Jardín del Turia, Spain
The Jardín del Turia in Valencia is a park created on the old riverbed of the Turia River after the city diverted it’s path to prevent flooding. In 1957 the river flooded ¾ of the city, causing severe damage and 60 deaths, and so a plan was conceived to prevent future flood damage and ensure safety for residents. The park is the largest urban park in all of Spain, spanning 9km, and it’s route runs from West to East through the city, bordering the historical old town and running out to the Mediterranean.
The park was designed by several urban planners, landscapers and architects which is noticeable as you walk through the varying sections of the park. The bosque urbano (the urban forest) has thousands of pine trees planted to create an alpine, ‘out of the city’ landscape. In other areas esplanades provide the perfect place for skaters, cyclists and segway users. Ponds hire out water zorb balls and canoes. Palm trees and orange trees decorate the area near the Palau de la Música.
The park is home to the Zoo of Valencia, the Palau de la Música and the City of Arts and Sciences as well as many bars and cafes. The Valencia Institute of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts sit on the edges of the park. The park offers a vast range of cultural and leisure activities to residents and visitors, and is a huge attraction to tourists. Jardin del Turia does not have any significant agricultural elements, an opportunity missed in the planning. However, the park has continued to be developed since it’s inauguration in 1986, so it is not too late for the city to incorporate urban agriculture into the park, creating even more activities for residents to partake in and opening up the possibility to elevate this landmark into being a staple of urban sustainability.
For further information see the park’s website:
Image: Jardin del Turia is the largest urban park in Spain. (Source: Arena Zone Hotel 2022)
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