Generalitat intends to clean up the new Turia riverbed, which is currently a massive dumping ground, and transform it into something beautiful and useful.
The new course of the river Turia provided a breath of fresh air to Valencia, freeing it from the looming threat of floods. The construction, as well as the location of the new Turia riverbed, had a significant impact on the town and future building projects. Not only that, but it also presented itself as an ideal location for dumping. Although close to the city, it is still hidden from it. This fact was exploited by a large number of people.
The rubble is still present 50 years later, and the new Turia riverbed is not a pretty sight. This is why, during the General Policy Debate this week, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, announced that a proposal has been presented to the Next Generation Funds to remove all the rubble and restore the environment to its original state.
According to some of the municipalities affected by the situation, some ‘mountains’ of rubble, in Turia riverbed, currently reach five metres in height, making the garbage difficult to distinguish from the natural surroundings. The poor condition of the Turia riverbed is one of the causes of visible destruction of the natural environment in the area adjacent to the riverbed where the rubble is deposited, particularly riverside forest and orchards.
The new proposal, with which the Generalitat Valenciana is attempting to access European funds, will not only remove waste but will also restore the area’s natural environment. All of this will be combined with various social uses, such as the construction of a bicycle lanes and recreational areas.
The project would cost 14.9 million euros and include the municipalities of Quart de Poblet, Mislata, Paterna, and València. The affected area is quite large, approximately 50 hectares in size, and the total population that will benefit from the investment is estimated to be 650,000 people.
Although these are two separate projects that will most likely be completed in different time frames, the renaturation of the new Turia riverbed is accompanied by another project with the ultimate goal of connecting the end of the old riverbed that runs through València with l’Albufera. Once all of the projects are completed, there will be a direct link from Quart de Poblet to l’Albufera, passing through Cabecera Park, the gardens of the old riverbed, and finally to the lagoon.
This project, with a budget of 13.5 million euros, will cover an area of 86,000 square metres, and will benefit an estimated 1 million people. It is supplemented by the Special Plan for the Port of València’s South Zone, whose main goal is to improve connectivity and ecological restoration of the seafront environment.
To complete all of this, Generalitat Valenciana will seek more than the 28 million euros from European Next Generation funds. These two massive projects aim to build a large green infrastructure for the entire València metropolitan area, both north and south, and it is very likely that the EU will stand behind them.
Cleaning up the new Turia riverbed is just the first step. According to its own words, Generalitat wants to transform Valencia’s metropolitan area into a European model for combating climate change and demonstrating environmental stewardship in urban areas. But it is still a step, with many more to follow.
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