The City Council is implementing its plans to design the central square, but only a year after the first works on Plaza del Ayuntamiento reconstruction were completed.
You’d think that the Plaza del Ayuntamiento reconstruction was part of a well-thought-out plan to transform the main city’s square one day, but you’d be wrong. The main goal of the day was to close it to traffic, with the minor “details” of how it will look in the future left for another day. As a result, once the pedestrianisation works were completed, Valencia was left with an airport runway-looking area and no idea what would happen next.
But, things are about to change. Sandra Gomez, Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Urban Development, recently confirmed that the project is entering a new phase. However, completion is still a few years away.
Within a month, the City Council will issue a tender to determine the final design of the square. The tender is divided into two parts: first, the Ayuntamiento will select the participating teams for the final project, and then the teams will create the design. The first phase’s goal is to confirm the professionalism and references of the bidders, and the second phase’s goal is to create the actual design. The proposals from the participating teams will be submitted anonymously, which is both intriguing and promising. The final stage of the process will also include a large amount of public participation.
It is difficult to say whether the public will be really able to add value, especially in light of the recent proposal to erect the Chinese Arches in La Roqueta barrio, which was also a popular vote idea. However, in this case, the jury, chaired by the Delegate of the City Council’s Urban Development, Renovation, and Housing Department, will make the final call, and its members will include many government officials as well as architects, engineers, and urbanisation specialists.
The designs will be submitted once the teams have been selected. Only a few teams will advance to the final round, in which case each participating team will receive nearly €10,000 in compensation for their expenses and participation. The winning design will receive €350,000 in prize money.
However, the designers will not be given carte blanche. There are some requirements that must be met. Among them is the need to preserve the space for the mascletà and the municipal falla, as well as the flower stalls and the fountain. The design must also include green and shady areas, bathrooms, drinking water fountains, and a square paved with non-slippery material.
According to city officials, the tender process will take about 6 months, and the final look of the Plaza de Ayuntamiento will be known by the end of 2021. The construction should begin soon after and last until the end of 2022. A new Plaza should be completed by 2023. The total budget for the project is €8,6 million, and the funds are already available and ready to be used.
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