An important project identified by the City of Sitges is to relocate underground the railway lines that currently traverse the municipality at ground level. At the end of the 19th centry, the railroad tracks were located on the outside of the urban centre. Urban growth throughout the 20th century eventually stretched beyond the railway tracks, and the tracks now bisect Sitges’ urban core and are an obstacle for proper pedestrian and traffic flows, as well as a visual eyesore for the community.
The City of Sitges invites the 2005 ISOCARP UTF to present a vision for how the city could take advantage of the spaces that would be freed up if the tracks were placed underground. The project offers a fantastic exercise in urban design that involves aspects of multi-modal transportation, city building, and comprehensive planning.
The City of Sitges is a Mediterranean city within the metropolitan region of Barcelona, with a population of approximately 24,000 residents that increase to upwards of 90,000 during summer tourism months. The municipality of Sitges has a total surface area of 43.67 square kilometres, with 16.5 kilometres of Mediterranean coast, as well as an arid mountainous natural park that occupies two-thirds of the entire municipality. Sitges has experienced strong economic and population growth over the past twenty years, particularly since new highway and rail communications were opened with Barcelona for the 1992 Olympic Games. Both the high quality of life it offers and its easy access to Barcelona have helped Sitges to become not only a holiday resort town but also a high-end residential commuter community. Sitges’ land and seascapes make it a very special place, and the authorities aspire to manage and protect these natural endowments. Sitges is presently developing a Master Plan that identifies the arts, services, tourism, leisure activities and new technologies as strategic economic sectors for the city‘s future.