Ismael Fernandez Mejía, Mexico
Peter Jonquière, Netherlands
This is the third UPAT of an agreement of six that was signed by ISOCARP and the Sitges Municipality. The initial commitment of ISOCARP was to help Sitges into the long term urban and regional planning organization and to develop several ideas that were floating in the Sitges society and administration.
The first two UPATs were related to specific projects in the Sitges municipal territory The first was concerned with Urban territorial integration, and the second focused in Urban Mobility. This third UPAT is to be related not only to Sitges territory but to its Region.
Sitges is part of the Garraf Region, which comprises six municipalities – Sitges, Sant Pere de Ribes, Vilanova i la Geltru, Cubelles, Olivella and Canyelles – that share a rich but limited territory. In the last years, the location of Garraf has become of special importance since both Barcelona – the biggest city of the region, 35 km. north – and Tarragona – a growing industrial city, 50 km. to the South – are growing at a very high pace, menacing this territory located just in the middle.
During many years, Sitges as well as the other municipalities in the Garraf Region have proclaimed to have a special “character” that made them different. However, is not until this point that there is an agreement among the municipalities administration in order to develop plans and goals together, with the objective of preserving their added value. The need of a joint work team is now clear evidence and the UPAT will be the first move to prepare the territory for a sound future.
The UPAT will mainly focus on
• Determining the strategic role that the Garraf territory has to play in the middle of a growing region,
• How can the agreements among the different municipalities could have a stronger weight in high level decisions
• What kind of shared strategic projects could be managed to see this collaboration as effective in the short term.
Basically, the areas of the project could include:
– Shared infrastructure
– Urban Services and Equipment
– Land use
– Recovery of natural spaces
– Dynamics of the territory
– Cooperation: prepare to face as a region the possibilities of new planning activities.
The focus of the UPAT is to generate an urban development strategy for the Garraf Region – specifically, to define a series of basic shared strategic projects that may be the point need to achieve more cohesion among them
All the proposed projects and the development strategy must preserve the concept of “well living” and the possibilities of independence with respect to Barcelona and Tarragona in the following years.