SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN
City park located in a working class district, mainly modest livings
A park with deep longitudinal and transversal slopes presenting an important landscape damage caused by erosion processes and urban run-off
Housings annexed to the park presenting humidity problems and occasional floods during rain periods
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES
Reduction/Elimination of existing run-offs (Junta Municipal + Atlantis)
Elimination of dampness in neighboring buildings (Junta Municipal)
Increase of urban green areas (Junta Municipal + Atlantis)
Increase and improvement of the paths within the park without incrementing the sealing, imperviousness and lifelessness of the park (Junta Municipal)
Improvement of the aesthetic aspect of the park (Junta Municipal)
Increase of the rainwater retention capacity (Junta Municipal + Atlantis)
Reduction of water demand for the maintenance of the park
FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATERGIES
Elimination/Reduction of run-off processes
Reduction of stormwater and sewage discharges
Reduction of the volume of contaminated water in rain periods
Demonstration of the efficiency of new water sensitive materials and techniques and rainwater management, therefore restoring the natural water cycle in urban development.
Re-vegetation and regeneration of eroded areas
Implantation of highly pervious pavements
Reinforcement and protection of natural ground in transit areas
Utilisation of paths for water collecting filters
On-site collection, treatment, re-use and/or land infiltrating structures
This system and concept represents an integrated treatment chain in urban building (roof gardens ), parking areas, paths and pedestrian areas, green and recreational areas, and may be combined with current conventional stormwater measures.
MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
Town Hall investments in regeneration and improvement of the parks of Madrid
Technical support: Atlantis
At an operational level and due to the fact that the materials and techniques employed have not yet been presently normalised in any Spanish Municipality, certain difficulties overcame on defining, approving and carrying out the designs proposed by Atlantis. Once the final design was approved, instructions had to be necessarily given to the construction companies for a correct installation of the system. Having done this, the interest and involvement of the workers were absolute. The procedure in the development of the tasks was as follows:
Withdrawal of the impervious pavements
Regeneration of the eroded and compacted soil
Distribution and installation of underground infiltration tanks
Installation of collecting, transport and distribution system to the tanks located under the pavements
Installation of pervious pavements
Planting and vegetal regeneration
In spite of the outstanding results and due to the great ignorance regarding these techniques in our country, homologation of the system is yet to be achieved by the pertinent authorities.
One year after the re-opening of the park and a good number of inspections, especially during rain periods, we have noted the disappearance of run-off processes, flooding and previous erosion. Consequently, humidity problems in the neighbouring houses have also disappeared.
Landscape and environmental integration, standard of living: more healthy soil, larger green surfaces, purified air and a subsequent lower ambient temperature, especially in summer, have significantly improved, increasing the frequency and length of visits of the neighbours and, therefore, their cohabitation. A slight diminution of vandalism has also been observed.
Park area: 10,000 m2
Madrid average rainfall/year: 500 lt/m2/year
Average park rainwater/year: 5,000,000 lt/year
Unpolluted rainwater: 5,000,000 lt/year
Savings in transport: 5,000,000 lt/year
Savings in water treatment: 5,000,000 lt/year
Groundwater recharge: 5,000,000 lt/year
Financial: The installation is either equivalent in terms of costs or reduces overall cost; nevertheless, its multifunctional use, lower costs in terms of conveyance and depuration, and its environmental benefits justify its application. Simultaneously, it acts positively on land, air, water and bio-diversity.
Environmental: This type of solutions preserve and restore naturally the standards of water (bio-remedying systems). They provide new “live” urban ground, and improve the efficiency in the use of water and land and the integration of the infrastructures (ecological footpaths, sewage and treatment) into the natural environment, providing also new water resources. In short, “they restore the natural urban water cycle”.
The system signifies a complete change in the criteria (tout à l’égout) and the technologies employed to this date, instead of removing and increasing pollution form (A) collector to B (purifying plant or rivers and streams). These new criteria aim at the achievement of “at source water management solutions for quantity and quality control”.
Hydraulic criteria adopted up to now are now longer tenable, i.e. centralised collection and all the remaining processes. By contrast, hydrological criteria signify on-site collection and treatment, a decentralised and ecological approach with a lower cost maintenance.
Water sensitive urban development is development that is carefully designed, constructed and maintained so as to eliminate the negative impact on the natural water cycle. It is part of the contemporary trend towards more “sustainable” solutions that protect the environment.
Simple and efficient installation
Low and uncomplicated maintenance
Easy adaptation to the existing infrastructure
High water quality, on-site consumption
Lower water demand in the maintenance of parks and gardens
Higher efficiency in land use
A more rational use of water, due to the existence of closed circuits for its recycling
Urban stormwater and waste water can be viewed as potentially useful resources rather than undesirable waste products
Multi-functionality: pathways become a collecting filter of rainwater.
Control of imperviousness and run-off processes
Larger green surfaces with a subsequent atmospheric improvement (quality and temperature)
Ignorance and nation-wide scepticism
Resistance to innovation
Non-normalisation on behalf of authorities, implication of different departments (sewage, urbanism, construction, environment, civil works, etc.). Since integration is a key principle underlying sustainability, a particular challenge is to address interrelationships between environmental, social and economic issues, and to link policies and actions across a wide range of traditional disciplinary, sectorial and institutional boundaries.
Lack of references in Spain
Up to this date, no step as yet has been undertaken on behalf of the Town Hall of Madrid in terms of divulging the system, except for the presentation to this Award.
Atlantis has on its behalf shown the results of the actions undertaken in the park to a various number of engineers, architects and authorities. As a result of the interest shown, the system has been included in the development Project “Olympic Park, Madrid 2012” for the construction of an 80,000m2 ecological parking (PROINTEC Engineering).
In Gijon (located in the North of Spain), the construction of a 10,000m2 parking is to be constructed in a period of 2 or 3 months, on behalf of its municipality.
First Prize Award: Best Water Management in Urban and Construction Projects, organised by the Town Hall of Alcobendas (Madrid), LIFE Programme “Alcobendas, Ciudad del Agua para el siglo XXI”
Instituto de Metaeconomía, España, “Aplicación para la depuración de sus aguas residuales y aprovechamiento de pluviales”
Renewable Energies Museum Project. Basque Country
Bioclimatic Building Project. Madrid (Edificio Trasluz)
“Aguas blancas” Development works. Guadalajara
Development works Project. Barcelona
Remodelación antiguos cuarteles de Daoiz y Velarde (EMV) Madrid
Dpto. Saneamiento Ayto. Madrid (Sewage Dpt., Madrid): Proposals have been set forth to reduce water consumption in Madrid (parks and gardens) by means of rainwater and re-use.
· Roads: We have been working in the past two years for the Spanish Government and provinces in the application of the system in roads in terms of water management; this would imply an outstanding improvement as regards to road environmental integration (bio-ditches, i.e. concrete drains on the road side) and road security (anti-overturning ditches). The Managing Director for Roads of Valencia has announced recently in the media the starting of a campaign for the leveling of ditches.