World Design Spotlight: “La Petxina”
01 Aug 2022 /

World Design Spotlight: “La Petxina”

Valencia is to have its first “superblock”, which will be located at the crossroads of the streets Calle Palleter and Calle Calixto III, in the neighbourhood of La Petxina. This action forms part of the policy to give public spaces back to residents, with squares and parks offering a friendlier and more sustainable space.

This action is undertaken following in the footsteps of cities such as Barcelona, A Coruña and Vitoria (the first city in Spain to have a superblock and which led to its selection as European Green Capital) three towns that have seen the successful conversion of crossroads, colonized by vehicles, into new urban spaces where residents can live together.

Tactical planning interventions of this type unify the usual blocks into larger ones, of some 400 or 500 square metres, and redirect the traffic. Therefore, the centre of the block is freed for pedestrian areas, walkways within the block, bicycle lanes or loading and unloading zones.

Commissioned by Valencia City Council, Leku Estudio has developed a design guide for the sustainable transformation of the public space of Valencia, which also contemplates aspects of the design of urban furniture or vegetation with distinctive and functional characteristics.

Furthermore, the use of a new graphic tile has been included which will define this first superblock and which will be used as a reference for all the tactical planning interventions that are carried out in the city.

The graphic tile, with a design in the form of a cross, will provide coherence to the low-impact interventions developed in the city to prevent the disparity of designs and offer aesthetic unity in the spirit of World Design Capital Valencia 2022.

The graphic artist Ibán Ramón, who was awarded the tender to design this tile, is a designer and artistic director of recognized prestige who was born in Valencia. He teaches the master’s degree in design and illustration of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the official master’s degree in editorial design of the Escuela Superior de Diseño de Valencia (EASD). Furthermore, he is a member of the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community, of the Bureau of European Designers Association, and of Foment de les Arts i del Disseny (Barcelona).

The first superblock of Valencia also incorporates the voice of those who are to benefit from it, as explained by the municipal authorities. The decision has been submitted to a participation process with the involvement of residents’ associations, representatives of the area’s schools and other bodies, such as the fallas commissions.

The idea behind the incorporation of the views and preferences of residents is to ensure that each superblock has aspects related to the neighbourhood in question.

In addition to reducing noise and emissions, the initiative will generate more green zones and safe spaces for play, cultural activities and artistic actions.

The superblock of La Petxina will be the first action of this type for the recovery of public space to be developed in Valencia. A minimum of four blocks will be closed to traffic, ensuring that these streets are freed from vehicles and the whole space is made available to residents.

In addition to reducing noise and emissions, the initiative will generate more green zones and safe spaces for play, cultural activities and artistic actions.