As inhabitants and architects we made a counterproposal to the official redeveloping plans, it was a lost chance to improve urban quality life. The municipality answered technical objections, so we opened two lines of work, one has been answering technical buts, second adding local’s knowledge as more people got engaged. Then, we did it, real scale action, turning into a neighbours' own proposal.
Newspaper announced City Hall of Valencia redevelopment plans in april 2014, we tried to participate but access was denied as no law forced them to. Also we tried to review the proposal during the design process, but couldn’t till September with the final document approved.
In 2013 City Hall made a Sustainable Mobility Plan with good street design recommendation but no one of them were inside the 2014 one. What alarmed us was the lack of public participation and the incongruent design.
So we made a quick counterproposal at December, showing the capabilities of the square instead the crossroad, and the flexible street. No way, “listen, we have more streets to do next year” even ours didn’t increase the budget!
February the 2nd we finish a complete concept design proposal showing the advantages of it in compare to municipal one, and distributed inside the City Council, but equal results, no positive response.
So we celebrate an open session to explain and receive local actor’s knowledge, and then neighbours, merchants, commuters and some friends told us. This time we made a conclusion list and signature asking for city council to listen. We were not alone, and local people boosted the proposal, again silence.
It could be difficult to see the proposal from a book or a technical document, even rendered images, so, let’s draw it again, but a real scale. Yellow line help us to explain in real space the distribution between public space, sidewalks and plaza, and road space. So people came and enjoy been at the real Square, children understood at first sight and started to play, run, jump, ball games, street games. The recovered space started immediately to work, smart child, parents followed them, some tables, café, beer, some panels from exposition to explain more details but big picture was there. Simple things are great, successful space with instant results. No need furthermore explanation.
On Sunday 24th May the election of a new municipal team could change perspectives, anyhow who wins, we will propose again the idea, with last 22th urban action conclusion and neighbourhood suggestion, we hope they listen to the people, and make public investments worth.
But any way, drawing Pizarro St and Hernán Cortés St, we reached Colón and Gran Vía, as we found terrible conditions, plenty of cars, no bike path, we wanted to connect pedestrian path correctly. As we draw we started to change those arterial street section, so, PAM_SúperGranVía begun and PAM_Colón follows it. We want Valencia to reach as far as possible, a walkable and cyclable city, warm climate and great people invites us to try.