Vitoria-Gasteiz smart regeneration of a developmentalism neighborhood infopost

Vitoria-Gasteiz began last February the path to regenerate the Coronación neighborhood, a neighborhood born from the relentless model of industrial development of 50 years ago that has been dragging a loss of attractiveness and population despite being next to the historic center of the city. The project, which has a grant of almost 11 million euros from the European Commission, aims to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the neighborhood in the next five years. The plan is part of the European call SmartEnCity that wants to develop “smart” solutions in habitability, mobility and energy efficiency in the Horizon 2020. Along with Vitoria-Gasteiz, Tartu (Estonia) and Sonderborg (Denmark) are the cities that participate in SmartEnCity.

The participation of the neighbors of the neighborhood in the design of the development of Public Spaces is a highlight of the project, and it is precisely on these dates in June that the meetings with the neighborhood groups have begun for the design of the participatory process to define the actions to be developed at level of Public Space as of 2017. In addition to the urbanization and mobility actions -reform of streets, squares and gardens, traffic calming, introduction of new services-, two other large areas of the project are the neighborhood heat network and the rehabilitation of homes.

The neighborhood heat network consists of the installation of “central heating” or a central heating system operated with biomass to supply energy to the 1,300 homes in the neighborhood, thus reducing spending and greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse. The energy rehabilitation works for the type of buildings in the neighborhood will begin in 2017, with an estimated average cost of 21,000 euros per home. The owners would receive up to 11,400 euros in aid to pay for the rehabilitation.

The Coronación neighborhood was chosen for the project, according to the Gasteiz town hall, because it is a socially vulnerable neighborhood, identified as a priority in the “Diagnosis of intervention needs in the renovation of residential buildings in the Basque Country (2011)“, prepared by Tecnalia for the Basque Government. The image of the neighborhood remains practically the same as in the 70s, with a compact and unrenovated urban fabric and old houses, which has resulted in an aging population, and a high rate of people of foreign nationality who have not covered the population decline.