Surely more than once you have complained about the lack of green areas in your city and how you would improve that situation. From Gardenprue we present an example of maximum involvement in this issue for the use and enjoyment of its inhabitants: Vitoria-Gasteiz. Do you know what it is about? Let’s meet your green ring.
VITORIA-GASTEIZ, AN EXAMPLE OF GREEN INVOLVEMENT
Vitoria-Gasteiz is found in the Basque province of Álava located here, in Spain, and since the beginning of the 90s it has intended that the entire perimeter of the city is surrounded by a large green belt.
This is why we can know this great project as the Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Belt. With this, it is intended that peripheral areas, sometimes degraded and forgotten, take center stage in the general calculation of the city, forming a very important part of its development, creating in turn a filter between urban and rural areas.
COMPOSITION OF THE GREEN RING
The creation of this great Green Belt is carried out through eight large parks that will surround the city (Zadorra, Salburua, Olarizu, Armentia, Zabalgana, Alegría Errekaleor and Lasarte), of which five of them have already been created (the first five mentioned). The parks maintain a very close relationship with large areas of cultivation, since they border or even form part of the same but in a controlled way.
Among these parks there are, and will be, a series of green corridors that communicate with each other only in a pedestrian and cyclist way . Green corridors that enter the urban fabric so that the user can easily access the perimeter route through its urban paths.
Once this project concludes, Vitoria-Gasteiz will be surrounded by up to 960 ha of green areas, of which some 500 ha will be made up of these commented parks and can be traveled through 79 km of cycling and pedestrian routes distributed throughout the Green Belt .
WHAT CAN WE FIND?
The landscape is practically the same in all the parks, which gives the Green Belt a scenic unity, highlighting the gall oak in the extensive natural forests in the parks.
However, each park has some natural element, or related to nature, that distinguishes it. Let’s see some examples:
– The Salburua Park stands out for being formed by wetlands . These have been recovered for the creation of the Green Belt, since they had previously been desiccated to be able to use these areas for cultivation. Thus, an area of high ecological, environmental and landscape value is recovered.
All the evolution and monitoring of these wetlands is carried out from the Ataria building, which is built as an interpretation center for the wetlands of this park.
– The Zadorra River gives its name to the park with this name. This river runs the entire length of the park and for this reason its surroundings have been conditioned so that the user can enjoy it along its river route.
– The Olarizu Park was already created when the green ring project was proposed . In the mid-90s it was annexed to the network of parks and therefore it is possible to observe its character as a park that we can find within a city.
In addition, its trails connect with other nearby towns and in the qualification of the park areas were built for the realization of training and educational activities that revolve around the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND LANDSCAPE IMPACT OF THE GREEN RING
The development of the Green Belt has allowed the recovery of already forgotten peripheral natural areas in the city, endowing them with a greater ecological value and becoming important protected and well-cared areas in the environment, as is the case of the aforementioned wetlands.
DIFFICULTIES THAT ARISE
Carrying out such an ambitious project requires a very high financial capacity . That is why its execution is taking so long in time since the money allocated by the Public Administrations is invested in this project to the extent that the annual budgets allow it.
Another of the difficulties that one might think is the relationship of this natural world that is created with urban development .
The solution is easy: the Green Belt is part of the current and future fabric of the city. The city is projected with the opportunities that having a green belt surrounding it can offer.
SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
This ambitious intervention has helped the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz to become the European Green Capital in the year 2012 . The UN has also recognized this action, considering it within the ranking of the 100 best proposals for good practices in the city, being an example of the fight against climate change and that the green model in the city works.
We hope you found the idea of a green ring around the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz interesting. If you also know a case of green development in a city, do not hesitate to tell us.