Work begins on the blue-green pedestrian corridor in Benicalap, Valencia

Green space with an innovative drainage pavement system that collects water will be built along a route of nearly 1000 square metres. The work, which will be completed in approximately six months, is being carried out by Bipolaire, one of the partners in GrowGreen.

Fencing around a tree and a dug channel in the centre of a streetThe main objective of this pilot initiative of the GrowGreen project is that the pedestrians of Benicalap can enjoy a green route, located between Calle del Foc and Plaza Regino Mas in the Ciudad Fallera neighbourhood. The project proposes 995.32 square metres where vegetation will be planted, and an innovative water collection system will be installed in the district.

As explained by Bipolaire Arquitectos – responsible for the design of the green-blue corridor – this work “allows us to try out various nature-based solutions, including bio-retention areas with bio-cells (garden areas), a water retention basin and drainage systems, located under the car park areas, which will filter and collect the water from the road using a permeable paving”, details Blanca Pedrola.

Among the actions that will be carried out in the adaptation of this corridor is also the transformation of Plaza Regino Mas into a safe space, with shade generated by vegetation and a pergola, and adapted furniture; The square will also be better connected for pedestrians with the surrounding streets.

This GrowGreen pilot project will have positive impacts on the area, including thermal comfort – with more vegetation and less thermal stress-, capture of CO₂, better management of water with respect to its quality and the reduction of the volume of run-off, an increase in biodiversity, since the number of species and plant strata will be increased, and an improvement in the perception of safety in the area by acting on mobility (pedestrianisation of a section of street), lighting and adapted furniture.

Work is also beginning on the neighbourhood’s sustainable forest, a 100% sustainable and pedestrian space added to the planned Benicalap Park extension project. It is 5,273 square metres in which a perimeter wooded area has been planned, thus recovering the historical perspective of the neighbouring road and historical farmhouses.

According to Blanca Pedrola of Bipolaire Arquitectos, responsible for the design of the forest, it will provide “higher levels of thermal comfort, as a result of the wooded areas that will provide more shade and ventilation in summer. We are also acting on water management, water quality and runoff volume reduction, with a sustainable drainage system. And it is also important to point out that for the construction of the grove, there will be no soil extraction, only earthworks, thus minimising the environmental impact”.

The sustainable forest will also allow an increase in biodiversity with the installation of different strata of vegetation (trees, shrubs and terrestrial plants) and therefore the creation of a new area for animal habitat. Other benefits will be the capture of CO₂ levels, as well as the placement of adapted furniture and sustainable lighting in the area.

According to the councillor for Innovation and Knowledge Management of Valencia City Council, Carlos Galiana, this forest “adds to the municipal objective of turning Benicalap into a greener neighbourhood. The actions of the GrowGreen project, and especially this one, are in addition to the extension works already planned for the Benicalap Park. In fact, the forest will allow an accessible passage, a pedestrian connection on Andreu Alfaro street and a new access to the park”, he points out.