Re-using outdated infrastructure: the case of Guadalmedina riverbed

Abstract

In this paper we present an urban process that will foster the benefits of an obsolete infrastructure through public use, which functions as a catalyst for economic revitalisation. The Guadalmedina River in Malaga (Spain) is a dry river that divides the city into two parts. Architects drew up plans to reclaim this area as a public space. Politicians held hearings. Editorialists wrote passionate commentaries. But everything they planned was too expensive and nothing was done for decades. The open model of public use of the Guadalmedina presented in this proposal is an example of the new forms of urban intervention in a context characterised by the difficulties of carrying out large interventions that involve a great investment effort. It belongs to the orbit of the new trends of urban intervention based on the creation of new spaces of social opportunity, high impact, high effectiveness and low budgets. It involves the mobilisation of the city’s underutilised resources, in this case the Guadalmedina and its entire area of influence, urban intelligence and opportunities to generate new resources for economic development and social enjoyment. The activation of these resources as multiplier effects not only implies physical renewal, but also the generation of new activities to invigorate the local economy and civil society. The integration of urban projects into the local economy is positive in every possible way: it generates opportunities for the implementation of new activities that promote local commerce, new tourist attraction activities and the reuse of existing capacities in the city. The Guadalmedina strategy I propose is based on the following propositions (i) No more waiting to enjoy the city. (ii) Maintain, facilitate and enhance existing uses. (iii) No building on the river bed. (iv) Bring the city closer to the river. (v) Involve neighbours. (vi) Unite sea, mountain and city. (vii) Recover the Alameda (Main Street that crosses the Guadalmedina) as an urban lounge. (viii) Promote the identity of citizens with the Guadalmedina. (v) Work downstream.

Ramón Marrades Chema Segovia Book section Data de publicació 2013 Llibre Architecture & Planning in Times of Scarcity. Reclaiming the Possibility of Making Pàgines 126-135 Editors Softgrid, AESOP & IFHP Capítols Part III: Adaptation ISBN 978-0992782306