Buits-plens: empty plots reactivation
The rehabilitation of two plots in Rubí (Barcelona) is the opportunity to activate a participative process and to define the collective uses of the unused spaces that wait for an urban intervention. The challenge of the project is to grant the accessibility and to foment its public use through low-cost investments, including the neighbors in the decisional process.
Buits-Plens program of Rubi’s City Council (Barcelona) fundamentally aims to recuperate some of the empty plots of the city to deliver them to the citizen. Within this framework it is included the rehabilitation of two plots in Pearson Square and Primer de Maig square. While waiting for those interventions, the City Council has decided to provisionally restore and reactivate their public use.
The two plots are located in different areas of Rubí: Pearson Square is in the most centric zone, while Primer de Maig is in the north periphery. Both of them need deep interventions of rehabilitation due to the presence of rubble, the condition of the perimeter dividing wall and the gradient of the ground.
The challenge of the intervention is to adapt these two unused plots with new social uses through a low cost project criteria and a major attention on the demands of social/collective use identified throughout a participative process promoted by the City Council.
In both cases, different options have been defined in order to match the rehabilitation necessities, neighbors’ demands and the aim to grant total accessibility and truly public use.
This plot is related directly with one of Rubí’s most important squares: Plaça Doctor Pearson. This relationship has been fundamental to define the project criteria, so the proposal focuses in the design of spaces able to encourage and complement the uses of the main square, as new spaces for socialization, thanks to the urban furniture made with “pallet’, that guarantees a reduced cost at the same time.
The two options that were presented to the citizen utilize these modular elements to favor spontaneous encounters and to organize different activities (as the case of the small hamlet of the second proposal).
Another aspect that has been considered is the fate of the perimeter facade: in fact, the plot limits in two sides with other buildings while in the other two sides there are still the pre-existing structure. It was decided to maintain and integrate them into the space design.
Finally, the neighbors voted for the first option, in which a connection path organizes the space in four rest areas shaped with urban furniture made with pallet and new vegetation.
In addition, the perimeter dividing walls were rehabilitated with minimum treatment to allow the future incorporation of street art murals.
Plaça Primer de maig
In the case of the second plot, the instability of the land, with a steep slope on the east side, and the demand of part of the neighbors to maintain some parking spaces has forced to define different project criteria.
An intervention on the perimeter slope was necessary in order to guarantee its stability, to generate a perimeter route and to cover the slope with vegetation.
The space is conceived as a continuity of the public space of the surrounding streets, guaranteeing a pedestrian path protected from the vehicles, in which there are small rest areas made with pallets.
Pictures of Plaça Pearson and Plaça Primer de maig