Design policies: the Valencian case

Design policies: the Valencian case

The World Design Policy Congress to be held at the Valencia Conference Center on November 3 and 4 aims to bring together the main people working in different sectors of design policies to share their experiences and serve as an engine to deepen the use of design as a tool to solve the great challenges we face.

The physical meeting in Valencia will focus its activity on the debate and exchange of ideas on an international level, with the city of Valencia at the center of attention and as a point of attraction for foreign investment seeking opportunities through development and stability. In this regard, Valencia is already carrying out remarkable design policy projects. The revitalization of institutional design contracting, as well as the launch of the Consell del Disseny, among other milestones, which consolidate and reaffirm, not only Valencia’s maturity in design, but also its position as a pioneer city in this field.



In July 2022, the Consell Municipal del Disseny, a council
of professionals external and independent of the municipal government of Valencia, was set up to advise all areas of the local administration.

This transversal entity to all policies of the City Council of Valencia was created with the mission of improving decision- making on key issues for the city and its inhabitants, such as urban planning, communication, architecture or the development of services.

The Consell Municipal del Disseny of Valencia is made up of expert advisors and independent professionals whose mission is to ensure excellence in design, architecture and urban planning by promoting innovative, sustainable and inclusive design of the city’s public spaces.


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The institutional contracting model of the Valencian Community has led to the professionalization of the sector and represents respect for a professional sector and its promotion by the institutions. In the words of Xavi Calvo, director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022: “it is very educational to compare the evolution of Valencia’s municipal posters in the last decade to observe the results after the change in the selection process of designers”. This change in the contracting procedure towards the professionalization of posters or campaigns has come

about thanks to the Call for Projects formula of the Designers’ Association of the Valencian Community. This system has been successfully implemented in the Government of the Valencian Community and the City Council of Valencia, among many other institutions. The Call for Projects come from the Presidency of the Government of the Valencian Community in a microsite dedicated to this purpose and also disseminated by the collaborating professional associations, which echo these commissions of projects related to design, illustration and advertising.

In this sense, World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community (ADCV) have developed the “Guide for the management and contracting of design”, based on an online platform with free access: contratardiseñ This is a pioneering initiative in Spain that is launched with the aim of being a reference tool for all types of organizations, companies, institutions and public administrations that need support and guidance when it comes to proper management and contracting of design services, as well as becoming a support for professionals and studios in the sector
in their relationship with their clients. The contracting guide
is one of the strategic and structural projects of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, fundamental for Valencian design and for all its professionals, both in its present and its future. It has been conceived to be a reference work tool in the sector.

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The Turia Garden is one of the largest urban parks in Spain.
It runs through the city along nine kilometers of green space boasting foot paths, leisure and sports areas, and romantic spots where you can unwind. From Cabecera Park to the City of Arts and Sciences, the Turia Garden is the perfect place for runners, cyclists, families and nature enthusiasts. Crossed by 18 bridges full of history, the former riverbed passes by the city’s main museums and monuments on either bank.

After a devastating flood on 14 October 1957, the Turia’s course was diverted south of the city, leaving a huge tract of land that crosses the city from West to East, bordering the historical center. Several urban planners and landscapists designed different sections of the park, recreating the former river scenery. After different social movements and popular mobilizations, in 1979 the transfer of ownership of the old river bed to the city was achieved, as well as its final approval as a green area and public park, ruling out its use as a axis of road and rail communications. The gardens were inaugurated in 1986.


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The Valencia Marina is an exemplary seafront on an international level, owing to the way it has been recovered for the community. The old port is now a public space covering a million square meters open to innovation, gastronomy and nautical pursuits. On the horizon of Valencia, yesterday, today and tomorrow live side by side, through buildings that bear witness to different eras and uses. The chandlers shops, the old dry dock, the Clocktower building, the Docks and the Cabria crane tell of the splendor of the historic commercial port of Valencia, which experienced modernization and a peak in activities during the first decades of the twentieth century. These port infrastructures, of modernist neo-baroque style, associated Valencia with progress and modernity. And today, obsolete for their original use, they have been recovered for people.

In parallel, The Marina de Valencia and World Design Capital Valencia 2022 join other entities and organizations to promote Design District Valencia, a maritime district of innovation and creativity with strong social and historical roots and a deeply Mediterranean character marked by the proximity to the sea. Design District Valencia aims to apply creativity and innovation as tools to transform neighborhoods and thus improve people’s lives, to link to urban and maritime spaces and, thanks to the open and Mediterranean character of the area, the project and its main actors, will generate attraction for other Mediterranean cities, becoming a replicable reference. This project is part of the Mediterranean Bauhaus movement, the Valencian vision of the New European Bauhaus, promoted with the collaboration of the Government of the Valencian Community.


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Valencia is an example of a sustainable and smart city, and one of the first three cities in the world doubly certified in measuring progress towards the SDGs and active in various international forums working to turn technology into an ally for sustainability, well-being and quality of life of the people. Smart City Valencia aims to modernize municipal services in its digital transformation seeking to effectively and efficiently solve the needs and desires of citizens. With these intentions is born the Smart City Office of the City Council: to continuously improve the quality of life of citizens, active in the sustainable and resilient development of Valencia.

Within the framework of digital transformation Smart City Valencia highlights ConnectaVLCI, which aims to become the most ambitious Smart City project in the history of the city and will make 194 municipal buildings smart and sustainable, including 98 schools, 58 sports facilities, 16 markets and 22 museums in Valencia.


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fundació del disseny


In October 2021 the Fundació del Disseny de la Valencian Community was presented, an entity promoted by the Associació Valencia Capital del Disseny with the mission to promote and enhance the economic, creative and social scope of design in the Valencian Community from the legacy generated as a result of the designation of Valencia as World Design Capital 2022. In the words of its President, Vicent Martínez, the Foundation is part of the story of Valencian design that is being so generously built with the collaboration of all. The founding members of the Associació Valencia Capital del Disseny make up the Board of Trustees of the foundation along with other leading figures in Valencian design.

The Fundació del Disseny de la Comunitat Valenciana has, therefore, a vocation of permanence that will be materialized through initiatives focused on the promotion and dissemination of design as an instrument of value creation for companies and professionals and a lever for change and growth in the social, economic and cultural spheres. At the same time, the organization will catalyze the efforts of the group to position the Valencian Community as a pivotal point around which design initiatives are articulated at the national level.


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This Observatory is promoted by the Association of Designers
of the Valencian Community and is born with the support of
the Agència Valenciana de la Innovació (AVI). Its objective is to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry and the business fabric of the Valencian Community, the sustainability of the territory and the welfare of society through design.

The Observatory is conceived as a space of reference to promote innovation based on design, from a global and transversal approach. It will develop research projects, analysis, dissemination and promotion of the impact of design in different fields and sectors of action, which will be addressed through partnerships with professionals and specialized organizations.

To achieve these objectives, the OID! will develop its activity along four main lines: observing the impact of design on society, monitoring and evaluating its evolution; guiding and proposing areas for improvement, in which to progress through design; generating tools that facilitate design management and make knowledge tangible; and disseminating and connecting, acting as a bridge between design and different areas —such as institutions, companies, researchers, the academic world and society—.