urgent, integrated action. In spite of the apparent initial diversity of approaches, we were able to agree upon the structure and the priorities for the consolidated city and its fringe areas. One of the clear conclusions to come out of the work is that these three districts are in need of decisive, priority-based revitalisation actions. The current economic downturn, with less speculative pressure, the socio-urban situation in these three districts, the approved urban developments pending implementation on the urban fringes and the opportunity presented by environmental spaces of high potential quality lead to the consideration that urgent action is necessary, with a decisive policy combining immediate, short-term actions with modifications to current planning and new medium- and long-term plans. To this end, and from comprehensive perspective from the already consolidated spaces and the Eastern Fringe arc of Zaragoza, the work ultimately proposes 12 urban development operations as the engines to drive change in the eastern districts (Map 1) and 31 actions (Map 2). Moreover, there is also a carefully selected set of considerations of an instrumental nature, which will require coordinated planning and the drawing up of interdisciplinary projects, and which we will be presented to the Zaragoza City Council and Zaragoza residents in general. This will allow them to adopt it as a starting point for urban development action in the coming years. Having realised the need for such a project, we are exploring the real possibility of establishing a relationship between the radial vectors of the districts (Avenida de Tenor Fleta, Cesáreo Alierta, Compromiso de Caspe, etc.) with the infrastructural or spatial bands of the fringe areas (Z-30 Hispanidad Ring Road, railway lines, agricultural spaces, etc.). This would mean that the transition from compact, dense areas towards open, cultivated or natural spaces would come into effect by means of qualified urban sequences and locations. Finally, the proposals place emphasis on existing features (the Imperial Canal, the Ebro, the Gállego, the market gardens, a cohesive urban and social base and enviable position of centrality), which in some cases are merely opportunities beneath the surface waiting to be discovered. And together they bring commitment to a strategy which aims first and foremost to improve what is already in existence and the quality of life of the residents of these three districts, as well as that of future residents who will see the east as a very attractive place to live.


Z arquitectura #14 + #15, CITY II, EAST ZARAGOZA WORKSHOPS