Winning design for new-look town hall square that could cost €8m in Spain’s Valencia is junked by mayor

VALENCIA’S mayor has promised a New Year announcement over changes to a winning design for the revamp of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

‘Re-Natura’ -created by architect and rural heritage expert, Miguel del Rey- was unveiled by a jury as a design competition winner in October 2022 with an execution budget of over €8 million.

It promised a ‘large ambivalent space capable of hosting many activities’ with trees to be planted on the square and roads leading into it.

Speaking on Monday, Mayor Maria Jose Catala said the project will ‘not be same one’ as proposed by her predecessor, Joan Ribo, who she ousted in May’s municipal elections.

“The previous concept casts many doubts in my mind and we now have something that responds to a totally different way of seeing the square,” she said.

She did however praise the previous government team for laying the foundations with the winning proposal.

Maria Jose Catala added: “We will know at the beginning of 2024 how the situation will be managed,” but did not give any further details on what changes are being suggested.

Asked about the city’s legal requirement to have a Low Emissions Zone(ZBE) in place next year, the Partido Popular mayor said that ‘we are going to comply’, but that ‘does not mean having a restrictive and imposive attitude’.

“This can be done in many ways and we know that we can adapt Valencia to the law, but in a calmer way for people because we are a city that has a lower level of pollution due to the proximity of the sea.”

She claimed that Valencia did not have pollution levels of other cities, which can be independently verified.

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