Revising The Basis For Planning A New Kind Of Progress: The Case Of Valencia’s City
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J. L. Miralles i Garcia
The paper analyses the contradictions in the regional planning process for revising the basis and criteria for future intervention and management in metropolitan areas such as Valencia with a new type of progress objective. Valencia, the Mediterranean coastal city, is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. In the metropolitan area of Valencia about 1.3 million people live. “L’Horta de València” is located in the suburban environment of the Valencian metropolitan area; it has agricultural land with high productivity. These agricultural lands include about 10,000 ha of historical fertile land and another 10,000 ha of fertile land irrigated more recent (about XIXs). In this metropolitan area, there are serious conflicts between different land usages mainly urban sprawl such as expansion of building and infrastructures, replacing fertile agricultural land use. In addition, there is strong competition between different urban uses, e.g. port, beach and tourist zones, high speed rail, industrial estates and new buildings zones. In addition, contradictions between sustainability and development are very intense, especially when the development is only an expectation. In 2000, civil society promoted the legislative initiative, “L’Horta de València” Protection Act, while economic development in the period 1997–2007 was based on speculative urban expansion. The main goal of this initiative is to ensure sustainable development while conserving natural resources needed for future generations. This initiative was refused based on two stated main arguments: i) protection would hinder the economic development and ii) elaborate a protection plan with other approaches. At the end of 2010 works of government about regional planning for “Horta de València” protection were finished. However, the plan is not approved yet. From the 2007 crisis, speculative urban expansion resulted in the impoverishment of many people; while, large areas of fertile agricultural land have disappeared.
regional planning, green infrastructure, urban redevelopment