Muntanya de les Pedreres , Girona, Catalunya

GIRONA’S SHORE is a collection of self-initiated network of projects and initiatives that aim to reclaim, develop and manage Girona’s neglected green peri-urban spaces and convert them to a multifunctional green infrastructure. It reimagines a green-open conurbation, an extended city, where nature is a strategic asset accessible to everyone. To turn this ambition into reality, a low-cost and replicable process with various design tools has been developed over time.

The process started with a series of pilot projects that we undertook with the municipal landscape maintenance brigade in dry-mountain and riverscape landscape conditions. With these low-tech, low-cost interventions that provided quick and tangible results, we proposed an inverted project sequence, where a large-scale infrastructural project emerges from the knowledge gained through the pilot projects. Based on the interpretation of differentiated management as a landscape design practice, a specific landscape management regime guided by the principles of ecological succession allows for an immediate diversification and appropriation of the agroforestry mosaic of the town’s border, its shore. The site’s special peculiarities are highlighted, creating a new naturban aesthetic. The generated transversal knowledge is summarized in a flexible protocol, that is rewritten and replicated seasonally. In this process, environmental technical services Ecologists and the landscape brigade become co-designers, executors, managers and multipliers that allow the project to self-seed. The average cost of these interventions ranges from 1 to 2€/m2 per year.  

The appropriation of the spaces is prompted through artistic installations, festivals, educational programs, naturban furniture and other small ad-hoc projects to create view and resting points.

Altogether the combination of projects, strategies and actions that form the design method and create a malleable and frugal tool kit facilitates a responsive upgrading through successive acting. The various ingredients of this “cocktail” complement and relate to each other and, in reversed order to conventional master planning, together bring about a new shared vision of the town.

A flexible, replicable and low-cost strategy

The relevance of this self-initiated project consists in its response-ability at very low-cost. This is a result of the desire to create a responsive and open method that can be replicated in other towns with similar ambitions that face precarious economic circumstances. Its virtue is to turn landscape management and the beauty of the existing landscape into a lever to reclaim and restore a green infrastructure. The site-specific, yet flexible design and maintenance strategy and variety of tools available allow for actions to be taken even when almost no funding is available.

A new, shared vision of the city

Through its agility and extensive potential, the differentiated management design enables the expansion of the city beyond its current limits and inquires: what makes a public space beautiful? This requires “seeing with different eyes” and a new set of values to reconsider the essence of our cities. For the town’s edge, its shore, we propose a new hybrid naturban spaces, uses and aesthetics. And more importantly, on an operational level, we put in place a new form of management to make changes happen fast and tangibly.

With Girona’s Shore, we champion an equitable and distributed concept of the city. The idea of the shore counteracts the epicentral, hierarchical nature of urban public space and spins it out to the edge. Its low-cost, low-tech approach allows us to roll out the project on a large scale, bringing it close to every neighbourhood.

  • General plan Pedreres
    General plan Pedreres
  • General plan
    General plan
  • Management plan
    Management plan
  • Birdview management
    Birdview management
  • Making of, the brigade
    Making of, the brigade
  • Making of, the brigade
    Making of, the brigade
EMF M. Franch
Ajuntament de Girona
G. Batllori, H. Bouju, M. Pagès, S. Romero, M. Coudert, T. Rojas, C. Holz, F. Poupeau, A. Smierzchalska, A. Schmidt, M. Syzdykova
180.000 €, 3 €/m2 - Manteniment: 1 €/m2/any
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