Natural urbanity on the urban edge : design considerations for Torre-Negra, Collserola
Document typeConference lecture
PublisherEuropean Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF)
Rights accessOpen Access
In the shade of the Collserola range, near the old road that links the Roman Barcino with the hinterland of the Valle`s, the natural environment of Torre Negra has for almost thirty years now been one of the most endangered and fragile spaces. Here we can see the con uence of ravines and the Sant Crist and Riera de Sant Medir rivers, one of the last areas of farmland near Collserola Park, the historical, symbolic presence of the Torre Negra old country house (which originally served as a watchtower of the Monastery of Sant Cugat del Valle's), the ruins of a ceramic brickyard, modern-day equestrian centres, international schools and tennis clubs. All this under the shadow of the Pi d’en Xandri, a much-loved pine tree measuring some 23 metres tall. This unique local icon, increasingly present in the collective imagination, clearly re ects the contradiction between human pressure for property and the widely shared desire to promote ecological preservation. But while on the one hand the 1987 PEPco (Special Ordinance and Protection Plan for Collserola) de ned the area as “agricultural area with landscape value”, the last sentence by the Spanish Supreme Court in 2016 and the Catalan Supreme Court determined that it “does not meet” the conditions laid out in the Law on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of Natural Spaces, and therefore the area remains subject to property speculation. In reality, though, this burning controversy has served only to leave the superb Collserola area on standby, while positions on either side harden. This article aims to shed some light onto this di icult issue through an exploratory project carried out by the author of this article with the aim of answering the following questions: What design criteria should be taken into account to solidify an area as uncertain as Torre Negra, where there is insu icient strength in terms of ecological or heritage value, but where there is an underlying interest? What design programmes, guidelines and arguments can be used to reactivate the peri-urban city edges? How can we integrate urban and natural spaces?
Pòster (subtítol): Notes on the Final Degree Project, developed by Alvaro Clua at the Barcelona School of Architecture (UPC-2012), under the supervision of prf. A. Linares
CitationClua, A. Natural urbanity on the urban edge : design considerations for Torre-Negra, Collserola. A: European Forum on Urban Forestry. "EFUF: Urban Forest Boundaries Within, between and beyond the city : book of abstracts". European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF), 2017, p. 114-116.