The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - History
The idea of creating the Green Belt came about in the early 1990s with the aim of dealing with all the issues associated with the degraded state of the peripheral areas of the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
When the project began, there were areas of high ecological value around the edge of the city, such as the forests of Armentia and Zabalgana. Although affected by problems of erosion, fires, etc., they had managed to survive the urban and industrial expansion of the city in the form of gravel pits, landfills and other degraded spaces that threatened the survival of the remaining natural areas. The area offered low levels of security for visits or going for walks and had become a physical and social barrier between the urban environment and the adjoining rural milieu.
In order to resolve the existing problems and to restructure and/or take advantage of these clearly residual, undervalued periurban spaces, the Environmental Studies Centre of the Town Hall of Vitoria-Gasteiz decided to undertake a large-scale project that would embrace all the outlying districts of the city and provide a solution both for its more developed areas and for its natural spaces.
The idea to create a network of green, periurban spaces also found support within the framework of the 1986 General Urban Development Plan, which proposed to extend the system of green urban areas to include a number of spaces located on the edge of the city.
Objectives and strategies
- Promote the conservation of natural periurban spaces and the ecological restoration of other recoverable spaces, creating a natural continuum around the city.
- Integrate the city's periurban parks within the urban layout and connect these at the same time to the natural environment, thereby improving the physical and ecological accessibility between the main green areas and natural spaces of the municipality.
- Develop periurban spaces in order to promote their use by the public and satisfy to some degree the growing demands of the inhabitants of the city for open-air leisure areas and to relieve, at the same time, the pressure on other, more fragile natural spaces.
- Take advantage of the recovery and development of these new spaces to encourage environmental awareness and education with the ultimate aim of involving the inhabitants of the city in their conservation.
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