The first phase of a new 23ha (2,500,000sq ft) urban park designed by landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman
and built on the site of former railway lines and industrial land has opened in Valencia, Spain.
Parque Central is part of a larger project in the city that will see train lines moved underground to free up a total of 66ha (7,100,000sq ft) of land. The reclaimed land will be used to reintroduce biodiversity, create new public and cultural spaces and reverse social segregation.
The completed, €16m ($18m, £14m) first phase of Parque Central covers 11.5ha (1,200,000sq ft) and already connects a number of previously separated areas of the city.
The park comprises a series of multi-level gardens, including the Children’s Garden, the Romantic Garden, the Flower Garden, the Orchard Garden and the Demetrio Ribes Arts Plaza. There are spaces for art, activities and events.
Materials for landscaping were drawn from the local region and include marble, granite, and Calatorao limestone. Trees, bushes and herb species used for planting are either native to the area or are non-invasive species that have been adapted to the Mediterranean climate.
Mary Bowman, Partner at Gustafson Porter + Bowman said: "Valencia is a Spanish city and a Mediterranean city like no other, with a rich history of agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, not to mention its trade history and history of artisanal and artistic pursuits. I believe we have been successful in capturing the unique qualities of Valencia, delivering a park that is evocative, stimulating, and full of unexpected sensory experiences."
The project began in 2011, with construction starting
in 2015. The second phase is due to begin in 2021.