Landscape Architecture Firm: EXP Architects
Project: Plaza del Milenio
Loaction: Valladolid, Spain
Area: 2.5 Hectares
Plaza del Milenio lies at an important intersection of two rivers, Esgueva and Pisuerga in Valladolid, Spain. The site is composed of an underground car park, a pavilion for cultural events, a public square and an environmental reserve. Each component was designed by different teams. EXP Architects designed the public square to redevelop the riverfront and reconnect with the historic district.
The bank was created into an urban park while prioritizing ecological sensitivity. “To extend the district beyond the bridge towards the city, the project is based on a progressive expansion of the ecosystem of the river towards the public space” (ArchDaily). Observation decks, furniture, children’s games, fountains, and sculptures were added while the plaza centers around the pavilion.
With the increasing percentage of people living in urban environments, the demand for public spaces that allow access to nature is also increasing. People want to be drawn outdoors but need appealing environments to pull them away from cyber worlds and television. I think the differences and similarities of urban redevelopment in older cities, like in Europe, and newer cities, like in the U.S., are interesting. The infrastructure of an American city offers new and different challenges for urban revitalization and while it is important to study and learn from successful projects from abroad, implementations at home require a different approach. Can we redevelop cities one plaza at a time or is a more holistic vision and approach required?