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.
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:
The Castellón Living Lab is centred around the integration of NBS in policies and innovative public procurement to solve urban challenges
Area of Intervention
In Castellón, the site for intervention is the street Carrer de la Marina Espanola – a street that connects the Parc de la Panderola with the primary school C.E.I.P. La Marina and is used by many school children (pedestrians) commuting to and from school every day. There are only a few shops on the street whereas it is mostly apartment buildings with residents parking their cars directly on the street. Casal Jove, a youth community centre, houses different youth activities and has a vast ‘empty’ public space in front of the building that could make room for a temporary intervention. The Centre Polifunctional La Marina, a museum/ exhibition centre is also located on Carrer de la Marina Espanola.
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.