Urbanistic development and intervention on the landscape


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Environmental recovery of the river Llobregat

Enric Batlle, Joan Roig, arquitectos

FAD Awards finalist 2010  City and landscape
Description Technical file

This project focuses on the cleanup and recovery of the Llobregat riverbed in order to improve the quality of life of the neighbouring municipalities and their accessibility, taking into account the environmental and territorial surroundings of the river. The intervention is an opportunity to see how the river Llobregat goes from being a territorial obstacle to a landscaped space that integrates the river into its environment.

The goal of the proposal was to identify the main conditioning factors for the environmental recovery of the river Llobregat and at the same time to define the necessary actions to improve connections along its course as well as accessibility from the different towns that surround it, in order to boost its social use by introducing leisure activities. The aim is to give the river the idea of a whole, a unitary criterion when it comes to its landscape treatment that would also serve to facilitate its future maintenance.

The development of the proposal lies in understanding the river from two fully complementary points of view: the river as a living and changing being, full of life and natural spaces with their own dynamic and workings; and the river as a green and peri-urban leisure space, a place for the enjoyment of the citizens while respecting the medium in which it finds itself.

The landscaping proposal takes the river into account as a green space connected to the city and its surroundings. The proposal, undertaken in several phases, has the objective of addressing the relationship of the towns with the river, transforming what is now a limit into a more urban access, permitting the connection between the two margins of the river, stitching up the networks of paths that are already there and plant vegetation in keeping with the available water resources. Far from undertaking extensive interventions along the full scope of the river, these are concentrated and specific operations that will generate major changes in the accessibility and routes along the river.
The operations on the riverbank concentrate on making the river react, both with regard to hydraulic level and to vegetation. It is a medium- to long-term proposal whose objectives will not be highly visible at the outset. It is the start-up of a naturalisation process for the river, one that will gradually move forward without man’s patent intervention.
The introduction of small elements that alter the course of the river (deflectors) manages to reconfigure its “meandriform” appearance when waters are low. In certain spots, all foreign species that have colonised the area have been eliminated in order to introduce selected species, thus creating units of expansion of the local flora that will little by little colonise the margins of the river.

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Situación: Baix Llobregat, Barcelona. Autores: Enric Batlle, Joan Roig, arquitectos. Colaboradores: Xavier Ramoneda, Mario Suñer, Enrique Valeinte, arquitectos. Ingeniería: Typsa-Tecnoma. Constructor: Dragados / Tau-Icesa. Promotor: Área Metropolitana. Fotografía: Jordi Surroca.
Enric Batlle
Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona
Joan Roig
Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona
Jordi Surroca