Rescuing the Rambles of Barcelona


Rescuing the Rambles of Barcelona

Les Rambles’ cooperative process was a proposal of the kmZero team that won the International Competition convened by the Barcelona City Council in 2017 to revitalize and remodel the Rambla de Barcelona. The aim is to return to the citizenry one of its historical and most symbolic axes in a cooperative way, so this transformation becomes, on the one hand, a global improvement of the city’s main urban space and on the other, a better experience for the people who live, visit and enjoy it. 

This process was developed as a cooperative work between technicians, citizens, and administration for the implementation of an urbanization and redesign proposal.  With this innovative methodology as such, the aim was to make Rambla a diverse, flexible, sustainable, inclusive, accessible, consistent, secure, smart, contextualized, and comfortable place to be. The project is an inheritance and relief from the work done previously by entities, neighbors, and administration. With this process, the various agents worked jointly in order to rethink Rambles and extend this debate throughout the city.

The process for defining the improvement actions for  “Les Rambles”, with its necessary physical and social interventions, proposed by the kmZERO team, is based on a diagnosis and agreed objectives between citizens, administration, and expert technicians. 

The document resulting from the cooperative work is composed of strategies set that accompany the redevelopment of Rambles, which will be carried out between 2020 and 2026. Once again, the main challenge will be to do it as a joint task amongst the city’s agents.

Place

Barcelona

[1,620,343 habitants]

Scale of the project

Public space

Type of project

Urban Strategies

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

12 months [2017-2018]

Promoter

Muicipality of Barcelona,

Foment de Ciutat,

BIMSA

 

Team

UTE kmZERO: (AYESA –

Lola Domènech – Espinàs i

Tarrassó – Itziar González –

Arnau Boix)

 

Team kmZERO: Itziar Gonzàlez,

Arnau Boix, Lola Domènech,

Olga Tarrassó, Jordi Quiñonero,

Paul B. Preciado, Josep Selga,

Ole Thorson, Sergi Cutillas,

Ernest Cañada, Alberto Conesa,

Sebastià Ribot, Cristina Pedraza,

Julio Alcobendas, Esteve Boix,

Miquel Cañellas, Fernando Casal,

Konstantina Chrysostomou,

Pablo Cotarelo, Pablo Feu,

Iolanda Fresnillo, Nacho Guilera,

Gema Jover, Sira Llopart,

Eulàlia Miralles, Pere Mogas,

Jordi Parés, Daniel Pera,

Mireia Peris, Ignasi Querol,

Javier Rentero, David

Rodriguez, Francesc Sánchez,

Cristian Tapia, Anna Terricabras,

Carlos Utrillo, Javier Valencia,

Xavier Valls, Susanna Àlvarez,

Joan Escofet

 

Collaborators

Neighbors of Rambles de

Barcelona,

Agents and entities of

Barcelona

Presentation

Check the presentation at Prezi

Premsa

Read more about the project at the

Website of the process

Municipality of Barcelona

Newspaper Públic

Confluence in Valencia’s Central Market


Confluence in Valencia's Central Market

The proposal Confluència was the winner of the competition organized by the Generalitat Valenciana in order to remodel Bruges square and other public spaces around the Central Market of the city of Valencia. The project, led by the architects Elisabet Quintana and Blanca Peñín, opted for a transdisciplinary and participatory approach, with the firm intention of facilitating the creation of a space of coexistence around this commercial node, the Central Market, which is a historical symbol and a landmark for the inhabitants and visitors of Valencia.

The conception of public space as a natural extension of the Market itself, and vice versa, respects and reinforces the social, cultural, and commercial dynamics of the urban environment. The final proposal addresses the neighborhoods’ socio-territorial circumstances not only through urban design, but also through social strategies to visualize the different human realities that enclose an important social building such as a public market. These strategies range from proposals for neighborhood programming to public spaces that strengthen human connectivity with the Velluters neighborhood, to measures for reversing the gentrification process in Valencia in general, and the Ciutat Vella district in particular.

The  Confluència’s team transdisciplinary context has allowed the incorporation of diverse perspectives throughout the process of reflection, proposal, and writing, which include considerations on governance, citizen participation, and gender.

The redevelopment is expected to begin in 2020.

Place

Valencia

[794 288 inhabitants]

Scale of the project

Municipal

Public space

Tipus de projecte

Estratègies urbanes

Disseny d’espai públic

Duration

6 months [2018]

Promoter

Generalitat Valenciana,

Municipality of Valencia

 

Team

UTE Quintana-Peñín  (Elisabet

Quintana i Blanca Peñín)

Equip transdisciplinar: Peñín

arquitectes, Espinàs i Tarrassó,

*estel, monoDestudio, Inés

Novella, Planifica Urbanismo y

Gestión, Enrique Giménez, Joan

Seguí, María Pedro Ferrer

 

Collaborators

Local entities and associations

Press

Watch the video of the project

here here

Read more about the project at

diari

¡Pónle Guinda!


¡Pónle Guinda!

¡Pónle Guinda! is a process of citizen and administrative cooperation in order to carry out a participatory diagnosis and agree on proposals for the transformation of the public space in an area of Guindalera neighborhood (Madrid), popularly known as Guindalera Vieja. The work process in Guindalera Vieja comprised three distinct phases: start-up, participation, and preliminary drafting phase.

During the first one, group meetings and interviews were held with municipal technicians and political representatives of the Madrid City Council (Salamanca District), as well as with a representation of the neighborhood’s associative network. 

During the second phase was held the urban and social analysis, fieldwork, and observation mapping of the public space along with the open workshops for every neighbour who wanted to participate. That phase closed with conclusion elaboration and its subsequent communication to all the people participating in these workshops. 

Finally, it was elaborated the drafting of the prioritized projects from the previous phases: the proposal of a sustainable mobility model for the neighbourhood; the establishment of a “toolbox” with general criteria for the design of Guindalera`s public spaces; and the drafting of two preliminary projects, corresponding to the Béjar street, and to the May 28 square and its surroundings. 

The decision-making was based on the experts’ knowledge arising from the fields of sociology, urbanism, and architecture as well as from the neighbours’ shared experiences who have been implicated in the participatory process. This process marked the guidelines for the subsequent redevelopment work of the neighbourhood.

Place

Madrid

[3,223,334 inhabitants]

Scale

Neighborhood

Type of project

Urban Strategies

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

10 months [2017]

Promoter

Municipality of Madrid,

Salamanca District

 

Team

*estel (Arnau Boix, Mireia Peris,

Konstantina Chysostomou,

Soledad Viteri)

 

MonoD estudio, Urbanins,

Inés Novella

 

Collaborators

Neighbors and neighborhood

organizations in Guindalera

Presentation

Check the presentation at Prezi

Press

Read more about the project at 

DSalamanca and DSalamanca

Joan Miró square


Joan Miró square

The criteria that lead to the definition of the square are the result of a close collaborative work carried out by the *estel team with the municipal personnel and politicians, the neighborhood residents and the entities, and the city’s associations. It is, in fact, the joint decision of all these agents, the engine of its renovation and transformation into an open stage.

It is proposed the construction of some stands surrounding part of the square. This changes the directionality of the space, which can now be conceptually and materially extended to the adjacent section of Jacint Verdaguer street. The new layout varies the scene of the Dansa de la Batalla, an important Giants event held by the Festa Major, which is dignified by the renovation of the space, and organizes massive crowd increasing comfort and security of the event.

The challenge of hosting this annual event should not diminish the daily use by the neighbors of the square neither of the citizens nor the visitors of Montornès in general: it is, therefore, a public space that still works as an urban square. The proposal, however, modulates the intensity of its use as a play space to allow and enjoy a wider range of age groups. The new square reinforces its identity with a mural inspired by Joan Miró that renews the old one, with a reinterpretation designed, agreed, and carried out by the Venus local art association. The square thus reclaims the lost historical protagonism, consolidating itself as the end of the civic axis that will unite it with the square Pau Picasso.

Place

Montornès del Vallès

[16,263 inhabitants]

Scale of the project

Public space

Type of project

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

12  months [2014-2015]

Promoter

Muicipality of Montornès

del Vallès

 

Team

*estel  (Arnau Boix,  Mireia Peris,

Marc Deu, Ara Muñío,

Esteve Boix, Claudia Villazón)

 

Itziar Gonzàlez, Elena Guim, 

Antoni Elvira, Carmela Torró

 

Collaborated

Neighbors of Montornès

del Vallès,

Colla de Gegants de

Montornès,

Art Venus Association,

Neighbors of the Plaça

Joan Miró,

Sant Sadurní School,

AAVV Montornès Centre,

Centre of the study of

Montornès del Vallès,

Unió de Botiguers,

Bar Chucu-chucu

Presentation

Check the good practices bank

Study

Read the full report at issuu

Read the full report at issuu

Press

Read more about the project at

Mostra d’Arquitectura Catalana,

somMontorès

Let’s activate the square Panikou Dimitriou in Cyprus

Let’s activate the square Panikou Dimitriou in Cyprus

In collaboration with the Mesa Geitonia City Council and the Municipal Open School, the Youth Volunteering team planned and implemented the “My Square” project. *Estel was represented by one of its members, providing the experience of participatory processes for transforming public spaces in Spain, adapting the *estel methodology in the socio-administrative context of Cyprus.

The project focuses on protecting the environment, the creative occupation and training of unemployed young people, and the reduction of juvenile delinquency through collective actions aimed at improving the square in the municipality of Mesa Geitonia in Limassol. This cooperative process for the co-design of the square has been carried out with the local community, applying sustainability and resilience criteria.

This innovative project for the context of Cyprus regarding incorporating the local community in decision-making for common spaces has a pedagogical character. Residents of different age groups and origins participate in the planning for the first time, assuming roles and responsibilities for developing the design and activating the space. The process involves each generation, not only during the procedure but also during the execution and activation. By doing this, the sense of belonging is increased, causing a reduction in vandalism in the space. This participatory process tests a new model for the design, management, and programming of public space, which until now was limited to the technical and political team of the city council.

The diagnosis of the needs and the design of this square is carried out jointly with the neighborhood, the children of the two nearby schools, and the Escola Oberta of the Mesa Geitonia City Hall. The actions that have been carried out (co-design workshops, plant care seminars, tree planting, memory and identity workshop, open-air cinema, etc.) focus on protecting the environment, creating employment and training unemployed young people, and reducing juvenile delinquency.

The project is funded by the European Program “European Solidarity Corps.” The project is in the spirit of the European Solidarity Corps, as it brings together young people who want to build a society with fewer exclusions, supporting vulnerable people such as those who are unemployed and addressing social challenges such as juvenile delinquency, and protecting the environment. At the same time, the administration learns and incorporates this new way of treating public spaces as common urban goods, encouraging the participation of citizens and young people in decision-making.

Through this project, the participants help their community, learn and develop, exchanging ideas and expectations. It is a project with European added value since a community and those who shared the square helped create the model.  

The project will result in a blueprint for transforming the square into a long-term series of strategies. These strategies will improve the square and its surroundings over time and are designed to be applied in the public spaces of the municipality. During the participatory process, improvement of the square and the promotion of belongingness are carried out by programs such as (1) planting trees, (2) installing outdoor exercise equipment, (3) creating open-air cinema areas, and (4) painting the park’s children’s area with bright colors.

 

* Finalist project in the New European Bauhaus Awards, 2023 (more information)

Place

Mesa Gitonia 

[3,948 inhabitants]

Scale

Public space

Type of project


Urban Strategies

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

12 months [2021-2022]

Promoter

European Solidarity Corps

Municipality of Mesa Gitonia

 

Team

*estel (Konstantina

Chrysostomou), Aristi Pavlou,

Georgios Makris, Argiro

Aristides, Crystalla

Theodoulou, Aggelos

Emmanuel , Nikoletta

Ioannou

 

Collaborators

Veïnat de Mesa Gitonia,

Entitats i associacions de

Mesa Gitonia,

Anoikto Sxoleio Mesa Gitonias,

Equip tècnic i polític del municipi

Press

Read more about the project

at project’s facebook and

l’instagram (gr),

Watch the project in the video (gr),

Read more about the project

in the press (gr) 

Revitalising Montornès Nord neighborhood

Revitalising Montornès Nord neighborhood

Pla de Barris in 2010, carried out in Montornès Nord a diagnosis of public spaces system identifying those who needed an improvement intervention; the “Pergola” square and the street “Llibertat”. In addition to these, the neighbors reclaimed the improvement of two more spaces; the street “9 d’Abril” and the square of “Pergola”. Based on that identification of those four spaces, the municipality charged Estel* to run the improvement processes. 

Initially, the strategies for neighbors’ implication were designed so to realize a collaborative analysis and diagnosis of these spaces. Meetings with citizens (direct participation) and observation (indirect participation) were carried out to establish a direct communication channel with the residents and learn the daily dynamics of the area. 

Regarding the proposal phase, the process has been developed in a way to be adapted in the conclusions of the diagnosis. Specifically, three of these projects attached to the street “Llibertat” were grouped into one. The fourth space was tackled with an independent process which suited better the needs of the environment. 

In parallel to the process of defining improvement strategies for the selected areas, it has been worked the administrative dynamics through interviews with council personnel so to analyze the policies of the different departments regarding public spaces.

Place

Montornès del Vallès

[16,263 inhabitants]

Scale of the project

Neighborhood

Type of project

Citizen cooperation 

Public space design

Duration

6 months (2015)

Promoter

Muicipality of Montornès

del Vallès

 

Team

*estel (Arnau Boix,

Mireia Peris, Ara Muñío,

Esteve Boix, Marc Deu)

Itziar González, Arquect

 

Collaborated

Neighbors of Montornès

Nord

Entities and associations

(culture, economy,

education)

Study

Read the full report at issuu (doc2)

Read the full report at issuu(doc3)

Read the full report at issuu(doc4)

Read the full report at issuu(doc5)

Press

Read more about the project at

Ajuntament – Seu electrònica

The Pine’s plaza

The Pine's Plaza

The project for the reformation of the square (plaça) del Pi at Benifairo de la Valldigna incorporated since the beginning the inhabitants, especially children. The square holds an important part at the village’s entrance, creating a “bridge” between nursery and primary school and hosting el “Pi redó”, an emblematic tree which during the years turned into a meeting place -physical and symbolic- for every inhabitant. 

Initially, collaborative work took place including agents related to the project so to identify the main deficiencies of the space and define strategic lines for the future project. Once agreed, these ideas were specified progressively in order to create an urban design project. 

During the process, various participative techniques were used: from group interviews with the city’s technical-political team and with professionals linked to the school, to workshops with children, recording of memories regarding Pí redó and its surroundings, and open sessions in the public space with inhabitants. 

The proposal redefines the mobility circulation at the entrance and exit of the village, eliminates part of the parking space that is underused so that many square meters are freed up creating spaces of quality to pass time and play both for adults and children. 

Place

Benifairó de la Valldigna

[1,580 inhabitants]

Scale

Public space

Type of project

Urban strategies

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

Collaborative Diagnosis:

6 months [2017]

 

Urban design project:

3 months [2017]

 

Site management:

3 months [2018]

Promoter

Muicipality of Benifairó de

la Valldigna

 

Team

*estel  (Arnau Boix, Marc Deu,

Konstantina Chrysostomou)

 

Monodestudio, Urbanins,

Siete arquitectura más

ingeniería s.l.

 

Collaborated

Neighbors of  Benifairó de la

Valldigna,

Children and educational team

of James II el Just primary

school

Plaza Maresme

Plaza Maresme

The project approaches the Maresme Square (Plaça Maresme) and its surroundings with an integrated way through a complex project that goes from collaborative diagnosis to executive re-design project and site management.

The project was a municipal initiative to embrace the social dynamics that were already taking place in Plaça Maresme, as a meeting point for both residents of the neighborhood and users of the sports facilities attached to the public space. 

Socio-territorial studies and masterplan held a significant participatory deployment that included neighbors, neighborhood organizations and associations and children from both nearby schools and Municipal Children’s council. As a result of the analysis of the urban dynamics that were taking place and the dialogue between the various agents involved, it established the strategic lines of the project from which, on the one hand, it was drafted the urban planning project and on the other hand it promoted a series of measures to improve coexistence and citizen empowerment.

The redesign of the square highlights the value of the adjoining buildings, dignifies their accesses, improves their between connection and enhances active mobility through the pedestrianization of the square’s street. This gesture defines a new axis that crosses the area and that apart from acting as a space of passing by or passing time, organizes the rest of the surrounding ambits that fit into the natural topography of the site, eliminating the containment walls and stairs that before structured watertight levels. 

Among the different uses which are taking place, there is a programmable outdoor scene and various play areas understood as growth and learning spaces. From the landscape point of view, the project uses a combination of bush vegetation and native clinker, a move that helps to delimit the different environments but at the same time helps to keep up a certain perceptual connection among them, with trees that provide shade and improve the quality of comfort for the users.  

The selected plant species help to increase significantly the biodiversity of the environment giving continuity to the strategy already initiated by the municipal government.

Place

Premià de Mar

[28,071  inhabitants]

Scale of the project

Neighborhood

Public space

Type of project

Urban Strategies

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

Collaborative Diagnosis:

6 months [2016]

 

Urban planning  project

6 months [2017]

 

Site management

6 mesos [2018]

Promoter

Barcelona Provincial Council, 

City Hall of Premià de Mar

 

Team

*estel (Arnau Boix, Alba

Domínguez, Marc Deu )

 

MonoDestudio, Laia Vilaubí,

Pere Santos, Ingenieros

asociados SA, Roger

Bancells, Alarona Tècnics

 

Collaborated

Neighbors of Premià,

Local entities and

associations,

Municipal Children’s Council

of Premià de Mar

Study 

Read the full report at issuu

Gender perspective and participation consultancy in the East-West pedestrian routes project of Cabanyal

Gender perspective and participation consultancy in the East-West pedestrian routes project of Cabanyal

Gender urban planning places everyday life at the center and provides an inclusive vision to address the needs of the neighborhood’s residents. The goal is for the proposal to resolve the current urban inequalities and meet the needs of men and women equally, without discrimination based on gender or any other factors such as economic, origin, age, functional diversity, etc. The proposed urban transformation aims to create new spaces that will serve as the physical support for future social uses. Therefore, it is essential to analyze and design them while considering the actions people perform in their daily lives and embracing their diversity.

In this regard, several actions have been taken to incorporate this perspective into the project:

  • Direct and ongoing guidance to the project team in decision-making.
  • Analysis of gender-related documents in the territory provided by the administration or identified by the team.
  • Group interviews: To present and discuss the gender-focused project approach and criteria, review previously identified relevant documents, and include others that the participants deem important.

The guidance includes the main conclusions derived from the gender analysis affecting the project’s scope, and it outlines the project’s work lines and strategies that address the integration of the gender perspective.

Place

Valencia

[1.923.000 inhabitants]

Scale

Neighborhood

Type of project

Citizen cooperation

Public space design

Duration

3 months [2022]

Promoter

Municipality of Valencia

EDUSI Cabanyal – Canyamelar

– Cabo de Francia

European Regional

Development Fund

 

Team

*estel (Alba Domínguez

Ferrer, Arnau Boix Pla,

Konstantina Chrysostomou,

Marc Deu Ferrer)

PEÑIN ARQUITECTOS, SLP

 

Collaborators

Cabanyal Neighborhood

Neighborhood Union

Feminist Assembly

Brúfol Association

Cabanyal-Canyamelar

Neighborhood Association

From the Courtyard to the

Neighborhood

Santiago Apostol School

Executive project of the Plaça del Pi (Phase 2)


Executive project of the Plaça del Pi (Phase 2)

The urbanization project is the second phase of the transformation of Plaça del Pi, in continuity with the works carried out on the other side of Ricardo Romero street, at the entrance to “Jaume II El Just“ public school.

The proposal is made of conversations held with the teaching team of the educational center. It aims to alleviate the public space giving priority to the pedestrian and increase the play and stay spaces of the Plaza del Pi to facilitate the development of related activities to everyday life and improve the relationship between the nursery building and the rest of the square.

The design of the square is organized from a large esplanade of compacted sand, the planting of new plant species, trees, and shrubs, and the installation of new living elements that also act as potential play areas. The project also seeks to redefine the perimeter fence of the building to improve the visual connectivity of the building with the street and to take advantage of part of the interior spaces as new public spaces available to the general public.

Place

Benifairó de la Valldigna 

[1.592 inhabitants]

Scale

Public space

Type of project

Public space design

Duration

4 months [2020]

Promoter

Municipality of Benifairó de la

Valldigna and Diputació de

València

 

Team

*estel (Marc Deu Ferrer i

Konstantina Chrysostomou,

Alba Domínguez Ferrer, Arnau

Boix i Pla)

7a+i arquitectura i enginyeria

 

Collaborators

Educational centre of

Benifairó de la

Valldigna