Processes and impact of strategic urban projects in Zaragoza, Spain. A comparative analysis in the European context.

Processes and impact of strategic urban projects in Zaragoza, Spain. A comparative analysis in the European context.

Submission ID:

64

The city of Zaragoza experienced during the 2000s the biggest urban transformation of its history. Two events made it possible, acting like "leverage effect" through strategic urban projects: the arrival of the high-speed rail in the year 2003 and the celebration of the International Exhibition in 2008. These two events, closely linked, allowed finishing a lot of former urban needs in strategic locations.

The rail infrastructure was a widely debated topic during the development of the City Master Plan, since 1997 to the definitive approval in 2001. This process proved an unexpected public participation, resulting in changing the location of the new High-speed rail station and covering the rail lines.

The election of Zaragoza as the host city for the Expo 2008 in December 2004 boosted the execution of many infrastructural works and urban projects. But after the event, the real estate and economic crisis impeded the implementation of the post-Expo projects creating a great paralysis that has not been unblocked until today.

The paper analyzes the processes, the management and design of the strategic urban project since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the role of different stakeholders in the process, the urban impact of the built works and the decisions after the real estate crisis in 2008. It undertakes a comparative analysis with other contemporary strategic urban projects in Western Europe, such as Euralille; La Confluence, in Lyon; Euroméditerranée, in Marseille; Hafen City, in Hamburg and Porta Nuova, in Milano.

Finally, the paper evaluates the limited resilience of Zaragoza facing the new post-crisis scenario, the lack of capacity to continue with the projected infrastructures and the current searching for new leaderships to find a new identity and a way to finalizing these projects.

Corresponding Author

Andrés Fernández-Ges

Universidad de Zaragoza

Author #1:

Andrés Fernández-Ges

Universidad de Zaragoza

Author #2:

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

1. Mega-events and mega-projects: trends and demands

Second Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

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DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte

Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

Avenida das Forças Armadas | Edifício ISCTE

Sala D316 1649-026 Lisbon

grandprojects.2021@gmail.com

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