DivAirCity H2020

Castellón

About Castellón

Castellón has approximately a population of 172,000 inhabitants. It is the capital city of the homonymous province within the Valencian Community and it is located on the south-eastern Spanish Costa de Azahar.

Its architecture is influenced by the different era with a small old town which dates back to the middle ages, the 15ht century Palace of Sant Miquel, and the symbolic El Fadrì with arab influences standing right next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Assuncion.

La Marina and El Grau are two areas full of city life and highly touristic. 

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Why was it chosen as a ‘Pilot City’

The city of Castellón is applying innovative procurement methods, and its goal is to include DivAirCity criteria in the public tenders. The area of intervention is located in an area where neighbours are particularly concerned about air quality, due to the proximity of the petrochemical industry, which has been impacting the air quality in the area. The petrochemical companies (Iberdrola, and British Petroleum) will be engaged in the project. The interventions will target urban transformation through NBS to reduce human exposure to pollution, improve air quality and decarbonization, and increase social justice and inclusion. The city has been awarded to take part in the Intelligent City Challenge. The city has set up a Municipal Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, as well as a Social Council to address all social challenges in the city. Castellón is a member of the Covenant of Mayors.

The main objectives of the city of Castellón are:

Public Procurement Innovation toward air quality and decarbonization aspects

A greener and more resilient city

Social justice and social inclusion

The Castellón Living Lab is centred around the integration of NBS in policies and innovative public procurement to solve urban challenges

Area of Intervention

The solutions have been co-designed with an established group made up ofcivil associations, experts, companies, students, etc., what we called the Castellón community of practices. The intervention will be carried out in two phases: in the first phase, a temporary prototype of the final solution will be carried out. The final intervention will be built later. The temporary design will use tools of tactical urbanism (paint, urban elements reused as flower pots, benches or plants).

The intervention will be carried out in the street that connects the park with the school with solutions such as:

  • Green pergola to improve thermal comfort in living areas
  • Trees on the streets to improve their appearance, as well as increase shaded and cool spaces.
  • Vegetable barriers such as hedges or rows of medium-height plants to reduce human exposure to air pollution.
  • Improve accessibility, widening the sidewalks so that the turning radius is ensured, as well as using urban elements such as railings, tactile pavements, benches with backrests, inclusive signage, etc.

Activities in the City

The solutions are yet to be decided as part of the co-creation activities within the project, but some actions have been suggested:

  • Green Infrastructure such as Low Boundary Walls.
  • Trees in street canyons in thought locations to enhance ventilation and air pollution dispersion patterns.
  • Vegetation barriers such as Green walls, hedges or Hedge Rows, reduce human exposure to air pollution.
  • Pedagogy of data activities will be performed to increase awareness.
  • Public Space interventions and Urban environmental measures for air pollution mitigation such as temporary pedestrianization and integration of NBS to mitigate air pollution, create safer public spaces and enhance social networking.

Casal Jove

Transform the public space of the Youth
Center by making it greener, more accessible
and more energy-efficient.

Trees and greenery will be placed to create
shade, reduce the human exposure to air
pollution, CO2 reduction/absorption and to
increase biodiversity.

Solar PV panels will also be placed in the
building to produce energy.

Also, benches and other urban elements will
be introduced for activating the space and
make it accessible and inclusive.

La Marina Española Street

Reduce motorized traffic at certain moments
of the day to reduce exposure to air
pollution, combined with green elements to
provide shade and wellbeing.

This will be combined with measures to
promote pedestrianization, green parklets,
promote public transport and public bikes
service, and connecting all these
interventions with a citizen’s card that
promotes the behavioural change needed
giving incentives through a blockchain
application and ensuring equity in access to
the services and public space for everybody.

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